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Aubergine

Aubergines, like cauliflower, mushrooms and cabbage, are a favourite meat-alternative veggie as they are hearty, savoury and soak up flavours. Some kids dislike the skin if they are fussy about certain textures, but that can be peeled before or after cooking. Try roasting whole or halved aubergines with oil and salt until they become slightly mushy to lose some of the bitterness, but remember to play to your children’s taste and texture preferences where possible!
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The aubergine is as exotic as it sounds. Originally coming from Burma, they travelled with Arab traders to Spain and then on to Britain. The Americans call them eggplants, because the first variety in their country had smaller white or yellow egg-shaped fruit. We have purple ones, which make them very useful if you are trying to eat the rainbow.

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Nutrition

They’re great for fibre so will help to keep you nice and full as well as being rich in Vitamins C, K and many of the B’s.

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Shopping Guide

Aubergines can vary in colour but they are typically a deep purple. The skin shouldn’t give when light pressure is applied and they should feel heavy for its size. 

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Serving Suggestions

Try halving an aubergine lengthways, rubbing with oil and a little salt and roasting for 30-40 mins, until soft and caramelised. It’s as sweet as aubergine gets! Top the roasted aubergines with sauces, bolognese, cheese, or your favourite toppings.

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Storage

Store your aubergines in the fridge or a dark cupboard away from direct sunlight for up to six days. Try to keep your aubergines away from moisture by separating it from other produce. 

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Seasonality

Buying veg in season is not only great for the planet, it can be good for your wallet, too! Seasonal veg are often cheaper and frequently taste better, so can be a better time to try with a child as the often sweeter, riper taste is more enjoyable.

Coming In:

May

At Its Best:

June - October

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Engage

Here are some of our favourite ways to engage kids with aubergines:

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Your Food

Find your go-to meals in our family favourites section and see what veggies work best with them.

We’ve gathered together 15 of the nation’s favourite meals and given you step-by-step ways to make small improvements, helping you to make healthier dinners the easy way, and even showing you which veg work best with which recipes.
 
Find out how to add more veg to your suppers here.
 

Recipes

rice and beans

Rice & Beans

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Family Favourites

veg tagine

Veg Tagine

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Complexity: 1
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Family Favourites

Lasagne

Effort: 1
Complexity: 1
Cost: 1

Family Favourites

Chilli con Carne

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Complexity: 1
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Family Favourites

Stir Fry

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Family Favourites

Spaghetti Bolognese

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Complexity: 1
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Family Favourites

More Recipes
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If You Like Aubergine…Try

Does your child enjoy aubergines? That’s great! Aubergines are usually savoury, slightly bitter if left unsalted or cooked with the skin on, and soft, so why not try a similar texture and/or taste…

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Serving

The moments before food is offered can be a perfect opportunity for engagement that can help make it more likely a child will eat it!

The first thing to do is remove the pressure. If the veg doesn’t get eaten, it’s not the end of the world. There will be other days, other dinners, other chances. Fun is key here – try not to worry about mess, perfect table manners, or playing with food. Instead, focus on making the process of getting the food to the plates, readying the table, and the actual eating relaxed.

The best principles for success here are the Three Rs (role modelling, rewarding, re-offering) which you can read about here.

But there is one more way you can serve for success, and that is giving your child a role. You don’t have to do this every time, just encourage them in their strengths through it when you can.

Here are some of our favourite ideas:

Design a menu

Come up with a silly name or story for a dish

Help with making a meal plan and choosing veg for dinners or snacks

Help to serve up the meal on dishes, lay the table or create a centrepiece to be involved in the physical ‘serving up’ process




The Wonderful World of Veg

Check out our vegepedia. When to buy in-season. How to store them to keep for longer. How to engage children with each veg, and simple ideas of how to prepare and cook them for maximum taste and minimum waste. Select a veg…

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