Eggs are having a moment. These protein-packed orbs are bursting with nutrients. Not only are they economical, they are effortless to prepare and can be utilized in numerous ways. Egg yolks have long suffered from a bad rap, blamed for being high in cholesterol and hazardous to one's health. The stance on egg yolks and their association with heart health has shifted. One yolk a day is fine for healthy individuals as long as the total cholesterol for the day does not exceed 300 mg. One large egg yolk has 185 mg of cholesterol. No more than three yolks are recommended per week for people with heart disease and diabetes. The yolk is the only part of the egg that contains cholesterol.
Not all eggs are created equal. Similar to meat, you want to know that the chickens which produced the eggs were fed hormone-free feed, ideally organic, and had access to roam free.
Here is a breakdown of type of eggs available.
Organic: Hens may or may not be cage-raised. They eat organic feed and are free of hormones and vaccinations.
Cage-Free: Hens do not live in cages, but may be be indoors in an open barn setting and possibly with crowded conditions.
Free-Range: Hens can roam freely in a lot, barn, or field. Time or quality of space is not specified.
Pasture-Raised: Hens roam free in the outdoors and can forage freely on seeds, greens, worms, and insects.
For free-range and cage-free eggs, unless organic is specified, the hens feed may be laded with GMO soy, corn, and cotton seed.
My ideal egg is organic-pasture raised or humanely-raised. Be a conscious consumer and avoid animal products from factory farms which do not raise or treat their animals humanely and use hormones and antibiotics. Try and buy local from the farmers' market or join a CSA. Connect with your farmer and ask how their hens live and eat.
Why I am slightly obsessed with eggs
One whole egg provides about 70 calories, depending the size, and about six grams of highly bioavailable protein. Eggs are also a good source of choline, which has been linked with preserving memory, as well as lutein and zeaxanthin, which have been show to promotet eye health. Eggs also contain iron, zinc, B complex vitamins, phosphorus, and vitamins A and D. Some eggs contain omega-3s, dependant on the feed that the chicken was given.
To sum it up, one whole egg a day is perfectly fine. Enjoy the benefits of the yolk, in moderation, of course.
A retro hors d'oeuvre that is making a come back. This is my healthified version of deviled eggs, where I replace the typical mayo with fat-free yogurt, utilize the yolks, and kick it up with some Spanish paprika and fresh herbs.
- 1/2 dozen eggs
- 1/4 cup 0% plain Icelandic or Greek style yogurt (I prefer Siggis)
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon relish
- 1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
- 2 tablespoons finely snipped chives
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped dill
- 1 teaspoon pimeton or paprika
- 1 tablespoon minced jalapeno
Place the eggs in a pot and cover with half an inch of cold water. Bring water to a gentle boil, turn off the heat, and cover. Let sit for ten minutes. While the eggs sit, prepare a large bowl of ice water. Once ten minutes are up, use a slotted spoon to place the eggs into the ice bath. When the eggs are cool, remove them, crack, and peel.
Cut each egg in half and use a spoon to carefully scoop the yolks into a bowl. Set the empty whites aside. Mash the yolks with a fork. Add the yogurt, dijon mustard, relish, and salt. Fluff and mash until the yolk mixture is smooth and creamy.
Add the chives, cilantro, jalapeno, paprika, and dill to the creamed yolks, reserving a bit of each for garnish. Mix well. Use a small spoon to gather little balls of yolk, gently sliding them into the whites. Garnish each egg with the reserved herbs, a dusting of paprika, and minced jalapeno.
Prep time: 10 min - Cook time: 10 min