Saturday, April 23, 2011

EGGS this Easter!

Easter is a time of family gathering, celebration, and like all lovely occasions: Good Food! So it's pretty known that no Easter weekend would be complete without an Easter egg or two. This is why the Sohi w Sarih team sent us this smart Easter newsletter to increase our awareness about EGGS!

Eggs in moderation are fine. They are a rich source of protein, B vitamins and lutein.
When it comes to hard-boiled eggs, which are eaten during Easter, the United States Department of Agriculture and the American Egg Board advice discarding them after one week! So it's smart to boil a limited amount of eggs and not keep them for weeks and weeks to come. 
Cooking eggs in water washes away an egg’s protective coating, and this leaves tiny pores open in the shell through which bacteria can enter and contaminate the egg. Uncooked fresh eggs last longer because they retain their protective coating—either the natural coating produced when the hen lays an egg or a mineral oil that egg producers spray on after the eggs are washed at processing plants. Keep in mind, hardboiled eggs should be refrigerated at 4°C or below within two hours of cooking.

Now that you know how to eat eggs safely, here are more tips from SWS team!

• Shell color is determined by the breed of the chicken. Brown eggs are not more nutritious than white, so don't eat more brown eggs just because they are brown!

• The color of the yolk depends on what the chicken ate:
- Wheat and barley produce a light yolk
- Corn produce a medium-yellow yolk
- Marigold petals produce a deep yellow yolk
Note that darker yellow yolks often have more carotenoids.

• A blood spot indicates that a small blood vessel on the yolk’s surface broke while the egg was forming. It does not mean the egg is fertile. It is harmless, but you can remove it with a tip of a knife.

• Cloudy albumen (egg white) indicates a very fresh egg. It is due to carbon dioxide inside the egg that has not yet escaped. Pasteurized eggs also have cloudier whites.

• Another sign of freshness is the stringy white filaments inside some eggs called chalazae. They keep the yolk centered in the albumen and lessen over time. It is okay to eat them.

• A gray-green trace around a hard-boiled egg yolk is caused by a reaction of iron and sulfur compounds. It is harmless but means the egg was cooked too long or not cooked quickly. Eggs scrambled at too high a temperature or sitting too long on a steam table may also turn a harmless green.

Now for calories! A large egg has only about 75 calories. The only concern is that egg yolks are rich in cholesterol. BUT, the new 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggest that eating one whole egg per day does not result in increased blood cholesterol levels and recommend that individuals consume, on average, less than 300 mg of cholesterol per day.
A single large egg contains 185 mg cholesterol! Therefore, enjoying an egg a day can fall within current cholesterol guidelines! 

Just keep in mind that during these holidays, we tend to consume a large variety of foods that are also rich in cholesterol, saturated fats and refined sugars. So watching your whole day diet is crucial, including your egg intake, chocolate eggs, yes, the unforgettable maamoul intake! And believe it or not, it is healthier to have one hard-boiled egg compared with 1, even healthy maamoul (Easter cookies)!

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