Kitchen Notes: All About Eggs
I want to take a break from our usual recipe posts and laud one of my favorite eats: the egg. These little guys are an excellent source of protein and nutrients, and the cooking possibilities are positively endless. And even though they’ve gotten a bad rap recently (you can debate the finer points of that controversial study in the comments), most people are just fine eating an egg a day.
So here’s everything you ever wanted to know about eggs, from which size to buy to how to tell if they’re fresh to tasty recipes to keep you cooking.
• When buying: Most stores sell brown eggs and white eggs. Brown are not healthier, they’re just from a different breed of hen. Eggs come in medium, large, extra-large, and jumbo sizes. You should always buy large, as most recipes call for this size. My tip on “to buy organic or not” is to buy a dozen store-brand eggs, and a dozen organic/pasture-raised. Bake with the store brand (they last at least three weeks in your fridge), and use the organic for everything else.
• Before using: To tell if an egg is fresh, put it in a bowl of water. If it sinks, it’s fresh; if it floats, toss it. If separating eggs for a recipe, do so when the egg is cold. If beating egg whites for a recipe, do so when the whites have come to room temperature. Eggs should always be at room temperature before baking with them; to speed up the process, place them in a bowl of warm water. The best way to crack an egg is on a flat surface, not on the edge of a bowl.
• Nutritionally-speaking: A large egg contains about 70 calories and 5 grams of fat (2 saturated). It has 6 grams of protein and moderate amounts of calcium, vitamin A and iron. The yolk has half the protein, all of the fat, and most of the nutrients. The white has just 15 calories and none of the fat (but none of the nutrients, either).
Are you the king or queen of scrambled eggs? I’d like to make a few suggestions for how to mix up your repertoire—complete with step-by-step instructions.
>> The perfect egg sandwich and how to fry an egg (the healthy way).
>> How to poach an egg.
>> How to hard–cook an egg, and a healthy after-school snack.
>> How to make a breakfast burrito with corn, jalapeno and brie.
>> How to make fancy egg spirals.
>> Make-ahead and freeze breakfast sandwiches.
What are your favorite ways to eat eggs? Share your recipes and tips in the comments!
>> Check out more Be Well Philly recipes here.
Becca Boyd is a wife and new mom who teaches culinary courses to students at Radnor High School. She creates healthy and delicious recipes in her West Chester kitchen and blogs about them on her website, Home Beccanomics.