Eggay: An Egg Essay

Tasty, nutritious, versatile...what's not to love about eggs?

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I like eggs. In fact, I like them quite a bit. In my kitchen or when dining out, if I have the option to add an egg to a dish, I will.

I love opening up a carton, cupping the chilled, delicate hen fruit in hand, tapping it on the side of the skillet and listening to it instantly sizzle in a pan. It’s a morning ritual that wakes me up, centers me and prepares me for a new day. My zeal for eggs reaches far beyond the breakfast skillet, though. The egg blurs the boundaries between breakfast and lunch and confidently pushes its ways into dinner territory.

In my kitchen, I top rye toast and trout salad with a fried egg with light, intricately lacey caramelized edges. For lunch, I whip up fluffy scrambled egg wraps with mushrooms and creamy avocado. And, when home alone and no one is around to judge me, I treat myself to breakfast for dinner.

A simple egg is a quick, easy way to elevate a dish. I’ll poach an egg and serve it over polenta and homemade pesto; whip up quinoa and sautéed veggies, top it with a fried egg — and voila!

There’s something beautiful about the gooey richness of the yolk and delicate nature of the whites that gets me excited. Salty, savory, rich and viscous, eggs simultaneously add texture and flavor to a dish.

While eggs are absolutely delicious, they also are very on-trend in the restaurant world right now. At my favorite restaurants, I gobble up a steamy bowl of veggie-ridden pho with poached egg, farm egg-topped pizzas with bright sunny yolks smiling up at me, and charred veggies garnished in crumbled hard-boiled eggs. And, as of late, I’ve lusted after purple-hued eggs pickled in beet juice.

At diners give me a cheesy Western burger; a spicy huevos rancheros with pinto beans, hot peppers and crispy tortilla; a breakfast club with browned Texas toast, Duke’s mayo and bacon.

In the drink world, eggs shake things up, too. In cocktail dens, barkeeps use eggs as a quick and easy way to enhance texture, body and appearance in mixed drinks, such as the classic Gin Fizz, Pisco Sour and Clover Club.

Aside from their delightful taste, texture, and versatility (really, they can be added to anything!), eggs are chock-full of great health benefits.

Often less than 15 cents apiece and only 70 calories each, eggs are an affordable and low-cal way to get vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. They are a time-tested, inexpensive way to get high-quality protein in your diet. With eggs, you get a lot of bang for your buck.

The nutrients in eggs can play an essential role in weight management, muscle strength, healthy pregnancy, brain function, eye health and more.

Looking to drop some pounds? The protein-rich egg helps you feel fuller longer, while also staying energized. Simply add eggs to you diet to help you maintain a healthy weight.

Remember that nauseating scene in Rocky where Sylvester Stallone guzzles eggs? They help build muscle strength and prevent muscle loss in aging adults. Because of potential salmonella risks, though, be mindful about consuming raw eggs. There are much healthier—and tastier!—ways to get your egg on, like when they are cooked.

Nursing your own egg? For pregnant women, yolks are a great way to get choline, an essential nutrient that aids in fetal brain development and prevents birth defects. Choline also benefits adult cerebral function by helping neuro-transmitters relay messages from the brain to nerves and muscles.

Eggs are good for your peepers too. Found in egg yolks, the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin prevent macular degeneration, a cause of age-related blindness.

“But what about all that cholesterol hullabaloo,” you’re wondering. After nearly 50 years of research, studies show that healthy adults can eat eggs without increasing their risk of heart disease. Previous nutritional data from the USDA found that a large egg contained 215 milligrams of cholesterol, but after new research, that number has dropped to 185. And, an
added boon, eggs now contain 64 percent more Vitamin D than they were previously believed to. Maybe that’s why eggs make me so happy—all that Vitamin D!

The American Heart Association recommends that daily a person consumes less than 300 milligrams of cholesterol (one large egg is 185 milligrams).

So, pick a way to devour your eggs: scrambled, poached, hard-boiled, pickled, deviled. The list goes on. Luckily, the options for you to enjoy your eggs are limitless.


Flickr/Ryan Abel

Marissa Hermanson is a freelance writer and editor in Richmond, Virginia. Her stories have been featured in Cosmopolitan, Forbes Travel Guide, Ski, and Southern Living. When not writing, you can find her experimenting in the kitchen with glass of wine in hand.

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