Holidays are over. As always, it’s kind of a relief when it’s all done. It was a special holiday season this year with some things that are going on with my family. We were able to really cherish our time together. I really feel blessed. As I was taking ornaments off the tree, one shattered on the floor (of course, it’s always one of our more expensive or sentimental ornaments). For some reason, it entered my mind that I was glad it wasn’t an egg because that would be a real mess to clean up. Don’t know why I thought that, I’m just telling you I did. Then I started thinking intensely about eggs. Odd, you may say (agreed). Well, as I was undecorating I was also thinking I needed to get back on track with my erratic dietary behavior that evolved about mid-December. I may have had one (maybe two) too many chocolate-caramel dipped pretzel rods. Time to decrease the sugar-laden, high fat goodies I’d been chomping down with fresh fruits, veggies, and lean protein choices. What better food to increase in your diet than eggs?
It seems everyone likes eggs. Kids and adults alike love these compact little orbs. Eggs can be hard-boiled, scrambled, fried, poached, over-easy, made into an omelette, put on a sandwich, etc. Eggs are economical at about fifteen cents per egg. Did you know that eggs provide 7 grams of the highest-quality protein available while containing only 72 calories (and only 17 calories if you’re just eating the egg white)? That’s a nutrition powerhouse! Not only do they provide a good deal of protein to help you feel full longer, but they also contain many other vitamins and minerals. Eggs are a decent source of vitamins A and D (one of the few foods to naturally contain vitamin D). They are rich in choline, a nutrient that has been shown to help maintain your memory. They are also high in lutein and zeaxanthin, two antioxidants which have been found to help maintain healthy vision and prevent macular degeneration. Many people think that eggs are a “bad” food because of the amount of cholesterol in them. While it can’t be disputed they contain approximately 200 mg of cholesterol, your body adjusts to this incoming amount by producing less. Saturated and trans-fat are the biggest culprits when it comes to elevating cholesterol. If this is a concern of your’s or your child’s, simply consume more whites than yolks. For example, instead of two whole eggs, have one yolk and two egg whites. Also, it’s probably best to limit your egg consumption to no more than four yolks per week. However, I would rather cut back on other foods which are high in saturated fat than cut back on eggs.
Eggs are an ideal food to get children cooking. There are many fun things kids can do with eggs. They can make scrambled, fried eggs or an omelette and gain kitchen skills by cracking the eggs and whisking them. You can use a variety of cookie cutters and make different shapes in the center of toast and fry your egg (as in picture below – called eggs in a hole). Kids can also pick out their favorite veggies, cheese or whatever else they think might taste good with eggs! Eggs be eaten for snacks, breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Hard boiled eggs are a convenient, nutritious snack to keep in the fridge to just grab and go. Egg sandwiches are not just for breakfast! Use eggs as your protein on a sandwich instead of lunch meat. Accessorize with spinach, arugula or the green of your choice to increase fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Add salsa or some diced tomatoes for extra flavor. Sprinkle some shredded cheese of your liking to finish things off. Honestly, this is making me hungry as I am writing this! For dinner, you can even make a combination of eggs, pasta or rice, and vegetables (check out http://www.nyti.ms/W2JVre). One other breakfast suggestion, scrambled eggs in your oatmeal! Don’t make that frowney face, it’s really good (throw in a few scallions, too).
I am making January egg month and will be posting egg facts and recipes on Twitter and Facebook. There are many “new” foods out there and I am all about learning about the latest superfoods. However, let’s not forgot the old tried and true egg and what an asset it is to our diets!
“I have had in my time, memorable meals of scrambled eggs with fresh truffles, scrambled eggs with caviar and other glamorous things, but to me,there are few things as magnificent as scrambled eggs, pure and simple, cooked and perfectly seasoned.” James Beard