An introduction to eggs...
Both the white and yolk of an egg are rich in nutrients - proteins, vitamins and minerals with the yolk also containing cholesterol, fat soluble vitamins and essential fatty acids. Eggs are an important and versatile ingredient for cooking, as their particular chemical make up is literally the glue of many important baking reactions.
Since the domestication of the chicken, people have been enjoying and nourishing themselves with eggs
Eggs are a very good source of inexpensive, high quality protein. More than half the protein of an egg is found in the egg white along with vitamin B2 and lower amounts of fat and cholesterol than the yolk. The whites are rich sources of selenium, vitamin D, B6, B12 and minerals such as zinc, iron and copper. Egg yolks contain more calories and fat. They are the source of cholesterol, fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K and lecithin - the compound that enables emulsification in recipes such as hollandaise or mayonnaise.
Some brands of egg now contain omega-3 fatty acids, depending on what the chickens have been fed (always check the box). Eggs are regarded a 'complete' source of protein as they contain all eight essential amino acids; the ones we cannot synthesise in our bodies and must obtain from our diet.
One large egg contains:
78 calories 6.3g protein 5.3g fat 1.6g saturated fat 212mg cholesterol
Did you know...
A study published in Paediatrics magazine has suggested that giving young children just one egg a day for six months, alongside a diet with reduced sugar-sweetened foods, may help them achieve a healthy height and prevent stunting.
The cholesterol question
For years eggs have been considered more of a health risk than a healthy food. Since they are high in cholesterol, it was recommended that people with high cholesterol levels avoid eggs. But it turns out the cholesterol content for which they have been vilified is much lower than it was 10 years ago. This reduction has been attributed to the changes in hen feed since the BSE crisis in the 1990s. British research shows that a medium egg contains about 100mg of cholesterol, a third of the 300mg recommended daily limit. Also it is saturated fat in the diet, not dietary cholesterol that influences blood cholesterol levels the most.
If you are concerned about your cholesterol or are unsure whether it is safe for you to consume eggs please consult your GP.
Eggs are rich in several nutrients that promote heart health such as betaine and choline. During pregnancy and breast feeding, an adequate supply of choline is particularly important, since choline is essential for normal brain development. If you are eating eggs during pregnancy however, ensure you cook until the whites and yolks are solid. In traditional Chinese medicine, eggs are recommended to strengthen the blood and increase energy by enhancing digestive and kidney function.
Eggs also contain more Vitamin D than they did 10 years ago, which helps to protect bones, preventing osteoporosis and rickets. And they are filling too. Eggs for breakfast could help with weight loss as the high protein content makes us feel fuller for longer. Eggs should be included as part of a varied and balanced diet.
DIFFERENT WAYS TO COOK EGGS..
Despite all these benefits, the challenge is that eating scrambled eggs every day can become boring fast. To add variety to your breakfast options, here are 7 different ways to cook eggs along with simple and tasty recipes so you enjoy.
1) Scrambled Eggs
Probably the most typical way to cook eggs is to scramble them. Make sure the stove is set on low with gentle heat, and allow the eggs to start setting before scrambling. To make them extra fluffy, try adding in a half cup of cottage cheese for every two eggs, before pouring the mixture into the pan to scramble. To spice up your scrambled eggs, add in your favorite veggies or cheese.
2) Poached Eggs
Poaching eggs is probably the low-fattest option to enjoy eggs because it aids in stopping the egg yolk’s fat from being oxidized or changed before and during cooking. There is also no added fat from butter or cooking oil.
Easy poached eggs:
2 eggs, 2 t rice vinegar, shallow saucepan with cover, spoon, and pepper to taste. Bring water to a boil in the pan to nearly boiling and add vinegar. Crack each egg one at a time into a small cup, put the cup near water and drop the egg into the pan. Gently push the egg whites closer to the yolks with the spoon, turn off the heat, cover, and let it sit for about four minutes, until egg whites are cooked. Lift eggs out of the pan, add pepper, and enjoy with a piece of whole-wheat toast for a simple yet delicious breakfast.
