Is Raw Eggplant Poisonous?

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Is Raw Eggplant Poisonous?
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Is Raw Eggplant Poisonous?

Eggplant Recipes

They're not so tasty raw, but that doesn't mean they can't be eaten raw. So keep eating eggplant! It's delicious in many forms.

Fusilli with Roasted Eggplant and Goat Cheese

In this recipe, eggplant is tossed with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper before being roasted and added to the pasta salad.

Get the Recipe: Fusilli with Roasted Eggplant and Goat Cheese

Eggplant & Chickpea Baked Pasta

Turn leftover Eggplant & Chickpea Stew into a comforting vegetarian baked-pasta dish. We love the taste of mint with the other Mediterranean flavors, but you can use parsley or basil if you prefer.

Get the Recipe: Eggplant & Chickpea Baked Pasta

Eggplant Pomodoro Pasta

Diced eggplant turns tender and tasty sautéed with garlic and olive oil. Toss with fresh plum tomatoes, green olives and capers and you have a simple light summer sauce.

Get the Recipe: Eggplant Pomodoro Pasta

Roasted Eggplant & Feta Dip

This roasted eggplant and feta dip gets a kick from a fresh chile pepper and cayenne pepper. There are countless variations on this classic meze (appetizer) in Greece.

Get the Recipe: Roasted Eggplant & Feta Dip

Grilled Asian Eggplant with Ginger Sauce

Marcia Kiesel likes dressing up tender Asian eggplant with a vibrant fresh-ginger sauce that would also be wonderful with steamed fish or poached chicken .

Get the Recipe: Grilled Asian Eggplant with Ginger Sauce

Spiced Eggplant Lentil Salad with Mango

Spiced eggplant, lentils and mangoes combine deliciously in this Indian-inspired vegetarian salad. Customize the spiciness of this by choosing mild, medium or hot versions of salsa, chili powders and curry powder.

Get the Recipe: Spiced Eggplant Lentil Salad with Mango

Eggplant Parm

New York City 's Torrisi Italian Specialties uses only American ingredients in virtually all of its dishes. Its basil-rich eggplant parmesan, also delicious on a toasted roll, calls for Progresso Italian Style bread crumbs and SarVecchio parmesan from Wisconsin.

Get the Recipe: Eggplant Parm Recipe

Eggplant Relish

A delicious relish to accompany any meal.

Get the Recipe: Eggplant Relish

Eggplant Tallegio Panini

Here's a sandwich that really satisfies...broiled eggplant, peppery arugula and Taleggio cheese, toasted on a whole wheat panini. And it's ready in less than 30 minutes!

Get the Recipe: Eggplant Tallegio Panini

Eggplant Tomato Gratin

Get the Recipe: Eggplant Tomato Gratin

Picante Eggplant Roll-Ups

This recipe highlights the versatility of eggplant...the spicy beef filling and picante sauce topping takes this traditionally Mediterranean vegetable south of the border!

Get the Recipe: Picante Eggplant Roll-Ups Recipe


False, raw eggplants are not poisonous. However, the leaves and flowers of the plant can be toxic. Plants in the nightshade family -- which includes eggplants, potatoes, peppers, tomatoes and tomatillos -- contain an alkaloid called solanine, which in very large doses can be poisonous. For the average adult, 400 mg of solanine would be life-threatening. Vegetables in the nightshade family contain anywhere from 2 to 13mg of solanine and eggplants contain 11mg at the most. So you would have to eat 36 raw eggplants to cause any harm.

Therefore, there's no need to be concerned about eating reasonable amounts of raw eggplant. You should, however, be wary of green potatoes. They turn green when they're exposed to the light, skyrocketing their solanine levels -- so eating green potatoes is not recommended. Neither is eating the leaves of any nightshade plant.

There are some people -- a very small percentage of the population -- who are allergic to nightshade vegetables and cannot eat them. Other people might find that brushing up against the plants causes skin irritation, but it's no more than itching. As we know, these vegetables are not poisonous, otherwise we wouldn't be eating potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants, etc.

We of course do enjoy fresh tomatoes raw, but potatoes and eggplants? They're not so tasty raw, but that doesn't mean they can't be eaten raw. So the moral of the story is ... keep eating eggplant! It's delicious in many forms.

Check out the slideshow above for eggplant recipes you can try on your own!

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