• 4

    Servings

  • Vegan

  • Nut-free

  • Prep Time 30'

  • Total Time 35'

Baba ganoush with milk thistle oil and Greek olive crackers recipe

  • 4

    Servings

  • Vegan

  • Nut-free

  • Prep Time 30'

  • Total Time 35'

Baba ganoush is a traditional Middle Eastern dish of cooked aubergine mixed with various seasonings. Originally Lebanese, this dip is now enjoyed all over the world. Everyone loves this creamy dip. The smoky flavour of the roasted aubergine goes especially well with Erbology Greek Olive Crackers but is also great with warm pita or fresh veggies. Baba ganoush is very comparable to hummus both in use and popularity, both also have quite impressive nutritional profiles.

I usually make hummus but was craving something with more flavour. A good baba ganoush manages to combine several distinctive flavours into something intriguing and cohesive. With aubergine in season, I decided to create my own modern version of this delectable dish. My secret addition is Erbology Organic Milk Thistle Oil. It combines great with the nutty flavour of the tahini and softens the garlic and apple cider vinegar.

It’s funny to think about how much has changed since I first started cooking. I remember having to combine the aubergine and oil by hand. It was quite the experience adding in oil little by little and mixing it into the aubergine with a wooden spoon until everything became smooth. I do find steps like those to be somewhat therapeutic, but I greatly appreciate that technology can provide a more efficient option. The food processor is your friend, I am able to create a similar creamy texture in much less time.

I top my dip with freshly chopped herbs and chilli for an extra kick of aroma. The fresh mint, parsley and drizzle of the milk thistle oil make a great final touch. Erbology Greek Olive Crackers are the perfect crunch for the velvety baba ganoush. They perfectly mask any remaining bitterness from the dish.

This dish is sure to enhance any spread, it is aromatic and pleasing to the eye. Your friends and family of all ages are sure to enjoy this one!

Why you should be eating more aubergine

Aubergine, along with tomatoes, bell peppers, and potatoes, belong to a group of vegetables called nightshade vegetables. Aubergines are generally described as having a pleasantly bitter taste and spongy texture. Aubergines are rich in fibre and also serve as an antioxidant (1).

One cup of cooked aubergine provides 2.5 g of dietary fibre (2). aubergine have been studied for their ability to aid in digestion and promote a healthy heart. They are also low in cholesterol and contain almost no saturated fat.

Anthocyanins are water-soluble pigments that give aubergine their distinctive purple colour. Anthocyanins also are a powerful antioxidant with anti-inflammatory features. In fact, the phenolic acid content in aubergine makes them one of the top 10 vegetables in terms of oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) (3). This is a measure of a food’s antioxidant capacity, the higher the ORAC, the less free radical damage (4). Having high levels of antioxidants in your body can improve your chances of being protected from harmful infections and diseases (5).

Tahini is a great nutritional addition.

Tahini is a key component of baba ganoush and really any dip for that matter. Made from ground sesame seeds, tahini comes in a paste form and has a strong nutty flavour. When mixed in with the olive oil and roasted aubergines, this paste transforms the mix into a creamy, buttery dip. Tahini adds a lot of nutritional value being that sesame seeds are so high in healthy fats and amino acids (6). The type of fat in tahini is the beneficial, heart-healthy fat. When consumed in moderation, monounsaturated fat can lower bad LDL cholesterol and raise good HDL cholesterol (7).

The lignan content in sesame seeds is quite impressive. Lignans are polyphenols found in a wide variety of plant-based foods, including seeds, whole grains, fruits and vegetables (8). Studies have found that the lignan precursors from sesame seeds are converted by the bacterial flora in the colon to mammalian lignans. These particular mammalian lignans are applauded for their anti-cancer effect (9,10).

Two amazing takeaways from milk thistle oil.

Our milk thistle oil is a great source of vitamin E. A 1 tbsp serving boasts 35% of our daily recommended intake (11). Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant, fighting cholesterol oxidation and inflammation. Vitamin E is also being studied for its relationship to healthy skin, particularly anti-inflammation and UV protection (12).

Our milk thistle oil contains 9 grams of omega-6s. Ideally, you would pair milk thistle oil with our chia seed oil or another source of omega-3s. When the ratio between the two is balanced, ideally 2:1 – 4:1, the health benefits are intensified. Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids can help with brain function, muscle growth, and hormone production (13,14).

Being an essential fatty acid (EFA), omega-6 has proven skin benefits. Studies have demonstrated the importance of fatty acids in maintaining the moisture of our epidermis, the top layer of our skin. The skin is a complex organ that acts as a barrier and prevents water loss and protects the body from adverse environmental agents (15).

What is buckwheat and why should you sprout it?

Buckwheat is a naturally gluten-free seed that is both delicious and nutritious. This pseudo-grain has been a staple in the Asian diet and has recently been gaining popularity across Europe, US, and Canada (16). Buckwheat seeds are usually found either in a raw or flour form, both of which are versatile.

