Ah yes, the incredible edible egg!

Eggs truly are packed with nutrients. The Journal of the American Medical Association reports a study which found no relationship between egg consumption and cardiovascular disease, so there’s no real reason we can’t enjoy a few each and every week.

Grading Eggs

There are three grades for eggs: U.S. Grade AA, U.S. Grade A, U.S. Grade B. All egg cartons that are marked “A” or “AA” are not officially graded. Egg cartons must have the USDA grade shield to have been officially graded.

The difference in the quality of eggs can be determined by the amount of spread when they are broken.

Grades of Eggs

U.S. Grade AA eggs will have a small spread, be thick, very white and have a firm high yolk. U.S. Grade A eggs will have more spread with a less thick white. U.S. Grade B eggs will have a wide spread, little thick white and probably a flat enlarged looking yolk. U.S. Grade C eggs have an even wider spread with a thin watery white.

Studies have shown that egg yolks have less cholesterol than previously thought. They have been revised from 250mg to 200mg.

Eat Exceptional Eggs!

Dieters who had two eggs with breakfast whittled their waists more than those who ate the same number of calories but had a bagel instead, research published in the International Journal of Obesity says. One caveat: You’ll want to limit your eggs to six or fewer per week.

Eggs and Heart Disease Risk

The Journal of the American Medical Association reports a study which found no relationship between egg consumption and cardiovascular disease in a population of over 117,000 nurses and health professionals followed for eight to fourteen years. There was no difference in heart disease relative risk between those who consumed less than one egg a week and those who ate more than one egg a day. The investigators followed 80,082 women for 14 years and 37,851 men for 8 years.

Simply delicious hard boiled eggs

Buy local, organic eggs. Cooked to hard-boiled stage, cool, peel and slice eggs in half. Dust with sweet paprika and salt. These taste simliar to deviled eggs without all the work and extra calories! Organic eggs really have a better flavor than store-bought.

Make the Best Hard-boiled Eggs

First of all, you’ll want to use eggs that are several days old. To cook hard boiled eggs that will offer the sunniest of centers, put the eggs in a pan of cold water in a single layer, covered by at least an inch or two of cold water. (Adding a scant tablespoon of vinegar to the water will help keep the egg whites from running out.)

Bring water to a rolling bowl, then lower to a gentle simmer (if you are using an electric stove with a coil element, you can just turn off the heat) and cook the eggs for 2 minutes. Turn the heat off. Cover the pan and let stand for 12 minutes. Transfer the eggs to cold water and let them soak until cooled. Peel off the shells and enjoy. Note: They should be eaten within 5 days.

Weight of Eggs Per Dozen

  • Jumbo: 30 ounces
  • Extra Large: 27 ounces
  • Large: 24 ounces
  • Medium: 21 ounces
  • Small: 18 ounces
  • Pewee: 15 ounces

Measuring Eggs:

  • 1 large egg (2 ounces) equals one-quarter cup
  • 1 medium egg (1-3/4 ounce) equals one-fifth cup
  • 1 small egg (1-1/2 ounce) equals one-sixth cup

Eggs Better Than We Thought!

Eggs are better than originally thought.

Several years ago, scientists discovered that eggs contain less cholesterol than originally thought. This led to the weekly egg allowance being upped to three or four eggs. More recently, experts agreed it is safe to eat up to one whole egg per day.

Cholesterol is the culprit that gave eggs a bad reputation in the first place. However, cholesterol has only a small effect on their blood cholesterol – it is saturated fat that has the greatest cholesterol raising effect. In studies where people ate up to one whole egg there was no detectable effect on heart disease.

Recommendations for strict limitations on eating eggs has been dropped but the American Heart Association still recommends keeping cholesterol intake to an average of 300 milligrams per day.

One egg has about 213 milligrams of cholesterol and five grams of fat, of which only 1.5 grams are saturated.

An egg a day fits into a heart-healthy diet if your overall diet is otherwise low in cholesterol.

Cheat Sheet for Egg Carton Claims

Here is a look at 13 often confusing terms on egg cartons and what they mean:

  • Grade: The USDA seal signifies eggs that have been voluntarily inspected and graded for how the yolk and white will stand up to cooking; it’s not related to safety. Nearly all eggs sold are grade.
  • Size: The weight of an egg determines its stated size. Note: Large eggs are the standard for cake mixes and in other recipes. If you use another size, results may differ.
  • Color: White, brown or any color shell is entirely dependent upon the breed of hen. It is no indication of nutritional value.
  • Fertile: Eggs from hens that have been around a rooster, so there’s a possibility the eggs are fertile. A fertile label is no guarantee that they are, and there is no nutritional advantage to such eggs.
  • Vegetarian: Eggs from hens fed a plant-based diet, with no animal by-products in the feed, as is typical with regular eggs.
  • Organic: By virtue of USDA’s organic standards, no pesticides, hormones or low dose antibiotics can be fed to the hens.
  • Antibiotic-free: Antibiotics are not administered to hens unless they are ill, because it would interfere with egg laying.
  • Hormone-free: All egg production is hormone-free, whether the carton states it or not. Now growth hormones are given to egg-laying chickens, because hormones would affect a hen’s laying cycle.
  • Cage-free: Eggs from hens raised in open barns. The hens roam around the floor instead of being confined in stacks of cages. Nutritionally, cage-free eggs do not differ from caged hen’s eggs, assuming they get the same feed.
  • Free range: Eggs from hens allowed access to the outdoors, theoretically with room to walk and flap their wings. The definition of “outdoors” varies, however, and can be a porch, a fenced-in yard or truly roaming around outside.
  • Certified humane: Eggs from hens in he Humane Farm Animal Care certification program, whose mission is to improve the lives of farm animals. Hens must be cage-free; strict housing and nesting guidelines allow for natural behaviors.
  • Contains Omega-3s: In the U.S. flaxseed and algae are added to hen feed to boost omega-3 fatty acid content of the yolks. The omega-3 typically extracted from algae is docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), the most potent, while that from flaxseed is alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is much less potent. USDA labeling regulations reequire that the amount of omega-3s be listed on the label, but not the source; in the U.S. it’s usually flaxseed. If you want a significant omega-3 boost, choose eggs that specify DHA. And note that the omega-3s are in the yolk, so don’t eat just the whites or you’ll miss out.
  • Contains lutein: Eggs provide lutein naturally, but eggs from hens raised on luten-fortified feed boast even higher amounts. Lutein from eggs is absorbed better than from other lutein-rich foods like spinach. A diet rich in lutein can help ward off age-related macular degeneration, a leading cause of vision loss among older people. Again, lutein is in the yolk.

Quick Cooking Tip

To remove egg shells from a batter, use the remaining shell to attract the piece.

Putting on the Ritz Egg Salad Tea Sandwiches Recipe

This truly is a ritzy tea sandwich and so easy to make!

  • 8 hard-cooked eggs
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 20 slices best-quality white bread

Peel eggs and place into a medium bowl. Slice eggs and then coarsely mash them with the back of a fork. Add mayonnaise, salt, pepper, and dill; stir until well blended. NOTE: This mixture can be refrigerated, covered, up to two days.

Spread butter onto one side of eash slice of bread. Spread the buttered side of 10 slices of bread with 2 tablespoons egg mixture. Top with remaining slices of bread, buttered side down. Carefully cut the crusts from sandwich with a sharp knife. Cut in half diagonally, then cut in half again. Yields 10 whole sandwiches or 20 halves or 40 fourths.