With Easter this coming Sunday, it seemed like a good idea to check out some of the latest tidbits of information on eggs.
University of Arizona Extension Egg Trivia
- Eggs cost less than 15 cents a piece and are considered one of the healthiest natural foods, packed with important nutrients and only contain 70 calories.
- Eggs are naturally high in protein
- A large egg has less than 2 grams saturated fat.
- Eggs are a source of 11 vitamins and minerals. They are a good source of vitamin B12 which may be lacking in some vegetarian diets.
- Eggs are a source of iron, which is best absorbed from food when vitamin C is also present . . . so combine your eggs with a glass of orange juice for even better nutrition.
- Eating 2 eggs per day will not affect LDL (bad) blood cholesterol for people with a normal blood cholesterol level.
- Eggs are included in the “Protein” section of MyPlate and area great alternative to meat.
- World Egg Day is celebrated every year on the second Friday in October. The occasion recognizes the global appeal of the billions of nutritious eggs produced worldwide. Egg-producing countries all over the world celebrate the event in different ways.
- Biodegradable eggshell plants are a fun way to make seed starters. Once the plants begin to outgrow their shells, you should transplant them to the soil – shell and all.
Using Egg Shells in Your Garden
Want to use your egg shells to get a jump start on your garden? Here’s how the UA Extension news article says to do it:
What you will need:
- Empty eggshells
- Bleach water
- Egg dye or acrylic craft paint
- Cotton balls
- Planting soil
- Herb seeds Empty egg carton
- Rinse the inside of the eggshell with bleach water to make sure it is clean. (To make bleach water combine 1 quart of water with 1 teaspoon bleach.)
- Turn upside down to drain. Let dry.
- Dye or decorate eggshells as desired. Let dry.
- Place cotton ball in the bottom of the eggshell.
- Top with planting soil.
- Sprinkle seeds over soil.
- Place filled eggshell in egg carton.
- Water seeds and place near sunlight as recommended on seed package.
Add Egg Faces
A fun extra thing to do would be to make faces on the eggshells so that when the herbs start to grow it’ll look like hair!
If you want to know the latest on how to boil eggs or peel them, then I suggest you check out the article in the March & April, 2016, Cook’s Illustrated magazine, pages 12 and 13.
A lot of it is information the author wrote you already know, but . . . “The test kitchen has a sure-fire method for producing perfect hard-cooked eggs: Put the eggs in a saucepan, cover them with an inch of cold water, bring the water to a boil, cover the pot, let the eggs sit off the heat in the cooling water for 10 minutes, and then transfer them to an ice bath for 5 minutes before peeling. You’ll get tender whites and uniformly opaque (but not chalky) yolks every time.”
Peeling Your Eggs
“But eggs cooked this way can be difficult to peel – a problem that has more to do with the membrane that lines the shell than with the shell itself. When that membrane cements itself to the egg, it must be painstakingly peeled away and often takes pieces of the white with it, leaving an unappealingly pitted exterior – an unacceptable result when you need flawless eggs for deviled eggs or garnishing a salad.”
“Fresh eggs are harder to peel than older eggs.” This piece of conventional wisdom seemed like the natural place to start my testing. Could the key to success really be as simple as choosing the proper eggs to cook?”
“Here’s the science behind the claim: The white in a fresh egg is slightly alkaline. As the egg ages, the white become more alkaline as the dissolved carbon dioxide (a weak acid) it contains dissipates – and the more alkaline the white, the easier it is to peel when cooked. Why? Because the higher alkalinity causes the egg white proteins to bond to each other, not to the membrane directly under the shell. That’s the theory, anyway.”
Looking for Grade A Peeling?
The author tested five different methods of boiling eggs, grading them from A to F on how easy they were to peel, etc. The conclusion on how to cook the eggs so they come out pretty and are easy to peel was to steam them using this method: “Plunging raw eggs into boiling water (or hot steam) rapidly denatures the outermost proteins of the white, which reduces their ability to bond with the membrane. Thus, these eggs are easy to peel. . . Conversely, proteins that rise in temperature slowly, as in the eggs started in cold water or baked in the oven, have more time to bond to the membrane before they bond with each other, so the membrane is difficult to remove.”
So are you in the same boat as I was? I would put the eggs in a pan, cover them with water, put the lid on, and turn on the heat. Obviously I learned that is not the most effective way to hard boil eggs. If you would like to see a step-by-step video on the above information, you can go online to CooksIllustrated.com/apr 16 and check out How Easily They Peel.