Are Eggplant Seeds Edible?
Yes! The seeds of the eggplant can absolutely be eaten! In fact the whole eggplant (the fruit portion) can be eaten. However, there are some key aspects about the seeds that you’ll want to know before having them in your next meal. Read on to find out all the cool ways you can use the seeds today! First let’s dive into some background info for the plant.
Some Background Info
Eggplant is one of my absolute favorite fruits. I bet you thought I was going to say one of my “favorite vegetables”, but that would be incorrect. Eggplant (solanum melongena) is indeed a fruit, and part of the nightshade family. This is the same family you will find tomatoes, peppers, and potatoes.
They come in all shapes and colors ranging from black, purple, striped, yellow, and even orange eggplants. There are some varieties of white eggplants that are listed as ornamentals, but are still edible while young. Many times it has white flesh but this can change due to the variety being grown.
Parts of Eggplant Used
- Flesh: This is the main part people use for dishes. Eggplant flesh can be very versatile in cooking ranging from “burgers” to pastas, dips, and stir-fries. Can be eaten raw.
- Seeds: Can be roasted separately. Oftentimes it is cooked with the flesh in the dishes. Raw seeds can be tough and taste better when cooked.
- Skin: Can be fibrous and is usually cooked with the flesh to hold it together. Softens when cooking and typically contains many nutrients. Can be eaten raw.
Preparing Fresh Eggplants For Cooking
Tips For Harvesting the Fruit
You have had your eye on your delicate delight since you first tucked it into its bed for the season. Today is finally the day to gather your treasures!
Here are some things to look out for to know you are harvesting mature eggplants.
- The skin should be smooth and shiny in appearance. If it’s dull, that means it is an older plant. These can still be good, but may not contain tasty seeds. The older plants have smaller seeds that may be more bitter.
- Ripe eggplants will be firm, but not overly hard.
Kitchen Prep – Get The Whole Plant Ready to Eat
Most of the time you are going to consume the seeds with the flesh intact so we are going to go over how to prepare eggplant this way. Afterwards, if you are looking to just consume the seeds, we will go over how to remove them from the plant.
First off, many people remove the skin of the eggplant with a vegetable peeler. They do this because the skins may be fibrous or slightly bitter, but you may lose out on some key nutrients for your body. If you want to increase the tenderness while still retaining nutrients, leave stripes of eggplant skin as you work your way around the plant.
Grab a sharp knife and slice that plump little beauty in half. After you cut the plant open, look for black seeds. If you have these tiny seeds in your plant, they often contain a bitter flavor and you may want to remove them from your dish for this reason. In addition, it also indicates that you have an older plant. Young plants have larger seeds and may be light in color.
If you notice that your eggplant contains a large amount of black or brown seeds or you are looking to cook them separately, you can scoop them from the middle of the plant with a spoon. Compost the bad ones (the black ones), and rinse the good ones with water to separate them. Dry them with paper towels or microfiber cloths if needed, and you are all set to cook!
Notice more brown flesh than white when you cut open the fruit? This means the plant is close to spoiling. Look for other tell-tale signs like bad smells or sliminess to ensure it is no longer good to eat, and compost it if it can’t be consumed.
Flavors/Textures of the Plant
- Flesh: Sweet flavor with a delicate, light texture.
- Seeds: Raw – may be bitter; When cooked with the flesh, they become soft. When roasted, they are likened to pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds.
- Skin: Raw – bitter; When cooked, the bitterness subsides and the skin softens.
These recipes will feature the seeds being paired with the flesh since that is their most prominent use. There are so many different ways to cook with eggplant! Explore more recipes outside of these to experience the delectable nature of cooked eggplant.
1. Roasted Eggplant
This is probably the easiest dish you can make with eggplant. All you’re doing is drizzling the cubed plant with olive oil and roasting it in the oven. You can use them as a side dish, in wraps, and veggies bowls. So many options available!
Perfect Roasted Eggplant (Tender, Caramelized!)
