Besides just being one of those foods that basically every one knows how to prepare, there really are so many reasons to love eggs. From making your food look more appealing to acting as a binder, eggs can be used for more than just simply eating. They are also very nutritious - even though some people don't like their cholesterol levels, which incidentally is all found in the yolk. Even if you aren’t a culinary genius, I’m sure that you too can find several more cooking-inspired reasons to love eggs.
1. Eggs Leaven
Whipping eggs creates a mass of tiny bubbles of air. Now add heat and these bubbles expand, providing an airy lightness that is necessary for recipes like soufflés, meringues, and angel food cakes. As a huge fan of Pavlova (a meringue-based dish), this is definitely one of my favorite culinary reasons to love eggs.
2. Eggs Thicken
Ever had a recipe turn out a little too liquidy and not know what the culprit was? It could be that you left out the eggs. The protein in eggs coagulates when heated, helping to thicken mixtures like custards, custard-based ice creams, puddings, and flans. So next time a dish turns out runny, check to see if you added the eggs.
3. Eggs Bind
When cooked, eggs coagulate, causing ingredients to bind together. This is what happens in omelets, frittatas, salmon cakes, meatballs, and the like. If your food is having issues holding itself together, try adding an egg and see if this helps.
4. Eggs Emulsify
Egg yolks contain lecithin, a substance that helps blend emulsions (mixtures of water and fat). These emulsions are critical in keeping common sauces and spreads together like you will find in mayonnaise, hollandaise sauce, and Caesar dressing. Just make sure you whisk them for long enough to "hold" the ingredients together. Otherwise you will get a soupy-looking mess!
5. Eggs Glaze
Ever wonder why the breads at your local bakery look so shiny and scrumptious? This is because they brushed them with a beaten egg white, whole egg, or egg yolk. Next time you are baking bread to impress, try brushing the bread with an egg white. This will give you all of the sheen without all of the calories.
6. Eggs Coat
Beaten eggs can act like “glue” when coating or breading various meats or vegetable dishes. And while most recipes will call for using the whole egg, if you are trying to limit calories, just using the egg white will work just as well, and no one will be able to taste the difference.
7. Eggs Garnish
Most people don’t consider eggs when thinking of garnishes. However, the mixture of bright yellow and pure white makes for a beautiful contrast. Try dicing up eggs and placing them around an array of veggies or on top of dark salad greens for an easy but eye-pleasing presentation.
8. Eggs Enrich
Eggs not only add color to a wide array of dishes, they can also add a flavor and richness that other foods just can’t imitate. The foods that benefit from eggs include cakes, muffins, certain breads, and even pasta dough.
Eggs are one of the most versatile foods around and can be enjoyed for virtually every meal of the day in a vast amount of ways. From adding color and richness to acting like “glue,” whether you are a trained chef or just enjoy the act of eating, you will certainly find many reasons to love eggs. What’s your favorite way to enjoy eggs?