The Eggs Factor
The humble egg has had a bit of a bad press over the years with claims of salmonella and high cholesterol, but it really is time to put half a dozen firmly back on your shopping list. From simple omelettes for lunch or super, pancakes with your favourite filling or a light and fluffy bake – eggs are brilliant for stretching leftovers into nutritious and easy-to-cook meals. They are so endlessly useful, nutritious and tasty, see below for some tips for how to make the most of these little crackers!
Egg yolks can be frozen but they become very sticky and can be hard to use. It is better to store them in a covered bowl in the fridge for up to 4 days, or whiz them into homemade custard, mayonnaise or hollandaise sauce -maybe for a weekend treat!
Store eggs in their boxes in a cool dry place, away from strong smelling food. This is because the shell is porous and can absorb some strong smells such as onion. They should be at room temperature before cooking.
Whip up leftover egg whites for meringues or to lighten mashed potato, or they can be frozen in a zip-lock freezer bag for later use.
Egg types,the colour and size do not affect the taste, but the price differs between battery, free-range and organic. In general, hens allowed to scratch in the open air lay tastier eggs, so for ‘raw’ sauces like mayonnaise and hollandaise, it is worth going for the best quality you can afford. I have my own hens and can vouch for the difference in taste between my eggs and cheaper battery ones from the supermarket. Even if your budget doesn’t allow you to always buy free-range and/or organic, it is a nice treat once in a while.
Best friends, cheese makes the perfect partner for eggs, whether in an omelette or in a cheesy bake. (Just be mindful of the saturated fat in the cheese).
The fresh test – if you dropped an egg into a glass of water, a raw fresh egg will sink to the bottom and stay there. A slightly older egg (but still safe to eat) will hover in the middle, while an egg that floats to the surface is an old egg that is past it’s best and shouldn’t be eaten. The science behind this test is that over time the egg absorbs air, therefore, the older the egg, the more air inside the egg, the more the egg will float!
Full up – eggs can also be a helpful addition to a weigh loss diet. Because eggs are packed with protein, they will make you feel fuller for longer, and thus make you feel less hungry and less likely to reach for the biscuit tin!
Consumption – in the UK we consume 29 million eggs a day! However, on the down side, every year in the UK we throw away 19,000 tonnes of eggs per year. So, don’t become one of the 19,000 who throw away these versatile, tasty culinary gems, get cooking :0)
BTW, the good looking hen in the photo is my chicken, and her name is Betty!