Certain ‘superfoods’ travel with their own publicity entourage, a cast of hangers-on and paparazzi snapping (not mentioning any names) but other, more unassuming health foods need no such fanfare. It’s time to celebrate the good ol’ egg.
The egg is versatile, inexpensive, delicious and ridiculously nutritious. It’s one of those rare ‘complete foods’, providing a little of everything for everyone.
Why they’re egg-cellent
Eggs contain 11 essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, E, B1 (thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), B6, B12, iron, iodine, phosphorus, selenium and folate. They’re a rich source of healthy fats; high-quality protein; and antioxidants, such as lutein and zeaxanthin, which help reduce the risk of chronic eye diseases like cataracts and macular degeneration. They’re also full of the super-nutrient brain food choline.
A good egg
You can safely eat an egg every day of the week without worrying about your cholesterol or heart health. This is supported by the latest findings in the National Health and Medical Research Council’s Australian Dietary Guidelines. And despite being high in fat, eggs can help you lose weight because they satisfy the appetite (meaning you’re more likely to step away from the 4pm cronut). They’re super-portable (when they’re hard-boiled, anyway) and, at about 300 kilojoules each, give you heaps more bang for your buck than a bickie or a muffin.
Are older eggs OK to eat?
Yep, older eggs are fine for baking, hard-boiling and scrambling. They’ll be good for three to five weeks after you’ve bought them. Smart move: crack them into a cup or bowl rather than straight into your cooking so you can toss them if they smell odd.
• Store them in their carton in the coldest part of the fridge, not the door.
• Check the sell-by and avoid out-of-date stock.
• Make sure shells are whole and clean before using. If they’re not, give them a good wash.
• Refrigerate hard-boiled eggs within an hour of cooking and eat within a week.
• Because of the risk of cross-contamination from shell to egg, use an egg separator to split yolk from white, not the shell.
• Wash your hands thoroughly after handling.
How fresh is it?
This is a fun experiment for the kids: put an egg in a bowl of cold water. If it floats to the top of the water, it's no longer fresh enough to eat. If the egg sinks and sits on its side, it is still very fresh. If it sinks, but stands on one end, they are a little older, but still okay to eat.