Egg is an important and versatile ingredient for cooking. Both the white and yolk of an egg are rich in nutrients. A lot of people go around with the belief that eggs increase cholesterol levels, which makes it unhealthy if consumed frequently. In fact, old advice tell you to limit the consumption of eggs to just a few each week; but according to the Food Standard Agency, there is no limit to the number of eggs you can consume in a week as part of a healthy balanced diet.
Below is a list of some of the amazing health benefits of eggs
- Eggs provide the best quality protein: eggs are a great source for high quality protein. Protein is one of the most important elements of our diet and our bodies use protein to build new tissues and repair old tissues. Twenty percent of the human body is made up of protein, and protein plays an important role in almost all-biological process. Amino acids are the building block of protein. Nine of these amino acids cannot be manufactured by the body and must be gotten from proteins diet. Egg, milk and meat (including poultry and fish) are complete proteins, but eggs contain the highest quality, with a rating of 100. Apart from it being the most versatile and best source of protein, it is also the least expensive.
- Eggs help promote brain health: this may be the first time you’ve heard this, but diets rich in Choline may help protect your brain from the effects of aging. Eggs are rich in Choline, which is a nutrient in the vitamin B family. Choline is a nutrient that facilitates brain development in the foetus and new born as well as boosts memory function even at old age.
- Eggs help promote weight loss: several studies have shown that starting the day with an egg breakfast increases satiety in overweight people which may help with weight loss. Eating eggs for breakfast makes you feel fuller for a longer period so that you eat less at your next meal.
- Eggs and iron: eggs are a great source of iron. Many people with mild iron deficiency experience vague symptoms of tiredness, headaches and irritability. Iron is the carrier of oxygen in the blood and plays an important role in immunity, energy metabolism and many other body functions. The iron in egg yolk is in the form of heme iron, the most readily absorbable and useable form of iron in food and more absorbable than the iron in most supplements.
- Eye health: one of the major vitamins in eggs is Vitamin A. This vitamin is a component of a protein that absorbs light in your retina, protects membranes around the cornea and lessens your risk of night blindness.
Thinking of how to incorporate eggs into your diet, below are few simple recipes you can begin with.
- Scrambled eggs: The secret to making moist, fluffy scrambled eggs is all in the scrambling. All you need is low, gentle heat and a lot of patience.
- 6 Eggs
- 6 Tbs milk
- Fresh parsley (optional)
- Mix the eggs into a bowl
- Thin the egg mixture with milk. This will make the scrambled eggs tender. Use approximately one tablespoon of milk per egg.
- Sprinkle salt and pepper into the egg mixture
- Whisk mixture until well combined.
- Heat a frying pan or skillet over medium heat. You can use butter, oil or cooking spray; I prefer butter.
- When butter starts to bubble, pour in egg mixture. Reduce heat immediately to low. Don’t stir; let the eggs set for few seconds before you start scrambling them.
- Add fresh parsley leaves.
- With a wooden spoon, scrape the eggs from the edge of the pan to the centre. Continue scraping to redistribute the eggs as they cook.
- When eggs look wet but are no longer in liquid state, gently mound the egg into the centre of the pan.
- Turn heat off but leave the skillet on the burner. The scrambled eggs will continue to cook from the heat of the pan and from residual heat in the eggs.
2. Omelet: For this, I’d advice that you have all your toppings ready before you start cooking. Pre cook meat, and vegetables such as onions, peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms, etc. But as much as possible, try to restrict to two or three toppings at most to avoid over stuffing the omelet.
- Green bell pepper
- Red bell pepper
- Butter or Olive oil
- Crack the eggs into a bowl and add a splash of water. The steam from the water makes the omelet light and fluffy.
- Add salt and pepper
- Whisk rigorously with a fork until the egg whites and yolks are completely blended.
- Heat a non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Add enough butter or olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. The pan is ready when the foaming from the butter subsides.
- Pour the egg mixture into the hot pan, and then let the eggs set a little along the edges. This should take about two minutes.
- Using a spatula, pull the eggs in slightly from all four sides toward the centre, allowing the liquid to flow underneath the set ones.
- When the eggs are set on the outside but still soft on the inside, add the toppings. Don’t worry if its still a little soft, the eggs will continue cooking once the omelet is rolled.
- Fold one side of the omelet with your spatula. The other side will fold over as you tilt it into your serving plate.
3. Devilled Eggs
- 6 eggs
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon vinegar
- 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- Black pepper
- Paprika for garnishing (optional)
- Place eggs in a saucepan and cover with enough water. Heat on high heat until water begins to boil, and then cover the pot with the lid. Turn the heat to low, and cook for 1 min. Remove from heat and leave covered for 14 minutes, then rinse under cold water continuously for 1 min.
- Crack shell and carefully peel under cool running water.
- Gently dry with paper towels.
- Slice the eggs in half lengthwise, removing yolks to a bowl, and placing whites on a serving platter
- Mash the yolks into a fine crumble using a fork. Add mayo, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper. Mix well.
- Evenly disperse, heaping teaspoons of the yolk mixture into the egg whites. Sprinkle paprika and serve.
4. Hard Boiled Eggs
Bring a pot of water to boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, add your eggs and cook for 4-5 minutes. Drain, cool in ice water and peel.
Bring a pot of water to boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, add your eggs and cook for 7-8 minutes. Drain, cool in ice water and peel.
Place eggs in a pot and cover with cold water. Bring to boil over medium-high heat, cover the pot with the lid. Remove from heat and set aside 8-10 minutes. Drain, cool with ice water and peel.
If you are a lover of eggs like I am then you should try out any of the following tips to avoid messing up your food with a rotten egg.
- Place the egg in a bowl containing cold water, if it lays on the bottom of the bowl, it is super fresh; if it stands upright on one end but still touching the bottom, it is still safe to consume but has passed its peak freshness; if it is floating, it is not a fresh egg. Test it by cracking it open and pouring its content in a bowl. Smell with your nose, if it doesn’t have a foul smell then it is safe to eat. Otherwise throw it out. Also look out for the colour; if you see black or green spots inside the egg, it has been contaminated by fungus and should be thrown away.
- Hold the egg up to your ear and shake. A fresh egg will make very little or no sound when you shake. If it makes a sloshing sound, it only indicates that the egg is old but dosent mean it isn’t safe to consume. Pour the content out on a plate and use your sense of smell and sight to determine whether it should be used or not.