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All about eggs

26 July 2017

By Jo Campos

Eggs contain many vitamins and minerals that are essential to a healthy diet. They are generally regarded as the best source of protein. The best part is, eggs are readily available and are inexpensive.

Here are a few facts about eggs and some ‘egg-citing recipes’.

There are several health benefits that can be derived from eating eggs, including:

1) Strong muscles - the protein in eggs helps keep muscles working well while slowing the rate at which they are lost.
2) Brain health - eggs contain vitamins and minerals that are needed for the regular functioning of cells, including the brain, nervous system, memory, and metabolism.
3) Good energy production - eggs contain all the daily vitamins and minerals that are needed to produce energy in all the cells of the body.
4) A healthy immune system - vitamin A, vitamin B-12, and selenium are important to keeping the immune system healthy.
5) Lower risk of heart disease – the choline in eggs plays an important part in breaking down the amino acid homocysteine, which is associated with the development of heart disease.
6) Healthy pregnancy – the nutrients in eggs help to prevent congenital disabilities, such as spina bifida.
7) Better eyesight – The lutein and zeaxanthin in eggs help to prevent macular degeneration, the leading cause of age-related blindness. Other vitamins in eggs promote good vision.
8) Weight loss and maintenance - the high quality of protein in eggs help keep people energized and feeling fuller for a longer time. Feeling full prevents snacking, which reduces overall calorie intake.
9) Skin benefits – eggs contain vitamins and minerals that help keep skin healthy and prevent the breakdown of body tissues. A strong immune system also contributes to a healthy look overall.
However, it should be noted that the health benefits from eggs can only be experienced when they form part of a balanced diet.

Here are some of my favorite egg recipes:


JC’s Quick and Easy Mini Quiche 

Ingredients:
1 can (12 fl. oz.) evaporated milk
3 large eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups (8 oz.) shredded mild or sharp cheddar cheese
2 cups chopped, frozen broccoli, thawed and drained
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper

Instructions:   
1) Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease and lightly flour twelve 2 1/2-inch muffin cups.
2) Whisk evaporated milk, eggs, flour, salt and black pepper in medium bowl until blended. Stir in cheese, broccoli and bell pepper.
3) Spoon 1/4 to 1/3 cup of mixture into each prepared muffin cup, filling almost to rim*. Stir mixture frequently to evenly distribute ingredients.
4) Bake for 23 to 28 minutes or until knife inserted near centers comes out clean and tops are lightly browned.
5) Cool in pans for 15 minutes. Run knife or small, flat spatula around inside edges of muffin cups. Carefully remove quiches.
*NOTE: The number of quiches that you get will depend on the size of your muffin cups. Bake time may need some adjusting.
TIPS:
• Quiches can be made ahead and frozen. To reheat, place on baking sheet and bake in preheated 325° F. oven for 25 to 30 minutes or, place 2 to 4 quiches on microwave-safe plate and microwave on MEDIUM-HIGH (70%) power for 2 1/2 to 5 minutes or until hot.

Jamie Oliver’s Spanish Tortilla

Ingredients:
300 g waxy potatoes
1 onion
olive oil
5 large free-range eggs

Method: 
1) Peel the potatoes, then carefully cut them into thin slices. Pat the potato slices dry with a clean tea towel.
2) Peel and finely slice the onion. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of oil into a small frying pan over a medium heat, then add the onion and potatoes.
3) Turn the heat down to low and cook for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the onions have turned golden and the potato slices are cooked through. Try not to stir it too much or the potatoes will break up – just use a fish slice to flip them over halfway through.
4) Crack the eggs into a mixing bowl, season with a tiny pinch of sea salt and black pepper, then whisk together with a fork.
5) When the onions and potatoes are cooked, remove the pan from the heat and carefully tip them into the eggs. Transfer the mixture back into the frying pan and place it over a low heat. Cook for around 20 minutes, or until there’s almost no runny egg on top.
6) Use a fish slice to slightly lift and loosen the sides of the tortilla. Carefully flip the pan over a dinner plate and tip out the tortilla, then slide it back into the pan and cook for another 5 minutes, or until golden and cooked through.
7) Turn out the tortilla onto a serving board, then cut into 6 wedges and serve hot or cold with a simple green salad.
With the custard being puffed up a bit, pull the oven door open about 2 to 3 inches. Bake for another 10 to 15 minutes until the custard is cooked through.
To test, insert a toothpick into the custard. If it stands on its own, it’s done.

Hong Kong Style Egg Tarts

Ingredients of crust: 
200 gm plain flour
25 gm cake flour
125 gm butter
55 gm icing sugar
1 egg, whisked
a dash vanilla extract

Ingredients of custard:
2 eggs
70 gm caster sugar
150 gm hot water
75 gm evaporated milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Method (for the crust):
1) Place butter at room temperature until it softens
2) Cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer over medium speed until the mixture is smooth, fluffy and light in color.
3) Add in whisked egg, half at a time, beat over low speed.
4) Add vanilla extract, mix well.
5) Sift in flour in two batches, scraping down the sides of the bowl between additions with a spatula, and make sure all the ingredients combine well. Knead into dough. (see picture)
6) Roll out the dough to a 1/2 cm thickness. Cut dough with a cookie cutter that is just a bit smaller than your tart tin in size.
7) Line dough in the middle of tart tins, one by one. Lightly press the dough with your thumbs, starting from the bottom then up to the sides. While pressing the dough, turn the tart tin clockwise/anti-clockwise in order to make an even tart shell. Trim away any excess dough.
Method (for the custard):
1) Add sugar into hot water, mix until completely dissolved.
2) Whisk egg with evaporated milk. Pour in sugar water. Mix well.
3) Sift egg mixture to get rid of any foam into a tea pot. Carefully pour egg mixture into each tart shell.

Method (baking tarts): 
1) Preheat oven to 200C. Position rack in lower third of oven. Bake tarts for 10 to 15 minutes until the edges are lightly brown.
2) Lower the heat to 180C. Keep an eye on them. Once you see
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