Easy Excellent Eggs

By Patrice Powers-Barker, OSU Extension, Lucas County
The Truth Contributor

For a while, eggs got a bad rap for being too high in cholesterol. While they do contain dietary cholesterol, they also contain other important nutrients. According to Harvard School of Public Health, some of those nutrients may help lower the risk of heart disease. They address the question, “are eggs healthy?” by looking at the entire menu for overall healthy eating patterns.

For example, it is much healthier to eat scrambled eggs with salsa and a 100 percent whole-wheat English muffin compared to scrambled eggs with cheese, sausage, home fries and white toast. Not that you cannot eat those foods, but the reminder is to pair them up with healthy alternatives.

The Harvard School of Public Health also compared eggs with other breakfast menus. Yes, eggs are a better choice than sweetened cereals or donuts. On the other hand, a bowl of oatmeal with nuts and berries is a great choice for heart health. They recommend a variety of foods, especially with an emphasis on plant-based protein options.

The colors of the eggshells have to do with the breed of the chicken. Often, the type of chicken and the color of their earlobes will indicate the color of the eggshells. A hen with a white earlobe lays white eggs while a hen with a red or dark earlobe lays brown eggs. No matter the color of the shell, all eggs provide protein and other important nutrients to our diet.

The grades of AA or A or B are all determined by the quality of the shell, the yolk, and the egg white. As expected, the grades of AA or A are higher quality. These grades are recommended for baking. Grade B eggs are a good choice for hard-boiled eggs. When making hard boiled eggs, it’s also helpful to not use the freshest eggs as they don’t peel as well. Eggs that are seven-10 days old are a good choice for hardboiled.

Hardboiled and dyed eggs are not uncommon during the spring Easter season, but hardboiled eggs can be enjoyed all year long. They can be an easy snack, chopped on top of a salad, or made into other recipes like deviled eggs or egg salad. Although many people have their favorite way to boil eggs and make them into other dishes, the following instructions are here for those who haven’t boiled eggs in a while.

For half a dozen hard boiled eggs, you’ll need six eggs, about four cups of water and about five ice cubes.

  1. Place eggs on the bottom of a pot and fill with cold water, about one inch above the eggs.
  2. Place cover on the pot and bring water to a rapid boil over high heat.
  3. Once the water boils, keep the cover on the pot and remove it from heat. Let eggs sit for 10 minutes covered in the water.
  4. Fill a bowl with ice and water.
  5. After 10 minutes is up, use a slotted spoon and take the eggs out of the pot and place them in the bowl of ice water for 10 minutes.
  6. To peel the eggs, tap gently around the egg to crack the shell, as you peel the egg, rinse under cold water to help get all the shells off.

To make a basic egg salad, finely chop four hardboiled eggs, mix with one tablespoon of pickle relish, ½ teaspoon salt, one teaspoon mustard and ¼ cup mayonnaise. You can add fresh chopped chives. You can also substitute other ingredients for the mayonnaise such as plain Greek yogurt or hummus. This will give a different taste to the traditional egg salad but a similar consistency for a sandwich spread.

As mentioned earlier, the color of the eggs doesn’t indicate the nutritional quality. The size of the eggs (small, medium, large, extra-large, and jumbo) does indicate a small difference in the amounts of nutrients. Eggs contain a small amount of omega-3 fatty acids. If eggs are labeled “enriched with omega-three fatty acids” it means that the chickens are fed foods high in omega-3 fatty acids and the eggs they lay have a higher amount.

Other easy ways to use eggs and add them to a variety of foods includes fried rice or a baked breakfast casserole with cubed bread. These types of recipes are convenient as they call for ingredients that might already be on hand. Recipes listed here and others can be found at myplate.gov. Information on eggs from the Harvard School of Public Health and Eatright.org.