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Make a Change in 2016

It could be because of the holiday parties, or it could be because of the New Year, but people always seem to talk about diets in January.  We think you shouldn’t worry because there are plenty of simple ways to feel good about your health. Small, easy steps, like the following, can make a difference and help you along the path of living well.

Start the day with protein: You may think you don’t have time to cook eggs, but do you really have time to be hungry hours before lunch? That’s what can happen if you skip the most important meal of the day. Studies show eating high-quality protein like eggs reduces hunger and calorie consumption during lunch. Still concerned about time? Check out these recipes for a hot breakfast, filled with protein that can be made in five minutes or less.

Drink wisely: What pairs well with an egg breakfast, and gives you an extra boost of protein? Milk! There are plenty of easy egg recipes that add up to 25-30 grams of protein per serving with an 8 oz glass of milk on the side. Try one of our protein rich recipes   and pair it with milk to power up your morning.

Get organized: Think about it: organization can help you improve your eating habits as well. Spend a few minutes in the evening to pack your lunch or breakfast for the next day. You can even lay out your outfit so you can spend more time fueling for the day than wondering if your shirt matches your pants. Use free time over the weekend to boil a dozen eggs for a grab-and-go breakfast or snack on the weekdays, or whip up these muffin frittatas for the week ahead.

Resolutions do not have to be extreme. These are things you can do with minimal effort, helping you stay on the right track in 2016. What small changes have you made in 2016 that will add up to a big difference?

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Restaurant Spotlight: M. Henry

Brunch is more than a meal. These days, it’s an event, and what’s being served is more than a sunny-side up egg with sausage and even more than French Toast. So, when we go out to brunch, we like to indulge and that happens at M. Henry in Chicago because it’s more than just a brunch spot.

In 2003, Michael Moorman gave the neighborhood what it needed: A great spot for breakfast and lunch.  Twelve years later, M. Henry has doubled in size and become one of the best brunch spots in Chicago. On the weekend, they serve more than 600 people and go through 50 dozen eggs a week.

People flock to the breakfast spot for dishes like blackberry bliss pancakes, dandelion omelets and an incredible fried egg sandwich. We know it’s incredible because we tried it! His menu offers something for everyone – rich and light, vegetarian options and for the meat lovers, lots of bacon. While his food is nothing short of delicious, Moorman advocates for smart cooking. There’s –  no fryer in the kitchen, and  an emphasis on fresh fruits and veggies. He also makes all of his pastries in-house and offers the convenience of a grab-and-go bakery section filled with quiches, breads and other sweets.

Do you have a favorite neighborhood breakfast spot? What makes it special? Comment below!

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Help Through the Holidays

The holidays are meant to be enjoyed with family and friends and shouldn’t be spent stressing out  over baking the perfect cookie or dessert.  Whether it’s spreading cheer at a cookie exchange or decorating treats for Santa, our favorite cookie recipes and easy baking hacks will help you bake the best batch of cookies, every time

  • Meringues are light, airy and perfect for Christmas. They take time, but the results will make your dessert table sparkle! To make sure your meringues stay fluffy, add a small amount of an acidic ingredient like lemon juice, cream of tartar, or vinegar to act as a stabilizer. Don’t forget, eggs are easiest to separate when cold, but whites reach their fullest volume when whipped at room temperature. Try our Peppermint Meringue Kisses for your next party!
  • Chocolate Chip Cookies are a classic for any occasion. After creaming butter and sugar, eggs should be added one at a time. Thoroughly beating before the next egg is added helps the mixture retain more trapped air bubbles, which can help you avoid a flat cookie. Whip up these Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies this weekend!
  • Sugar Cookie Cut Outs are the ultimate holiday activity. Not only do we love making the dough, we love decorating cookies with the entire family! The key to keeping the cookies’ shape is to refrigerate the cut outs before baking. Build your own snowman using our Sugar Cookie Cut-Out recipe!

Want more tips? Check out our Holiday Hack posts each week on Facebook and Twitter!

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Virtual Field Trip to an Egg Farm

Looking back, the best days in school were either field trips or when your teacher wheeled a TV into the classroom. These days kids can enjoy both because the field trips can come to them. How? Through virtual field trips like the one Discovery Education offers where classes can be transported to an egg farm.

Next Thursday, classes can “visit” Creighton Brothers Farms and see how eggs go from the farm to our fridges. Students can watch as farmers show different parts of the farm like the hen house. If the kids have questions, they can submit it live for the farmer to answer. It’s just like being on the farm, without the hassle of getting enough chaperones. This field trip is designed for middle school students and focuses on sustainability. Teachers can get lesson plans and activities and take quizzes to learn more about the farming process.