2. Eggplant Dip (Baba Ganoush)
Such a savory dish to consume. This can be a great dip to bring to parties and liven things up! Add some flatbread, veggies, or chips, and this dip will be the star of the show.
Baba Ganoush (Roasted Eggplant Dip)
If you have never tried Eggplant Parm before, you are one lucky soul that your day may have soon arrived! Covered in sauce and cheese with aromatic herbs, this is comfort food on a serious level.
4. Grilled Eggplant for Burgers
Sometimes you are craving a burger, but you don’t want it to sit too heavy on your stomach. That is where grilled eggplant can come in. Light, while still having a slightly chewy texture, this is the perfect substitute for a lunch or dinner. Large eggplants will serve you well to get the correct size for your burger.
Cheesy Eggplant Burger
The thing I love about stir-fry is you can make it by throwing just about any veggie from the fridge or garden into the skillet and then voila! Dinner is ready. It’s probably why I feature stir fries in so many recipes! This is a Szechwan style variation, but you can try plenty of others.
6. Eggplant Stew
Winter is never long off, and when you need to reminisce on warm days, make this cozy stew. The eggplant is a constant reminder of summer when it is growing free and clear, and your soul will be warmed inside and out after it hits your tastebuds.
7. Eggplant “Meatballs”
Finally, we leave you with one of my personal favs when it comes to cooking this fruit. Meatballs! These are vegetarian meatballs, but truly satisfy your cravings. Absolutely give this one a try and the whole family will be begging you for more!
These peculiar looking fruits are high in nutritional value. They are also high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties and contain Vitamins A and C [ 1 ]. They may help reduce the chance of developing the following diseases [ 2 ]:
- Cardiovascular diseases
- Pulmonary disorders
- Alzheimer’s disease
If you want to start growing your own eggplant, then take a peek at the guide below. Forget buying them at the grocery stores! The best eggplant you will ever taste is the one you grow in your own backyard or on your balcony.
Varieties To Grow
- Black Beauty
- These are quite prolific plants. You can’t have too much eggplant, though, can you? The more the merrier.
- Listada de Gandia
- They love the heat and truly thrive in it. Has a gorgeous mix of purple and white color that looks like it was painted on.
- Turkish Orange
- It almost looks like a pumpkin! It has a sweet and rich flavor.
Where to Grow
Eggplant is a tropical plant and therefore loves warm weather. Most often it needs to be started early indoors and transplanted out after the last frost. Put the plant in a sunny location and it will be sure to thank you.
Feed the Plant
Eggplant is a heavy feeder so you are going to want to enrich it heavily with compost when you plant. When the plant starts to flower, add some more compost.
Water about once a week after the plant has put in good roots within the soil. Keep an eye out during super warm weather because it may need additional watering.
- Some varieties take a long time to reach harvest so be patient.
- Poor-quality eggplant fruits are often caused by low moisture and high temperature conditions.
- Flea beetles are a nuisance to eggplants so keep an eye out for them.
To summarize, we did answer the question “are eggplant seeds edible?”. Don’t hesitate to cook the whole fruit, and, personally, I feel the seeds add extra texture to the foods it’s cooked with.
If you’re asking about eggplant seeds, you might be curious about pumpkins. But not the seeds silly…the leaves. Bet you weren’t expecting that! Check out our article here to discover if they are edible!
Please share any comments you have and recipes you make with eggplant. We can savor your sweet success together!
Until next time, we wish you all the best.
[ 1 ] https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/169228/nutrients
[ 2 ] Colak, N., Kurt-Celebi, A., Gruz, J., Strnad, M., Hayirlioglu-Ayaz, S., Choung, M. G., Esatbeyoglu, T., & Ayaz, F. A. (2022). The Phenolics and Antioxidant Properties of Black and Purple versus White Eggplant Cultivars. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 27(8), 2410. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27082410
1 thought on “How To Eat Edible Eggplant Seeds: 7 Savory Recipes”