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14 May 2018

An introduction to eggs

Here at A.Vogel we may not be able to answer the persistent question of which came first: the chicken or the egg? However, we can give the low-down on all things eggs. 

There are a variety of mammals and amphibians that produce eggs, but chicken eggs are consumed most regularly. There are a variety of different chickens which produce a variety of different eggs, all in different sizes and colours. 

An egg is made up of whites and yolks. The yolk is usually bright orange or yellow in colour but this only differs because of what the animal is eating. A diet of grain for example, will produce yellow yolks whilst a free range chicken that has a diet of bugs and vegetation will produce orange yolks. 

When purchasing eggs it’s always best to opt for a free-range variety as this means the chicken has been able to roam freely outdoors, at least for part of the day. This is gives the animal a better quality of life, rather than being permanently confined to an enclosure.

Varieties of eggs

Chicken eggs are consumed most frequently here in the UK and come in a variety of colours and sizes. The colour, which is usually light brown or white, depends on the breed of chicken. Chickens that thrive in warmer climates for example, usually produce white eggs whilst those in colder climates tend to be brown. This explains why eggs in the UK are dark and, if we go abroad, they are light!

Chicken eggs range from small to extra-large which can be put down to the size of the chicken. Unsurprisingly, a little breed like the bantam will produce smaller eggs than a large breed such as the Orpington. 

Even though chicken eggs are most popular, duck, quail and goose eggs are increasingly found in upmarket restaurants and even some supermarkets. Duck eggs are slightly larger than hen eggs and have a rich, wholesome flavour.  Again, goose eggs are fairly rich in taste and, as they are large, they are the equivalent of two and a half chicken eggs. Quail eggs on the other hand, are very small and have an unusual, spotted appearance. They are usually used for poaching or for salads.

However, not only do eggs come in many varieties, they can be cooked in a multitude of different ways too. Fried eggs, scrambled eggs, omelettes, poached eggs and boiled eggs are a few of the most popular cooking methods thus highlighting their versatility.

Nutritional information

So, eggs come in many varieties and, in terms of cooking, they are highly versatile but just how healthy are they? Well, for a number of reasons, the answer is very!

Eggs are rich in protein, as well as minerals such as zinc, iron and copper. They are also known for containing B-vitamins and even vitamin D!

Most of the fat contained in eggs is unsaturated meaning its kind to the heart.

Nutritional values: 1 medium egg contains 76 calories, 7.5g protein, 5.1g fat, 1.4g saturated fat.

Health benefits

As mentioned, eggs contain lots of protein which is absolutely necessary for your body to function properly. Protein helps to repair tissues and strengthen bones, plus it is needed to create enzymes and hormones. Also, if you are exercising it also helps to repair and support the muscles. 

Eggs are also egg-cellent (sorry) for heart health as they contain beneficial nutrients such as betaine and choline. 

Vitamin D, which is needed to help us absorb calcium and keep up bone health, is another important nutrient provided by eggs.

In recent years, there have been scare stories surrounding the cholesterol content of this useful ingredient. However, cholesterol that is found in food has a minimal effect on the body’s overall cholesterol levels so, unless you’ve been told to cut down your cholesterol levels, there’s no need to abandon eggs. However, do bear in mind that everything should be eaten in moderation, as part of a healthy, balanced lifestyle!

Egg recipes

Poached eggs with spinach on wholemeal toast

Healthy eggy bread

Fried egg in bell pepper 

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