We sprout the buckwheat used in the Erbology crackers. Sprouting is the process of reducing phytates improve the overall mineral absorption. Phytates, also known as phytic acid, are natural compounds found in whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds. They bind to minerals such as iron, zinc or manganese and slow their absorption. Phytates are not harmful in small amounts, but removing them unlocks nutrients and eases digestion. (17,18).

For a more in-depth explanation of the importance of sprouting, check out our Garam masala and sweet green pea canapé recipe. One of the reasons we sprout our buckwheat is to unlock CoQ10, a chemical naturally produced and used by all of our cells. This chemical lives in our cell membranes, or mitochondria. We use CoQ10 for support of a healthy heart and to keep up our energy levels (19).

Written By: Danielle Bear

 

(1) Ware, Megan. “Eggplant: Health Benefits and Nutritional Information.” Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, 20 Oct. 2017, www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/279359.php.

(2) “Daily Value Reference of the Dietary Supplement Label Database (DSLD).” S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, www.dsld.nlm.nih.gov/dsld/dailyvalue.jsp.

(3) Stommel, John R. “Phenolic Acid Content and Composition of Eggplant Fruit in a Germplasm Core Subset.” Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science, 1 Sept. 2003, journal.ashspublications.org/content/128/5/704.abstract.

(4) Reinagel, Monica. “What Are ORAC Values?” Scientific American, 14 Aug. 2013, scientificamerican.com/article/what-are-orac-values/.

(5) Noda, Yasuko, et al. “Antioxidant Activity of Nasunin, an Anthocyanin in Eggplant Peels.”Toxicology, Elsevier, 24 Aug. 2000, sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0300483X0000202X.

(6) Martinchik, A N. “Nutritional Value of Sesame Seeds.” Voprosy Pitaniia., U.S. National Library of Medicine, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21842753.

(7) Harvard Health Publishing. “The Truth about Fats: the Good, the Bad, and the in-Between.”Harvard Health, Feb. 2015, www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/the-truth-about-fats-bad-and-good.

(8) “Lignans.” Linus Pauling Institute, 1 Jan. 2018, lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/dietary-factors/phytochemicals/lignans#introduction.

(9) Coulman, K D, et al. “Whole Sesame Seed Is as Rich a Source of Mammalian Lignan Precursors as Whole Flaxseed.” Nutrition and Cancer., U.S. National Library of Medicine, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16201847.

(10) Thompson, L U, et al. “Mammalian Lignan Production from Various Foods.” Nutrition and Cancer., U.S. National Library of Medicine, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1656395.

(11) “Office of Dietary Supplements – Vitamin E.” NIH Office of Dietary Supplements, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminE-HealthProfessional/.

(12) Thiele, J J, and S Ekanayake-Mudiyanselage. “Vitamin E in Human Skin: Organ-Specific Physiology and Considerations for Its Use in Dermatology.” Molecular Aspects of Medicine., U.S. National Library of Medicine, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17719081?dopt=Citation.

(13) Network, Women’s Health. “Omega-3 Fatty Acids-Essential to Health and Happiness.”Women’s Health Network, womenshealthnetwork.com/nutrition/omega-3-fatty-acids-benefits.aspx.

(14) “Omega-3 : Omega-6 Balance.” What Is a Healthy Ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3?, gbhealthwatch.com/Science-Omega3-Omega6.php.

(15) “Buckwheat .” Buckwheat | Grains & Legumes Nutrition Council, www.glnc.org.au/grains/types-of-grains/buckwheat/.

(16) “Is Sprouted Food Actually Healthier?” com, www.health.com/nutrition/sprouted-food.

(17) Khnykin, Denis, et al. “Role of Fatty Acid Transporters in Epidermis.” Dermato-Endocrinology, Landes Bioscience, 2011, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3117002/.

(18) Gupta, Raj Kishor, et al. “Reduction of Phytic Acid and Enhancement of Bioavailable Micronutrients in Food Grains.” Journal of Food Science and Technology, Springer India, Feb. 2015, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4325021/.

(19) Garrido-Maraver, J, et al. “Coenzyme q10 Therapy.” Molecular Syndromology., U.S. National Library of Medicine, July 2014, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25126052.

Ingredients

  • 3 medium raw aubergines
  • 3 tbsp tahini paste
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 small garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp Erbology Organic Milk Thistle Oil + 2 tsp for garnishing
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley/mint
  • ½ tsp chilli flakes

Here's how you do it

  1. Preheat the oven to 350º F.
  1. Wash and cut the aubergine in half lengthwise.
  2. Wrap your aubergine pieces in aluminium foil and cook in oven for 25 mins or until soft.
  3. Cut the aubergine into large pieces and place in food processor with all the other ingredients.
  4. Blend well until dip is creamy.
  5. Pour into a bowl, garnish and dig in!

Tags

  • Appetizers
  • Buckwheat
  • Dips
  • Energy
  • Fiber
  • Gluten-free
  • Greek olive
  • Light dishes
  • Milk thistle
  • Omega 6
  • Party food ideas
  • Vitamin E

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