My Eggplant Is Green Inside: Is That A Bad Sign?

Eggplants come in all sorts of different colors — there are white eggplants, deep-purple eggplants, purple-blush-white eggplants, even orange eggplants (referred to as Turkish eggplants).

The most common, however, is the deep-purple eggplant, which is used in several cuisines and is also the one that is most available in supermarkets.

If you’ve never eaten eggplant before, you may not be able to tell if it’s green, overripe, or has gone bad, so seeing a green hue on your eggplant may create some confusion. 

When you first slice into an eggplant, you’re often met with creamy, white flesh coupled with slight shades of green and seeds— which is precisely what you want to see in a ripe eggplant. Another good indicator of a healthy eggplant is firmness, which you can assess by pressing it slightly. 

So, Is A Eggplant With Green Spots Bad?

An eggplant that shows a green hue is not rotten, it’s actually the contrary. What you want to see in eggplants is shades of green because that will often mean they’re ripe.

sliced eggplant
Eggplant flesh typically has a slightly green hue.

The flesh is not meant to be entirely green (and I’ve never seen such an eggplant), but if all you’re seeing is a little hint of green, that is supposed to be normal. 

Flesh aside, there are varieties of eggplants with a green outside, and these are botanically classified as Solanum melongena. They can also be used similarly to purple eggplants in cooked preparations and contain a sweeter, milder, and less bitter flavor. 

green eggplant
Green eggplants also exist.

Green eggplants are native to India, China, and other regions of eastern Asia and have been cultivated for thousands of years. They’ve been selectively bred to achieve improved flavor, appearance, and texture, and they’ve even ended up becoming delicacies in some countries like Japan. 

Bottom Line: If your eggplant has hints of green on the inside, that shouldn’t be worrisome as that is not indicative of something bad — it’s just natural coloration.

How To Spot An Eggplant That Has Gone Bad

There are a few steps you can take to ensure you bring a good eggplant back home from the market.

1 – The first step is to verify the skin with your bare hands — the eggplant should be firm, shiny, and without bruises. Its color should be vivid; an indicator that is ripe. 

2 – To make sure the eggplant is fresh you have to sightly press its skin with your finger. If it’s fit for consumption, the skin will return to normal, but if it is already rotting it will leave your fingerprint, and cracks will appear on the pressed spot. Another thing you can do is to check its stem; the part that resembles a hat. The stem must be a light green and it needs to be firm, not flimsy. 

3 – Another way to check the quality of the eggplant is to feel its weight. The spoiled ones are usually lighter. When using the eggplant to make a meal at home, you can make the same assessments, however, there is no need to rush. If it looks too ripe, it does not cost anything to cut it and make sure, because part of it can be used. Also, it can be slightly over-ripe and still be fit for consumption.

4 – If the stem is rotting, you can cut off a larger piece of the stalk to remove the rotten part and use the rest of it if it’s good. When the eggplant is ready, the inside will be very clear. Around the seeds, it may be slightly brown, but you can still eat it.

5 – However, if there are damaged parts, with little holes and dark scraps, it is advisable to remove only these regions, if they are localized, and use the rest. But if the whole eggplant looks damaged inside, then it’s better to discard the whole eggplant.

The best way to store eggplant is in the refrigerator, preferably in the vegetable compartment at the bottom. If it is placed inside a plastic bag, make sure that both the bag and the food are very dry, otherwise, it can rot easily.

The cold decreases the eggplant’s (or any other fruit or vegetable) rate of respiration, a measure that dictates the amount of ethylene it releases, a mechanism that leads to ripening.  

Can You Eat Eggplant Seeds? 

Fortunately, unlike other vegetables with inedible seeds, eggplant seeds are completely safe to eat. 

eggplant seeds

Even though they’re not the most delicious part of the eggplant, and you can remove them if you choose to, they’re actually very healthy and provide an array of health benefits.

Some people cook eggplant seeds by removing them and preparing them separately, much like pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds, by roasting them with a bit of salt and spices. 

Can Eggplants Be Eaten Raw? 

There is no problem with sporadically eating an eggplant raw, however, like most members of the nightshade family, eggplants contain solanine. 

Solanine is a glycoalkaloid poison found in species of the nightshade family within the genus Solanum; this includes the potato, the tomato, and the eggplant.

Eating a raw eggplant means that you will be ingesting solanine, which could lead to poisoning and cause gastrointestinal, nervous, and exanthematous syndrome severe enough to be fatal. Although that will also probably depend on the quantity you ingest. 

To remove solanine from an eggplant, you have to fry the eggplant — which is the correct way to cook it, especially if you want to maximize taste. Boiling the eggplant will not remove its solanine content. 

Therefore, no, it’s not recommended that you eat a raw eggplant, although just a little bit probably won’t suffice to cause you harm. 

Can Eggplants Be Frozen?

Although the preferable way to preserve an eggplant is by storing it in the refrigerator, usually in the vegetable compartment, you can also freeze it, particularly if you have a lot of it!

However, keep in mind that freezing an eggplant will probably alter its taste and texture, and it will never taste like a fresh eggplant. This is the same with any other fruit or vegetable.

So, what is the optimal way to freeze an eggplant?

Well, there’s a good way to do so if you wish to preserve a lot of its qualities, namely its nutritional value:

1 – Peel and slice the eggplants. It is better to keep them cut and peeled than whole if they are fresh.

2 – Bring water to a boil and add half a cup of lemon (about 125 ml).

3 – Prepare a separate container with water and ice cubes, and wait until the water is very cold.

4 – Put the eggplant slices into boiling water and leave them there for a few minutes. This will, thanks to the lemon, destroy the enzymes that would cause the vegetable to decompose, without losing its nutritional value.

5 – Put the eggplants into cold water to stop the cooking process. Wait 4 to 5 minutes until they are very cold. If it’s needed, add a few more ice cubes.

6 – Use pieces of a napkin to drain the water from the eggplants until they absorb all the liquid.

7 – Use a vacuum-packed bag to freeze your vegetables. You can also use an airtight bag, suitable for freezing, but under no circumstances use a glass container as it may explode.

Also, make sure that when you take them out of the freeze you let them defrost for a while. That is unless you want to braise the eggplant with other veggies, which then a little bit of moisture could help. 

Alexandre Valente

Hey there! My name is Alex and I've been vegan for more than five years! I've set up this blog because I'm really passionate about veganism and living a more eco-conscious life. Hopefully, I can use this website as a channel to help you out on your own journey!

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