Hello, howdy, happy good afternoon! This beautiful Monday I bring to you a delicious recipe of: Eggplant “Tenders”!
Being from a farming family, I’ve come to realize over the years that many people just don’t know what to do when it comes to eggplant. Maybe it’s the purple color, the odd shape or the hard-to-describe texture and taste, but you throw an eggplant at anyone and they’ll dodge it faster than a child at nap time. Now I won’t deny the level of intimidation that eggplant can give. It’s not like its other vegetable constituents (looking at you lettuce, carrots and tomatoes) that you can literally toss into several different types of recipes and somehow it still works. Heck, carrots can cross every food boundary being a salad, a side and a dessert…..completely mind-blowing.
Most people are unaware, but eggplants are very tasty and offer a lot of health benefits! Aside from the numerous vitamins and minerals – Vitamin K, B1, B3, B6, Potassium, Magnesium and Manganese just to name a few – eggplants also contain a ton of fiber, antioxidants, and phytonutrients. Slipping some eggplant into your diet can improve bone health, improve cognitive function, prevent anemia, prevent cancer, aid in digestion, help manage diabetes and help with weight loss (1 cup = only 35 calories #winning). Regardless of your level of comfort and familiarity with eggplant or aubergine (as the French say), I highly encourage you to give them a chance! They deserve more than an artistic Instagram post and then chilling in the back of your fridge with last year’s fruitcake. Alright, enough rambling, on to the recipe!
What you’ll need:
• 2 large eggplant
• 1 cup of coconut flour
• 1 cup garbanzo bean flour
• 2 teaspoons of garlic powder
• 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
• 1 teaspoon of onion powder
• 1 teaspoon of pepper
• 1 to 1-1/2 teaspoons of salt (depending on your salt preference)
• 2 eggs
• 1/3 cup of almond milk
• olive oil or coconut oil
1. In a shallow bowl combine garbanzo bean flour, coconut flour, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper & smoked paprika.
2. Peel eggplant and cut into strips/tenders, about 1/2 inch in width and 4-5 inches in length.
3. In a small bowl scramble eggs and almond milk.
4. Dip the eggplant tenders in the egg mixture, then roll them around in the flour mixture, shake off excess. **For extra crispy tenders repeat the dipping process**
5. Place a large skillet over medium high heat. Add enough oil to skillet that it creates a thin layer. Once oil is hot, add a few tenders and cook for about 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Remove from skillet and transfer to paper towel lined plate to remove excess oil. Continue with the rest of the tenders, sprinkle with more salt and pepper, serve hot. Great on their own or with a sauce for dipping!
Tips and Alternatives:
There are quite a few tricks and alternatives you can change depending on preferences and diet. You can use any combination of flours whether coconut, almond, garbanzo, wheat, rice, etc. I just recommend using a combo of two for the perfect flavor and texture. If you are vegan, you can absolutely use an egg replacement. If you’re wanting to be extra healthy, you can bake the tenders at 400 degrees for about 7-10min each side. When baking you’ll need to brush or spray oil on each side so they can achieve that golden brown color. They are delicious by themselves, but ketchup, ranch, honey mustard, buffalo sauce or a mexi-ranch would be amazing pairings as well.
However you go with the ingredients and cooking process, these tenders are sure to be a hit! My brother was eating them faster than I could cook them and my beloved father, who tends to be on the picky side when it comes to some vegetables –I know, very ironic considering he grows majority of the things my family eats– even liked them. Sooooo yeah, I’m pretty thrilled with how they turned out.
Now go grab some eggplant and give this recipe a shot! Hope you enjoy and be sure to drop a comment below if you try out the recipe 🙂