What’s On the Market – The Benefits of Eggs

I’ve yet to discuss one of my favorite foods in the world: eggs. Now, you may not think that eggs are all that special, but they really are one of the most versatile and yummy-tasting foods out there. They also come in handy for a meal when you’re in a pinch for time or low on ingredients. And they aren’t only good for breakfast, either.

Two double-yolked eggs in a row!

In addition to being extremely versatile and delicious, eggs are super high in protein (and because of it, have been classified in the “meat” section of the food chain), all essential amino acids, Vitamin A, iron calcium, phosphorous, potassium and many others. Eggs are also one of the only foods that naturally contain Vitamin D! So if it’s cloudy out, eat some eggs instead.

Chickens aren’t the only animals that lay eggs for consumption out there, either. Animals such as ostriches, ducks, quails and fish produce eggs to be eaten. Size, however, is the major differentiation between eggs. Ostrich eggs are the largest and are equivalent to about 18 chicken eggs! Duck and quails eggs are about ¼ the size of a chicken egg, and fish eggs (more commonly know as roe or caviar) are even smaller.

Now that the farmer’s market in Urbana is open, free-range and farm fresh eggs are even easier to get. There is a huge difference between the typical store bought eggs and free-range/farm fresh eggs. One large difference (no pun intended) is size. Free-range eggs are almost always significantly larger than store bought eggs. They also taste better, look better and make your conscience feel a little better (chickens that are raised “free-range” are allowed to walk around freely instead of being contained). While free-range eggs may be more expensive (around $4/dozen), they are definitely worth a try or a once-in-a-while splurge.

Eggs are great at all times of the day. Fry up a couple eggs in the morning for breakfast, or spice it up a little bit by adding some sautéed spinach or onions for a fun scramble. One of my personal favorites is the egg sandwich. I like to put cheese, sautéed spinach and a little prosciutto or ham over my over-easy eggs. Then, just put it on some toast, and you’re good to go.

Another really easy breakfast/lunch/brunch dish is a frittata. Just sauté whichever meats and/or vegetables you like in an oven safe pan. Then, scramble 5–6 eggs (depending on the size of the pan) with a little bit of milk and seasonings, and pour into the pan. Just throw it in the oven to bake until the eggs have set. This recipe is a great way to get rid of all the little leftovers in the fridge (the half of the onion, bits of veggies or meats here and there, etc.).

A dinner option with eggs is to make spaghetti carbonara. The dish is made with bacon, garlic, onions, white wine, cheese and, of course, eggs. Once everything has been cooked, the eggs are scrambled and mixed with the cheese and are poured into the pan with all the other ingredients. With the heat off, mix everything together until the heat of the pasta “cooks” the eggs, making a rich, smooth sauce. Make sure the pan isn’t too hot, or you’ll end up with pasta and scrambled eggs!

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