Garden eggs come in various shapes and sizes. They may be pale, yellow, purple, red and green while their shapes range from egg-shaped and round to pumpkin-like. In this article, we will be discussing the types of garden egg that can be found in Nigeria. We would describe the physical attributes of each type of garden so you’d know how to identify them. Other additional information about garden eggs in Nigeria would also be discussed.
The types of garden egg in Nigeria would be discussed below:
White Garden Egg
This variety of garden egg is arguably the most popular type in Nigeria. Its skin is white and it has an egg shape, sometimes round. The white garden fruit can be eaten raw, boiled, eaten with chilli or cooked in a stew, providing potassium, fibre, calcium and beta-carotene.
Underneath the thin skin of the white garden egg is a tender, aqueous and spongy flesh that encases many small and flat seeds. When chewed, the white garden fruit has a crunchy texture with a mild and slightly bitter flavour.
The white garden egg, unlike the other garden variants, takes slightly longer to produce and is also taller than the other types. The white garden eggplant can reach 4 to 5 feet in height. The life cycle of a white garden egg is perennial.
To ensure that white garden eggplants perform optimally when planted, they should be planted at least 12 inches apart. More so, they need to be planted in fertile soil and in an environment where the plants would receive full sunlight.
At the early stages of this eggplant’s growth, the fruits would be green. But when the white garden egg fruits reach 3 inches in length and turn white, it means the time has come for the fruits to be picked. It usually takes around 88 days for the fruits to mature for picking. The picking must be done regularly to keep production going and to ensure that the fruits do not overripe.
Purple Garden Egg
The purple garden egg variant is another type of eggplant that is grown in Nigeria. The purple garden eggs have a black-purple colour and they are usually oval with a bulbous flat bottom that narrows towards the calyx. This garden egg has a glossy and smooth outer skin while its stem is green. When cut open, the inside of the purple garden egg is filled with many edible seeds and the inner flesh is cream-coloured with a spongy-firm texture. When cooked, the purple garden egg fruit becomes tender and mild, giving off a slightly bitter taste.
Purple garden eggs are an excellent source of potassium and fibre when consumed. In addition, anthocyanins, which have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, are additional nutrients contained in the purple eggplant. There are various ways to prepare purple garden eggs for consumption such as grilling, roasting, broiling, pan frying, and baking. They can also be cooked in a stew and combined with meat, vegetables and rice.
For purple garden eggplants to perform well, they must be planted in fertile soil that gets full sunlight. And the water requirement for growing the purple garden eggplant throughout its perennial life cycle is medium.
Green Garden Egg
The green garden egg gets its name from the colour of its outer skin. This is one of the most popular types of garden eggs in Nigeria. They are often served in traditional gatherings and social events across the country.
Underneath the outer skin of the green garden egg is a tender white to pale yellow flesh that contains many small, flat and edible seeds. When eaten raw, the green garden egg is crunchy and slightly bitter.
The green garden egg, when compared to the others we’ve discussed in this article, has low levels of carbohydrates and calories. This makes it suited for those who are trying to manage their weight.
What is the Nutritional Value of a Garden Egg?
There are several important nutrients that one can benefit from eating garden eggs, whether raw, cooked, roasted, sauteed, or grilled. Garden egg is an excellent source of dietary fibre. There are several other minerals contained in a garden egg which include the following:
- Vitamin B1
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin K
- Vitamin C
What Ways Can Garden Eggs Be Eaten?
The garden egg fruit and leaves can be eaten raw. In Nigeria, it is common to see people eating garden eggs with groundnuts while others eat them with sauce. When not eaten raw, there are several ways to cook garden eggs. Steaming, roasting, boiling, baking and frying are the most common cooking methods. However, the cooking method that preserves the antioxidant levels of garden eggs most effectively is steaming.
What are the Medicinal Uses of Garden Eggs?
Garden eggs contain anthocyanins and chlorogenic acid that may protect the health of the heart and also offer antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. The chlorogenic content of garden eggs also helps in maintaining good blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Furthermore, the nasunin compound that’s present in the garden egg may help improve the flow of blood to the brain.
Green garden eggs which are known to contain low levels of carbohydrates and calories are suited for people who wish to reduce their weight.
People who suffer from diabetes can add garden eggs to their cuisine as it goes a long way in reducing and preventing type 2 diabetes.
Some other benefits of the garden egg are as follows:
- Maintain electrolyte balance which helps to reduce blood pressure
- Help control bowel movement, reduce constipation and improve digestion
- The iron and calcium content of garden eggs helps to keep the bones strong and healthy.
Are There Any Adverse Effects of Consuming Garden Eggs?
The diuretic nature of the garden egg can cause stimulation of menstruation in pregnant women.
Another adverse effect of consuming garden eggs regularly is that it can lead to acidity problems.
Garden eggs have been observed to cause allergies in some people. These allergies may be one or more of nausea, itchiness, rashes and swelling of the throat.
Apart from the white, purple and green garden eggs we discussed in this article, the yellow garden egg is also available in Nigeria.