Are you a teacher? Register your class here, and check out the Good Egg Education Station for challenges, lesson plans and more! There are activities for students K-8 on the site. We’ll see you October 15th at 1pm eastern.

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Cauliflower Pizza Crust – The Incredible Egg Test Kitchen

Remember when you didn’t hear the word “gluten” used often? Or “paleo”? Those days are long gone. For a variety of reasons, people are searching for alternative ways to make their favorite foods. Enter cauliflower pizza crust.

Like its cruciferous sibling brussel sprouts, cauliflower went from a kid’s worst nightmare to a trendy food superstar. It also is a versatile veggie. We wanted to test how pizza made with a cauliflower crust (using eggs) would compare to the traditional pizza pie. Eggs are great scrambled and fried, but they also are a great way to bind ingredients together. Here’s how we made our pizza:

  • Cut a whole head of cauliflower into small florets and grind in a food processor until it looks like rice
  • Pour the cauliflower into a bowl, add two eggs and a half a cup of cheese and mix (you can also add seasoning to flavor the crust as well)
  • Mold your dough to on a cookie sheet sprayed with oil. The crust should be about 1/3 of an inch thick
  • Bake at 475 degrees for 20 minutes
  • Take crust out, add ingredients of your choosing (we did tomato sauce, mozzarella, and cherry tomatoes)
  • Bake for 15-20 more minutes
  • Garnish and enjoy!

We must say when the final product came out of the oven, it looked good. Our verdict? Eggceptable. It’s different than your traditional pizza, and does take more time, but it can be a good diet-friendly option.

 

The recipes and/or methods tested within this blog post have been created/tested by American Egg Board staff members and are provided for informational purposes only. The recipes/methods are intended for residential use by persons having appropriate technical skill, with proper and sanitary kitchen equipment and conditions. Use of these recipes and/or methods are at your own discretion and risk. We assume no obligation or liability, and make no warranties, with respect to these recipes and/or methods.

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Answers for Egg Packages

You can fry ‘em, you can scramble ‘em, you can poach ‘em.  We all know how we can cook our eggs. But, do you know how to buy your eggs?

Let’s face it. Shopping at the grocery store is hectic and can be overwhelming. How many times did you buy something thinking it’s one thing and realize it’s something else when you got home?

Eggs are no exception. Types of eggs, labels and seals and expiration dates are confusing, which is why we created a new infographic. So, study up before your next trip and, at the very least, don’t forget about these extremely popular misconceptions and what they really mean:

  1. Brown eggs are better for you than white eggs. There is no nutritional difference between a brown egg and a white egg. Brown eggs come from brown hens. White eggs come from white hens. Why do brown eggs sometimes cost more? Brown hens are bigger and require more feed, hence an increase in price.
  2. Cage-free and Free-range hens are the same. Close, but there’s a difference. Cage-free means hens are free to roam in a building, room or open area, but don’t necessarily have access to the outdoors. Free-range means hens have access to the outdoors and may forage for plants and insects.
  3. Eggs have hormones and GMOs. It may come as a surprise, but no hormones are ever given to egg laying hens. Similarly, eggs in their shells are not a genetically modified food and research has shown none of the genetically engineered materials that may appear in some hen feed are passed into the egg.
  4. I can’t eat eggs after the expiration date. The expiration date is for stores ensuring eggs can’t be sold past a certain date. However, eggs can be safely eaten 2-3 weeks after the expiration or sell by date.
  5. Cage-free and free-range eggs are better for you. Regardless of how laying hens are raised, eggs you buy still have six grams of protein and no carbs or sugar in every egg.
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Grab-and-Go Recipes

Is everyone getting back in the swing of things since school started? It can take a few weeks, right? We know families have different kinds of starts before school, but we’ve seen a ton of people embracing on-the- go breakfasts. Who wouldn’t? It makes getting everyone up and fed in the morning a breeze!

We have some extra tips to make sure your make-ahead meals look and taste great for you and your kids:

  • Toaster French Toast can be made ahead, frozen, and then reheated in a toaster oven. What’s simpler than grabbing as soon as the toasts pop up? Pretty much nothing.
  • Mini Muffin Tin Stratas are a 2-for-1 win. Use up leftover vegetables to create these delicious muffins the night before. Then, zap them in the microwave for a couple seconds when you need to get a move-on.
  • Make-Ahead Omelets are great because face it, not a lot of people have the focus to flip before their AM coffee. Most of the time, they turn into scrambled eggs (still a win!). So go ahead – get a little fancy the night before and impress your kids, or co-workers the next morning.
  • And, don’t forget about lunch! Hard-boiled eggs in the shell are good for up to a week. They’re great as a salad topper, or a snack. You can also get creative like some of our friends on Pinterest did and decorate a hard-boiled egg in your kid’s lunch.