Making omelets is super easy and one of the best ways to get creative with your eggs. Possible fillings run the gamut — smoked salmon, mushrooms, avocado, kale, peppers, any kind of cheese – you name it. It can take a few times to perfect the omelet-making technique, but once you have it, it’s quick and painless. Cook one omelet at a time with either two or three eggs, depending on how hungry you are. If you are making multiple omelets, you can keep the others warm in the oven while still cooking one on the stove.
4) Hardboiled Eggs
Hardboiled eggs can be used alone, for salad toppings, or just a plain, high-protein snack. They can also be transformed into mouth-watering and healthy egg salads. But sometimes peeling eggs can be a pain. For easy to peel hard- boiled eggs, buy eggs at least 7 or 10 days before cooking them and peel right after cooking. To store eggs, put them in the refrigerator within two hours of cooking and use during the next week.
5) Baked Eggs
The best alternative to frying eggs is baking them, which is a generally basic process. Just crack one or two eggs into a baking dish coated with nonstick spray, and sprinkle some pepper or other seasoning on top. Then, pour one tablespoon of water or milk over the eggs and bake 325 degrees F until the egg whites are completely set (about 12 minutes). To spice things up a bit, you can try adding toppings to your baked eggs, like cooked spinach, salsa, shredded cheese and chopped tomato.
6) Sunny Side Up Eggs
While it is one of the most popular ways, cooking Sunny Side Up eggs can be hard because it is easy for the yolk to run too much. They can be easy to do in a skillet in the oven if you have not mastered them on the stove yet. Just make sure your nonstick skillet is oven proof. Then, carefully and evenly crack eggs into the skillet and place in the oven (at 350 degrees) for about four minutes.
Easy Sunny Side Up Pizza (serves 1-2):
7) Deviled Eggs
Deviled eggs are traditionally eaten as finger foods at parties in the spring and summer time, but they may be called “deviled” for a reason. While delicious, deviled eggs can be prepared with lots of mayo and other unhealthy fats. Don’t fret, because there are easy ways to lighten up the little delicious bites.
Keep in mind, eggs must be stored in the refrigerator and cooked thoroughly to provide full health benefits. Anyone with high cholesterol levels should adhere to his or her doctor’s dietary recommendations regarding eggs.
ALTERNATIVE USES FOR EGGS, EGG SHELLS AND CARTONS..
Use egg yolks to make a moisturizing facial.
If you have dry skin that needs moisturizing, an egg yolk makes a great natural facial. Oily skin does better with the egg white (to which you can add a little lemon or honey), and normal skin can take the entire egg. Separate the egg as needed, and beat the part that suits your skin. Then apply the beaten egg to the area you want to treat, relax and wait 30 minutes,
Use egg whites as glue.
Out of regular white glue? Egg whites can act as a glue substitute when gluing paper or light cardboard together
Use eggshells in the garden compost.
Eggshells are a great addition to your garden compost because they are rich in calcium—a nutrient that helps plants. Crushing them before you put them in your compost heap will help them break down faste
Use boiled-egg water in the garden.
After boiling eggs, don’t pour the water down the drain. Instead, let it cool; then water plants with the nutrient-filled water.
Use egg cartons or eggshells in the garden to start seeds.
Plant seeds in eggshells. Place the eggshell halves in the carton, fill each with soil, and press seeds inside. The seeds will draw extra nutrients from the eggshells. Once the seedlings are about 3 inches (7.5 centimeters) tall, they are ready to be transplanted into your garden. Remove them from the shell before you put them in the ground. Then crush the eggshells and put them in your compost or plant them in your garden. You can also use a cardboard egg carton as a nursery for your seeds; once they've sprouted, divide the carton and plant each cardboard cell along with the seedlings.
Use eggshells to scrub the house.
Ground eggshells make a wonderful (and nontoxic!) abrasive for those tough-to-clean pots, pans, and thermoses. Mix them with a little soapy water for a powerful clean.
Use eggshells to unclog drains.
Keep a few ground eggshells in your kitchen sink strainer. They trap additional solids and when they slowly break down, they will help to naturally clean your pipes on their way out
Use eggshells in the garden to scare away slugs.
Crush eggshells and scatter them around your garden's vegetables and flowers to fend off hungry herbivores, such as slugs, snails, and cutworms without using toxic pesticides. The smell of eggs will also deter deers
COURTESY; Zero Waste Uses for Eggs, Eggshells, and Egg Cartons | Reader's Digest