I feel people either LOVE or HATE eggs…personally I LOVE them! Not only are they super tasty, super versatile and super easy to use, but they are a TOTAL SUPERFOOD! Shakshuka is one of the many ways I love to consume eggs! Cooked in a rich tomato sauce, infused with spices and tonnes of flavour and accompanied with a good slice of sourdough, it is comfort food at its best!
The following is a list of the many benefits one large egg can provide to you!
PROTEIN PACKED - Eggs are a very good source of inexpensive, high quality protein. More than half the protein of an egg is found in the egg white along with vitamin B2 and lower amounts of fat and cholesterol than the yolk. The whites are rich sources of selenium, vitamin D, B6, B12 and minerals such as zinc, iron and copper. Egg yolks contain more calories and fat and are the source of cholesterol, fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K and lecithin - the compound that enables emulsification in recipes such as hollandaise or mayonnaise. Eggs are regarded a 'complete' source of protein as they contain all eight essential amino acids; the ones we cannot synthesise in our bodies and must obtain from our diet and so is a great source of protein for vegetarians (who eat eggs)!
HEART HEALTHY - Eggs are rich in several nutrients that promote heart health such as betaine and choline. It is true that eggs are high in cholesterol, however, we must remember that cholesterol in the diet doesn’t necessarily raise cholesterol in the blood and that the liver actually produces large amounts of cholesterol every single day! When we eat more eggs, the liver just produces less cholesterol instead, so it evens out!
CHOLINE - Choline is a nutrient that most people don’t even know exists, yet is super important! Choline is used to build cell membranes and has a role in producing signalling molecules in the brain, along with various other functions! Notably, during pregnancy and breast feeding, an adequate supply of choline is particularly important, since choline is essential for normal brain development, though if you are eating eggs during pregnancy make sure you cook until the whites and yolks are solid.
BONE HEALTH - Eggs contain solid levels of Vitamin D which helps to protect bones, preventing osteoporosis and rickets.
WEIGHT LOSS - Eggs are incredibly fulfilling as they are a high protein food! Therefore eggs for breakfast could help with weight loss as the high protein content makes us feel fuller for longer and so reduce continuous eating!
OMEGA 3 – these days we can even receive Omega-3’s via egg consumption! Some brands of egg now contain omega-3 fatty acids, depending on what the chickens have been fed! Omega-3 enriched and pastured eggs contain significant amounts of Omega-3 fatty acids which can be an effective way to reduce blood triglycerides and in turn risk factors for heart disease!
The thing I love about food is that there are endless possibilities of ways you can use it, some which can make the food more tolerable, some which can increase the nutritional properties and some which don’t even require eating! Here are some of my favourite uses for eggs:
Boiled egg for a snack
GF pancakes – mash banana and mix with egg and vanilla essence and fry up!
Chopped in a salad
Scrambled in a soup
I must admit I am one of those people who when told “less is more” ignores that advice COMPLETELY and will instead use half the product in the first use or drench my whole meal with the “SUPERFOOD”. I think that especially in regards to products and foods that are deemed “healthy” for you, people are more likely to consume/use extra in the hope that it will make them SUPER HEALTHY, SUPER QUICK! Though I have come to realise that sometimes having too much of a good thing can actually to more harm than good! It is the total diet or overall eating pattern that is most important in disease prevention and achieving good health, therefore, it is better to eat a diet with variety than to concentrate on individual foods as the key to good health! Some of the not so happy side effects that can occur if you have more than 3 eggs a day are:
EXCESS KILOJOULES – Eggs are very energy dense and so consuming too many of them can lead to weight gain! So substitute an egg for some greens such as broccoli instead, in your breakfast omelette!
1 cup tinned chopped tomatoes
1 brown onion, diced
1 garlic glove, minced
1 tbsp tomato paste
¼ cup olive oil
1/4 cup parmesan, grated
Salt and pepper, to taste
Serve with toasted sourdough
Heat a frying pan with olive oil over medium high heat. Once heated add the brown onion and garlic and cook until fragrant and brown onion is golden.
Now add the tinned tomatoes and tomato paste and bring to the boil. Turn heat down and simmer for 15-30 minutes, or until a nice thick rich sauce is produced.
Once the sauce has thickened, create 4 wells in the sauce and crack an egg into each and season with salt and pepper. Keep heat on low and cover pan with a lid. Simmer for around 10 – 15 minutes, depending on the size of the eggs and ensure you monitor the eggs for readiness.
Once the eggs are cooked to your preference, remove from heat, top with parmesan and basil and serve with toasty sourdough!