Friday Focus: Eggs

 

Another one of my “can’t-be-without” ingredients, I call eggs “the ultimate fast food.”

 

They are an excellent source of B vitamins, zinc, iron and phospholipids (fats required for cell membrane and a healthy brain.) They are one of the few non-meat sources of vitamin A, which supports vision; vitamin D needed for strong and healthy bones, and B12, which supports many of the body’s processes.

 

The vitamin E in eggs is a powerful antioxidant, which thins the blood, benefits the heart and fight harmful free radicals. They also contain Omega-3 fats and a B vitamin called choline, which are both required for normal brain function, and lutein, which can help reduce the risk of heart disease.

 

Eggs are rich in vitamin K, which helps to heal bruises and minor sport injuries by ensuring that blood is able to clot normally, so it could also reduce the risk of blood clots in the arteries. Eggs are also a rich source of selenium, which rejuvenates the immune system and protects the heart.

 

Low in saturated fat and high in protein, eggs have been shown to improve brain function. It is thought their high lecithin content enhances memory, improves the ability to concentrate and promotes a healthy emotional state.

 

Egg yolks are the richest known source of choline, the B vitamin that makes up cell membranes, helping the body to convert fats to acetylcholine, an important memory molecule needed in the brain. They are also a concentrated source of muscle-building amino acids and nutrients. Their high zinc content boosts immunity and is beneficial for liver function as well as tissue repair and healing. It is also vital for the production of collagen, which is needed for healthy, useful skin.

 

Because eggs contain 8 of the 10 essential amino acids, they benefit everything in our body, from hair to bones and muscles.

 

Many may worry about the cholesterol content of eggs but research has shown that the cholesterol present in eggs does not circulate in the blood. In fact, of the 5g of fat contained in an egg, most is monounsaturated, which is the type that helps lower the risks of heart disease.

 

Basic Egg Omelette

 

The following recipe isn’t complicated or fancy, but it is one I use every week, several times a week sometimes. Eggs, for me, are the ultimate fast food. There is nothing easier or quicker to prepare than an omelette or scrambled eggs.

 

This recipe is a base; you can then add a variety of ingredients to “dress-up” your omelette: grated mature cheddar, chopped parsley, chopped spinach, cubes of ham, roasted red pepper, sliced cooked potatoes, cubes of chorizo… Your imagination is the limit! J
Serves 1

 

Ingredients:

 

1.5tsp olive oil
2 large eggs
3tbsp milk of choice

 

1/8 tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper

 

 

Method:

 

Heat the olive oil, in a frying pan, over medium heat. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, salt and pepper.

 

Once the pan and oil are hot, pour the eggs in the pan and swirl them around the pan to set the base. Cook for 3 minutes.

 

(At this point, you may wish to sprinkle your extra ingredients on top of your omelette.)

 

When the base of the omelette is set, you can either put your omelette under a hot grill for a couple of minutes to set the top, or if you do not have a grill, use a palette knife and run it around the edge of the omelette, lifting it up gently and letting the uncooked egg run to the bottom of the pan. Cook for a further 3 minutes until your omelette is golden and has puffed-up.

 

Using the palette knife, gently fold the omelette in two and serve immediately with a side of green salad.
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