It has become a common trend for people to question whether the things they are eating are healthy or not. This is great as it promotes a healthy living culture and more people are avoiding eating unhealthy foods and thus reducing illnesses and the mortality rate that we have in our society.
Today we are going to look at nutritional and health aspects of baba ganoush to decide whether it is a healthy dish to consume on a regular basis or not. So, is baba ganoush healthy?
What Is Baba Ganoush?
This is a dish that is very popular in the Middle East. It is made from mashed eggplants that have been cooked and then mixed with olive oil, tahini and a number of other seasonings.
The eggplant was traditionally cooked on an open flame to make it soft and also give it a smoky flavor. It is usually eaten as a starter and is used as a dip to be eaten with pita bread or khubz. It can also be added to other dishes to increase flavor.
Nutritional Facts About Baba Ganoush
The following is a breakdown of the nutritional value of baba ganoush:
- Baba ganoush is low in calories with a quarter cup of it having only 120 calories. This makes it a great snack for someone who is on a 2000 calories diet.
- Though the eggplant used as the main ingredient has zero fat content, there are other fat sources which are used in the recipe and they contribute to about 45% of the calories contained in the whole dish. The dish contains about 4 grams of protein, 6 grams of fat and 10 grams of carbohydrates in ¼ cup of baba ganoush.
- A quarter cup of baba ganoush will provide you with about 4 grams of fiber which constitutes like 10 percent of the total amount of fiber you should consume in a day.
- Store-bought versions of baba ganoush contain about 480 milligrams of sodium in a ¼ cup serving of this dish which is very high.
Health Benefits of Baba Ganoush
The following are some of the great health benefits that we can get from consuming baba ganoush on a regular if not daily basis:
1. It Is a Great Source of Macronutrients
Baba ganoush contains about 365 calories which are very low and thus suitable for everyone even those who are on a low calories diet. This dish is a great source of proteins and dietary fiber. It also contains a lot of fat with up to 30 grams of fat. However, this fat is healthy as it consists of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
Incorporating healthy fats into your regular diet is great for improving your general body health.
2. Baba Ganoush Is a Great Source of Minerals
This dish is a source of a number of important minerals that help keep our bodies healthy. Some of the minerals it contains include potassium which is important in keeping our muscles and nerves healthy and it also helps to regulate our heartbeat.
Other minerals contained in this delicious dish is calcium, zinc, iron, phosphorus, and magnesium with each giving your body its own unique value.
3. It Is a Source of Vitamins
This tasty vegetarian dish contains a number of vitamins that are very important to your body. It provides your body with about 20% of the recommended intake of important minerals your body needs.
It is a great source of vitamin C which helps to strengthen your bones and teeth as well as boosting your immunity, vitamin K which helps in blood clotting in the event that you get hurt, thiamin, vitamin B6, and niacin.
Vitamin B6 and folate help to keep your heart healthy by removing homocysteine from the blood thus preventing you from getting cardiovascular diseases.
A Sample Recipe for Preparing Baba Ganoush
- 3 cloves of minced garlic
- One large fresh eggplant
- A pinch of ground cumin
- ¼ cup of tahini
- 1 tablespoon of fresh chopped flat-leafed parsley
- ¼ cup black olives that are brine-cured
- 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup of lemon juice
- Start a medium-sized fire in a charcoal grill.
- Preheat your oven to a temperature of 3750F.
- Take your eggplant and prick it in several places using a fork.
- Place the eggplant on the grill about 5 inches away from the flame.
- Turn the eggplant frequently and grill it until the skin turns black and forms blisters. and the flesh of the eggplant starts to feel soft. This takes about 15 minutes.
- Put your eggplant in a baking tin and place in the oven for about 20 minutes.
- Remove the eggplant from the oven and allow it to cool a bit.
- Peel off the skin and throw it in the bin.
- Place the remaining eggplant flesh in a clean bowl and mash it using a fork until it forms a paste.
- Add the garlic, tahini, cumin and lemon juice to the mashed eggplant.
- Mix all these ingredients together until they are mixed in well.
- Add the salt to boost flavor. Ensure you taste it and you can add more tahini until you get the flavor you were looking for.
- Drizzle your olive oil over your mixture and sprinkle in your parsley.
- Place your cured olives on the side of your baba ganoush.
- Serve the dish when it has cooled to room temperature.
You can serve this delicious dip with some fresh pita bread. The dish from the recipe we have given you will take you about 35 minutes to prepare from start to finish and it will serve a maximum of 6 people.
The amount of salt and tahini you put in your baba ganoush will depend on your personal preference. It is important to limit the amount of salt you put as too much salt can be harmful to your health and may cause hypertension.
The information provided can help us come up with a clear answer to our question today- Is baba ganoush healthy? The answer is yes. This is because this simple dish is packed with lots of nutrients and vitamins.
The great thing about this dish is that it is low in calories as well as sodium and thus can be consumed by everyone. The low calories mean that those who are looking to lose weight can eat it without worrying about gaining any extra pounds.
Consuming a low sodium diet is very important as it helps to protect you from high blood pressure. This will also help to keep your heart healthy and prevent you from getting many cardiovascular complications. Having a low sodium diet will also have an added advantage of increasing the quality of sleep you get as it will prevent insomnia.
One of the causes of insomnia is high blood pressure. Consuming baba ganoush on a regular if not daily basis will help regulate your blood pressure and thus help keep insomnia at bay. When you are able to get proper rest during the day you will be able to increase your efficiency in all the tasks you undertake during the day and it will also help boost your energy levels.
Baba ganoush is a great vegetarian dish that can be enjoyed even with non-vegetarians. It is packed with great flavors and it is not too spicy. This makes it a great snack to have during the day instead of eating junk foods. It can be enjoyed by everyone regardless of their age.
Make yourself a homemade version of this dish and enjoy this tasty treat.
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