Spring is in the air and its arrival brings an increase in egg production. It’s the season when hens get clucky, quite literally. I have a soft spot for eggs, not just because they’re one of the most affordable and richest sources of protein, calcium and minerals, but because they are also an extremely versatile ingredient in the kitchen.
Whether you prefer soft-scrambled or over-easy, poached, beaten or whipped, eggs can be used to make healthy recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert. From open omelettes and flavoursome frittatas to light and fluffy soufflés, lemon meringue pie and elegant crème brûlées, eggs are not only lusciously light but filling, too.
Eggs are a quick and simple ingredient to prepare all year round and can be paired with just about any herb or vegetable in-season. It has now been proven that eating eggs three times a week is beneficial to your health.
The humble egg is a compact package of nutrition, full of high-quality proteins, vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids, and should be included as a part of any healthy diet. Eggs are high in vitamin A, essential for growth and development; rich in vitamin D, necessary for healthy bones; and they’re loaded with cell-repairing vitamin E. These little pocket rockets also contain essential B group vitamins such as B2, which is required for normal blood formation, and vitamin B12, which supports healthy red blood cell and nerve cell development and function.
Did you know that eggs are an abundant source of vitamin K and just one egg contains one-third of the daily recommended amount for women? Eggs contain protein, calcium and iodine as well as zinc, which is essential for a well-functioning immune system. They are a great source of iron for red cell formation and folic acid.
It’s best not to compromise on the quality of the eggs you buy. Fresh eggs bought at a local farmers’ market or organic eggs bought at the supermarket are not only super-healthy but also perform well in the kitchen. They have a more intense flavour and usually have golden-yellow yolks and thick whites that make them easy to separate, making baked goods and desserts not only tastier but easier to prepare.
When choosing eggs, examine the surface and check for scratches, fractures or cracks and make sure the surface is intact. The best place to store eggs is in the refrigerator, in the original cartons or egg trays.
Let’s look at how you can use eggs at breakfast time.
This delicious protein-rich breakfast is a wonderfully tasty, fluffy and vitamin-filled starter that will keep you feeling full until lunch and help you avoid those sugary snacks that tempt us all.
Scrambled Eggs With Lemon, Basil & Tomato
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
3 organic eggs
1 tbsp filtered water
Sea salt, to taste
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon rind
10 fresh basil leaves, washed
6 cherry tomatoes, halved
Drop of olive oil for garnish
In a bowl, combine eggs, water, and sea salt and whisk until light and fluffy.
Warm oil using a non-stick frying pan, over low to medium–low heat.
Add eggs and flick them around the pan so they don’t stick to the bottom. Sprinkle in the lemon rind.
Garnish a breakfast plate with basil leaves and tomatoes with a drop of olive oil.
Tumble eggs onto the side.
Lunch doesn’t have to mean sandwiches every day. These portable mini quiches are simple to make, packed full of healthy ingredients and can be prepared ahead of time and eaten warm or cold. They can also be frozen for up to two months. These tasty quiches are small and satisfying, and combined with a crispy salad make the perfect light lunch.
Mini Crustless Spinach Quiches
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
1 brown onion
6 organic eggs
3 tbsp almond milk
6 vine-ripened cherry tomatoes, quartered
Handful spinach, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil for frying
Salt & pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 175ºC.
Chop and fry onion in olive oil until caramelised.
In a blender, mix eggs and almond milk until light and fluffy.
Place all ingredients together, season and divide mixture into a six-cup muffin pan.
Bake for 10 minutes.
Remove from muffin pan and let cool.
Frittatas are among the most versatile dishes around. They make for a fast, healthy and tasty dinner and are great for the working week. You can mix and match seasonal vegetables and use almost anything in your fridge. Frittatas can be eaten warm from the oven or left to stand and eaten at room temperature. They can also be refrigerated and keep well in a sealed container for a few days.
Frittata With Onion & Rosemary
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
50g butter, plus 1 tsp extra
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 large brown onions, sliced
1 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
8 organic eggs
Sea salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
Melt butter in frying pan, add oil and cook onions and rosemary over low heat until sweet and brown.
Beat eggs, salt and pepper, and pour over onion mix.
Cook over lowest flame until egg is set then place frittata under a grill to crisp up the top.
Lee Holmes, author of Supercharged Foods, inspires us with egg recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner.