Is it safe to eat under ripe eggplant?

In this article, we will answer the question “Is it safe to eat under ripe eggplant?”, what are the different levels of ripeness of the eggplant, why does an eggplant appear green, and how to store eggplants.

Is it safe to eat under ripe eggplant?

Yes, you can safely eat under ripe eggplants. However, some people may have an allergic reaction to the solanine present in the under ripe eggplants. 

Solanine also develops in potatoes and potatoes when they turn green when exposed to the sun. The solanine content of the underripe eggplants is usually within the acceptable range so it should not hurt you severely. But some people are more sensitive than others. 

If you do not know how to use the under ripe eggplant, try ripening it in a brown paper bag. It takes several hours for the under ripe eggplant to soften. Alternatively, you can use it after pickling. Most people like to use the under ripe eggplant for cooking soups and stews.

You can also bake the under ripe eggplants and use them in baba ganoush or ratatouille. If nothing works for you, you can give it to someone who keeps hens. Underripe eggplants make for a suitable hen feed.

What are the different levels of ripeness of the eggplant?

Let’s start by discussing the characteristics of overripe eggplants. Overiepeness causes the eggplants to develop a brown color, a bitter taste, and flesh so soft that it easily gives in to gentle pressure.

An under ripe eggplant is hard to touch and appears light purple or dark brown. Underripe eggplants have a chewy taste because they have not been given the proper time to ripen and become palatable. 

Last but not the least, a fully ripe eggplant exhibits a deep purple color with a shiny appearance. A ripe eggplant will have a balanced taste between bitter and sweet. 

Why does an eggplant appear green from the inside?

There are numerous reasons why an eggplant exhibits a green flesh color. Sometimes, the eggplant is genetically green or green-tinted. For such types of eggplant, color is not a reliable way to tell about the ripeness of the vegetable. 

Other times, the green hue may just be a sign of overripeness. Letting the eggplant stay on the vine for longer than required may turn it completely green. Such an eggplant will have an extremely bitter taste.

Lastly, the green color in the eggplant may be an indication of sunburn. Yes! Vegetables also get sunburnt. To avoid scorching your garden veggies, you must understand the sunlight requirement of each one of them. Use a shade cloth to protect the veggies that do not enjoy the full sun.

How to store eggplants?

At room temperature 

Whole eggplants can be safely stored at room temperature. Correctly stored, room temperature egg plats stay good for up to 4 days. The general rule of thumb is to keep the eggplants somewhere cool, and dry, ideally at 54F.

A cool pantry, garage, or basement, all are viable options.  Keep the eggplant in a paper bag or a perforated bowl to keep the air moving. Leave the mouth of the bag or the bowl open for ventilation. This will let the eggplants breathe and keep them from spoiling quickly.

In the fridge 

Once cut, eggplants should be refrigerated. Correctly stored in the crisper drawer of the fridge, eggplants stay fresh for up to a week. Place the eggplant in a container and cover it with paper towels. Put the container in the fridge, uncovered. 

If it is roasted or cooked eggplant, use an air-tight container. Make sure the lid has a sound seal before refrigerating. Reheat before serving and finish the leftovers within 5 days of refrigeration.

In the freezer 

If you want your eggplant to last months, consider freezing it. First, rinse the eggplant under cold running water. Pat it dry with some clean paper towels. Then cut it horizontally into 1-inch thick round slices.

Add water to a saucepan and stir in some lemon juice. The acid in the lemon juice will preserve the color of the eggplant. Bring the water to a rolling boil. Throw in the eggplant slices and let them boil for about 4 mins.

Transfer the blanched eggplant slices from the boiling water to an ice water bath to halt the cooking. After about 5 minutes, remove the slices from the ice bath and pat them dry using paper towels.

Stuff a freezer bag with the blanched and dried eggplant slices. Squeeze out as much air as possible from the bag. Label the bag and chuck it into the freezer.

Conclusion 

In this article, we answered the question “Is it safe to eat under ripe eggplant?”, what are the different levels of ripeness of the eggplant, why does an eggplant appear green, and how to store eggplants.

References 

https://www.masterclass.com/articles/how-to-store-eggplant#3-ways-to-store-eggplant

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