What makes eggplant great to cook with is its mild flavor and its ability to take on the flavors of the other ingredients. Eggplant is a versatile vegetable, an excellent wheat/pasta alternative and is a good source of fibre, potassium, manganese and copper. The key to getting kids to like eggplant is making a good impression the first time. If you serve eggplant as boiled glop with nothing to flavor it, kids will connect their repulsion of that dish to any dish containing eggplant. So choose delicious ingredients and go for familiar dishes first where eggplant is not the key feature or flavor. Utilize the shape of the eggplant, whether you make long slices for lasagna or wheels for mini pizzas, eggplant provides a variety of choices. Let’s take a look at 3 good recipes to introduce eggplant to kids.
1. Eggplant Lasagna:
This dish is usually very popular with kids, and it can easily be tailored to suit a variety of dietary concerns, be it wheat-free, gluten-free or vegetarian. Soy cheese could even be substituted if lactose intolerance is a concern. The key here is that a variety of savory ingredients conceal the limited flavor of the eggplant while utilizing its shape and texture quite nicely.
2. Eggplant Mini Pizzas:
Here again, a few simple ingredients and utilizing the shape of the eggplant leads to delicious mini pizzas. The author here also cites the versatility of both eggplant and the recipe. The eggplant is a bit more exposed, but nonetheless, still a very background flavor to the other ingredients which could include meat, cheese and a variety of spices and herbs.
3. Eggplant parmesan:
There’s a pattern here. Cheese is a great cover for eggplant. But also, a good tomato sauce and a few herbs make this dish brilliant. Don’t want the breading? Lightly grill the eggplant instead. Don’t have all the ingredients for the parmesan? Use the breading to make it a “schnitzel”, a vegetarian version.
Once eggplant becomes accepted as a part of normal eating, feel free to experiment and try a few recipes with eggplant a little more exposed. But in the beginning, first impressions are crucial, and if the kids like the dish, don’t be afraid to use it on multiple occasions. Cheese, meat, herbs, tomato sauce, breading, these are all your friends when trying to make eggplant a little more palatable for the kids. Use the flavors and ingredients they already like to ease them into the idea of eating eggplant, and don’t overemphasize the fact that the dish contains eggplant, just treat it like normal. Of course, the wonderful thing is, these recipes are not just delicious for kids, they’re delicious for adults too!