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  • Writer's pictureKyveli Papaioannou

Melitzanosalata: A Wholesome Recipe for Mindful Eating and Well-being

Updated: Jul 5, 2023


Two slices of bread spread with melitzanosalata
Greek Melitzanosalata (Aubergine salad)

Melitzanosalata, a traditional Greek dish, is not only a delicious addition to your meal but also a recipe that promotes both mental health and body nourishment. Packed with the goodness of aubergines (eggplants), herbs, and other wholesome ingredients, this vibrant salad offers a delightful combination of flavors and textures. In this blog post, we will explore the recipe for melitzanosalata while highlighting the mental health and body nourishment benefits of its ingredients.


Ingredients:

  • 6 large aubergines (eggplants)

  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced

  • 2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

  • 3 tablespoon white vinegar

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

  • Salt and pepper to taste



4 aubergines in a light blue background
Aubergines (flaskes)

Instructions:

Choose for the recipe aubergines flaskes as shown in the above picture.

  1. Thoroughly wash the whole aubergines without cutting or peeling them.

  2. If you have a gas stove, use a special clamp to hold each aubergine over a low flame. Allow the skin to char slightly, giving it a smoky aroma.

  3. If you have stovetop burners, grill the aubergines for approximately 20 minutes until they soften and the skin lightly chars.

  4. Once cooked, cut the aubergines in half and use a spoon to scoop out the flesh. Place the flesh in a fine-mesh sieve or a colander lined with a cheesecloth or kitchen towel and allow the excess liquid to drain completely. (This liquid can be bitter and would affect the taste of the salad.)

  5. After 10 minutes, press the flesh with the back of a spoon to remove any remaining liquid.

  6. Meanwhile, finely chop the garlic and parsley.

  7. Transfer the chopped aubergines to a bowl.

  8. Add the minced garlic, lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, and parsley to the bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

  9. Mix all the ingredients together until well combined. You can use a fork or a blender to achieve a smoother consistency.

  10. Once the ingredients are well mixed, taste the melitzanosalata and adjust the seasoning if needed.

  11. Transfer the melitzanosalata to a serving dish and garnish with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of chopped parsley.

  12. Serve the melitzanosalata as a dip with toasted wholegrain bread.

Enjoy your melitzanosalata!



Health benefits:

  1. Nutrient-Rich: Melitzanosalata is packed with essential nutrients. Aubergines, the main ingredient, are a great source of dietary fiber, vitamins (such as vitamin C, K, and B6), minerals (including potassium and manganese), and antioxidants. These nutrients support overall health and well-being.

  2. Heart Health: Aubergines contain compounds like chlorogenic acid, which may help lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease. Additionally, the use of extra virgin olive oil in melitzanosalata provides heart-healthy monounsaturated fats.

  3. Digestive Health: The high fiber content in aubergines aids in digestion and promotes a healthy digestive system. Fiber helps regulate bowel movements, prevents constipation, and supports the growth of beneficial gut bacteria.

  4. Antioxidant Protection: Aubergines are rich in antioxidants like nasunin, which helps protect the body's cells from damage caused by harmful free radicals. Antioxidants play a crucial role in reducing oxidative stress and inflammation, supporting overall health.

  5. Mental Well-being: Melitzanosalata can contribute to mental well-being in several ways. Firstly, the consumption of nutritious foods, like aubergines and olive oil, supports brain health and optimal cognitive function. The antioxidants in melitzanosalata may also have neuroprotective effects, potentially reducing the risk of age-related cognitive decline.

  6. Mood Enhancement: Eating delicious and satisfying foods, such as melitzanosalata, can positively impact mood and enhance the pleasure of dining. The flavors and textures of melitzanosalata can evoke feelings of comfort and enjoyment, contributing to a sense of well-being.

  7. Mindful Eating: Melitzanosalata can be enjoyed as part of a mindful eating practice. Taking time to savor the flavors, textures, and aromas of the dish can help cultivate a mindful and present state of mind. Mindful eating has been associated with improved food satisfaction, reduced emotional eating, and a greater appreciation for the nourishment provided by the meal.


Conclusion:

Melitzanosalata is not just a salad; it's a culinary experience that nourishes both the body and the mind. By incorporating wholesome ingredients like aubergines, olive oil, garlic, and fresh herbs, this recipe provides essential nutrients, promotes good digestion, and supports overall physical well-being. Furthermore, the flavorful and enjoyable nature of melitzanosalata can contribute to mental health by offering a satisfying and comforting culinary experience. So, indulge in this traditional Greek dish and experience the nourishment it brings to your body and soul.





2 slices of bread spread with Greek melitzanosalata
Greek Melitzanosalata


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