Eggs are a pretty controversial topic. Should we eat them? Should we not eat them? How many a day are healthy? Are there alternatives? Lots of questions arise.
In baking you will find many uses for eggs, the most common being the bind that holds the ingredients together. It is also used to provide body, (it "fluffs" your mixtures up) and adds flavour.
In baking it is essential to create balance between your eggs and flour, which will provide structure and strength for what you are creating. This happens partly because eggs stiffen up when heated due to its protein coagulating.
There are many different grades of eggs and options to choose from.
"Omega-3" eggs are created by feeding chickens a diet of flax seeds which comes in the form of ALAs alpha-linolenic acid plant-based type of omega-3s.
Surprise Fact: White and Brown eggs have the exact same nutritional value!
Eggs are graded by shining a light onto the eggs that allows the inspector to view inside the egg to see if the yolk is well centered, as well as the condition of the shell. Grade A eggs have a clean, uncracked shell, a firm yellow yoke, and less air cells. Grade B have an uncracked shell that might have be rough, the yolk is more watery and less uniform.
Current research shows that Eggs are an all around complete food. Meaning their high in protein, and have important vitamins (A, D, B12 - half of your daily requirement & E) and minerals which help to maintain bones, teeth, eyes and skin. About half of an egg’s protein is in the yolk, with a whole egg yielding 5 grams of fat and 6 grams of protein.
Whether you are vegan, allergic or just don’t like eggs, there are alternatives:
Breakfast: Tofu scrambled. Keep in mind tofu can be as delicious as you want to make it. Tofu absorbs the flavours you cook with so be mindful when adding spices.
Baking: Applesauce or bananas
*if a recipe calls for three or more eggs it is important to choose a replacer that will perform the same function (binding or leavening).
No egg variety, organic or otherwise is free from the threat of salmonella. This bacteria is passed down from hen to egg. Washing your eggs will not leave you free and clear as the bacteria is generally within the egg itself. *It is important to cook your eggs thoroughly*
One study according to The Globe and Mail found participants who ate at least an egg a day were 42% more likely to develop type-2 diabetes versus those that did not eat eggs or ate less than one egg a week.
A Harvard study that followed thousands of doctors oven 20 years, even found that eating an egg a day can significantly shorten your lifespan. Which might make you rethink your scrambled eggs in the morning.
You are definitely given a choice these days. Eggs aren't our only breakfast option, however they do remain a traditional morning comfort food. There is an abundant amount of research proving and disproving theories about eggs. Factually they are a good source of protein, but as we already know, moderation is key.
Written by Nicole Whitely and Amy Trachter