For all you grab-and-go experts, what’s your favorite recipe? Comment below!

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Get Incredible Egg to SXSWedu

If you know anything about South by Southwest, you know it’s a big deal. But, did you know it’s not just about the newest tech startup, or a surprise performance by a pop star? They hold conferences about education too: SXSWedu. At SXWedu, people have access to topics that make headlines and start trends – like the farm-to table movement. We want to help people understand what it means to be a farmer in this day and age and the responsibilities that come with feeding a growing population. Sound interesting?  You can help us get there!

Unlike many other events, you have the chance to choose what you want to see. The SXSW Panel Picker selects presentations based on SXSW staff, an advisory board, and the public. With your help, we can shine a spotlight on the farm-to-table journey when it comes to eggs.

Speaker Jerry Wilkins isn’t your average egg farmer and promises to be a popular presenter. You’ll leave his presentation knowing what happens on the farm and how eggs make it to your breakfast table with a lot of great information between – like what’s up with the labels on egg cartons? Sounds like a fun thing, right? Well get over to the website and vote!

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Back To School Breakfast

Alarm goes off. Get up. Get kids up. Get dressed. Get kids dressed. Put together lunches. Get soccer ball. Get ballet slippers. Get…breakfast? Oh yeah, it’s back-to-school season.  We know you’re busy, but don’t forget that “the most important meal of the day” phrase is no joke.

Studies show if you skip breakfast even once in a while, it’ll make you feel hungry and less satisfied. No matter your morning routine, you can make time for breakfast every day. Seriously!  Here’s how:

  • If you’re a Breakfast Skipper: Even the most hectic of schedules have room for a quick bite, especially if you take a little bit of time during the weekend to whip up a batch of breakfast burritos.  Put them in plastic bags and pop them in the freezer.  In the morning, a quick zap in the microwave gives your kiddos a handheld meal on the ride to school.  Muffin frittatas and hard-boiled eggs are also easy grab-and-go options.
  • If you’re an Early Bird: Some kids (and parents) are up before the rooster crows! That is awesome. Bravo, family. Make the morning special with a quick hot breakfast around the kitchen table.  Breakfast flatbreads are nutritious and ready in 15 minutes. What kid doesn’t want pizza for breakfast? Toad-in-a-hole, eggs in a basket…whatever you call it – it’s also a  kid favorite and a great way to add in more healthy ingredients. Mix it up in the morning with the Nacho Toad in a Hole.
  • If you’re a Late Riser: Some kids aren’t built for the morning. Keep it simple with easy recipes you can make in the microwave.  Coffee Cup Scrambles deliver a hot breakfast in less than two minutes.  An Egg, Canadian Bacon and Cheese Sandwich takes less than five minutes to make and offers the portability you need if you’re heading out the door.

What’s your favorite back-to-school breakfast? How do you get the kids ready in an organized fashion? Leave your comments below!

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Poached Eggs in a Microwave – The Incredible Egg Test Kitchen

Today in our Test Kitchen, we’re tackling egg poaching.  Poached eggs are typically known for having tender soft whites, gooey yolks and  for being difficult to make. We won’t argue with you – traditional egg poaching takes some practice, and some time. Time you probably don’t have on most week days.

Enter microwave poached eggs! Too good to be true? Perhaps, but we went for it anyway. Here’s what we did:

  • Take a microwaveable glass measuring cup and fill it with ½ cup of water
  • Crack a large egg and gently place it into the water in the glass cup
  • Microwave for approximately 50 seconds. If the whites look runny, zap for 2-3 more seconds at a time, until desired consistency is reached
  • Gently strain water out of cup (you can use a slotted spoon to catch the egg)
  • Place on food of choice (we love to top a salad with a poached egg – not just because it’s delicious but there’s some pretty good health reasons for doing it, too!

Our verdict? Eggceptable – with some caveats. Microwaves are finicky, with lots of different cook times for the perfect poach. There’s no getting around that. Make sure your egg is completely covered by the water, otherwise the egg could explode(no one wants to scrape egg whites off their microwave door). But with a little bit of practice, you can make a pretty great egg.

It’s also important to know this style of poaching does not exactly deliver on the pillowy, cloud-like quality a traditional poach can get you. It’s more of a, “I want a poached egg on my avocado toast while I’m running out of the house” presentation.  Same great taste, though! Try it out yourself and leave a comment below on how it worked for you!

 

The recipes and/or methods tested within this blog post have been created/tested by American Egg Board staff members and are provided for informational purposes only. The recipes/methods are intended for residential use by persons having appropriate technical skill, with proper and sanitary kitchen equipment and conditions. Use of these recipes and/or methods are at your own discretion and risk. We assume no obligation or liability, and make no warranties, with respect to these recipes and/or methods.