by Elena Gustavson, RAFFL's Everyday Chef.
It is spring and with spring, there are eggs! So. Many. Eggs.
But, never fear. Eggs are the perfect LBD (little black dress) in your kitchen! They are endlessly versatile, an essential ingredient for many recipes and from spring to early winter, local pastured eggs are an amazing value.
But today, we are going to talk about eggs as a nutritional powerhouse. Eggs are an excellent source of nutrition AND an excellent value to boot.
A Great Value
At today's prices, 3 ounces of beef (about the size of a deck of cards) will cost you approximately $1.50. Two large, local and pastured eggs will cost you about 66 cents. That is almost HALF the price of beef.
Because of their versatility, eggs can be added to most vegetarian meals to increase the nutritional value of the dish. Eggs are quick to make, require very little equipment or skill. Scrambles, omelets, fried eggs on rice or grain bowls, hard boiled for salads and sandwiches or even a quick, nutritious snack. Eggs are just awesome.
Gram for gram, an egg equals beef when it comes to protein. Two large eggs have 25 grams of protein and 3 ounces of beef will have about 25 grams. In fact, the protein of an egg is such high quality that it sets the standard for other protein sources. Body builders use a powdered form of egg white (where most of the protein is located) in supplements and although the yolk is too high in cholesterol for those who are limiting their cholesterol intake, it is packed with vitamins (especially B vitamins), trace minerals and antioxidants.
According to one study, lutein and zeaxanthin, two antioxidants found in eggs as well as leafy greens, is more easily digested and absorbed from eggs than from greens like spinach. These are antioxidants that are linked to overall eye health and prevention of age-related vision loss.
In the Rutland region, we are incredibly fortunate to have such great access to local eggs whose hens are almost always pastured and/or given a versatile diet. Their egg yolks are bright and deep in color, the whites are firm and translucent. They practically shout with health. And because of this access, a dozen eggs will cost somewhere between $3 and $6, usually depending on whether or not they are organic. Whether the eggs are white, brown, green or somewhere in between, we encourage you to explore your local stores, coops and outdoor markets this spring to grab a dozen local fresh eggs and whip up a fantastic meal in the kitchen.