Ok, I’m going to admit a little known secret about myself, that will probably shock most of you. I don’t love eggs and infact I rarely eat them… especially not even close to raw and almost never all the white. For some reasons eggs have always given me a little more than a normal gag reflex if they weren’t cooked exactly to my liking and if I wasn’t in the precise mood for them.
I do like an occasional scrambled egg or omelet, but the whites have to be completely mixed in before cooking – I can’t eat scrambled eggs with visible whites, they MUST be a uniform yellow color. Now scrambled eggs don’t have to be cooked-to-death, I like them just cooked though then with a big pat of butter at the very end to make sure they are extra creamy.
When it comes to fried eggs, I’ve always eaten the dippy egg yolk, but not the white. Never the white. And don’t even think about telling me to eat those disgusting brown crispy white edges, GAG. Preferably only when I have some sort of toast to have with the egg yolk, It would be difficult to eat the yolk without it.
While I eat hard boiled and deviled eggs the most often, I rely on Hercules to eat the last bite of white of every egg – it’s win-win of us both.
As someone who raises a flock of backyard chickens for EGGS – it probably comes as a shock that I really don’t eggs often. Most people who have a backyard flock of egg-laying chickens do so because they eat eggs often or at least eat eggs often because they have eggs – I’m not sure which typically come first 🙂 it’s one of those proverbial which came first the chicken or the egg sort of questions. (that’s me in the pic below the first full day we had chickens with my beloved “Little Jerry Seinfeld” who went missing a couple years ago and we miss dearly)
Here’s the thing, when it comes to eating eggs, like all other foods, there are better ways to eat them. We’ve worked hard to have a flock of free-ranging chickens who are raised on an (expensive) diet of organic, soy-free feed in addition to garden goodies, kitchen scraps and wild foraged goodies. Yet we are making the same mistake many of you make when eating these amazing (expensive) eggs – preparing them in a way that destroys much of the beneficial nutrition!
What is the healthiest way to eat eggs? … Raw!
Research illustrates how nutritionally destructive cooking is to eggs. The antioxidant properties in eggs are reduced by about 50 percent when eggs are fried or boiled, followed by microwaving, which results in an even greater reduction.
If the texture of raw egg is a challenge for you, like it is to me, it is easiest to put them in a smoothie which typically solves the texture issue. If that still doesn’t work, the next best approach are poached or lightly soft boiled eggs. Scrambling your eggs is one of the worst ways to cook them as it oxidizes the cholesterol in the egg yolk, which may in fact harm your health. So, consuming your eggs raw will optimize their nutritional benefits.If you choose to eat your eggs cooked, poached or soft-boiled are your best options.
Won’t I get Salmonella from eating raw eggs?
The CDC and other public health organizations advise you to thoroughly cook your eggs to lower your risk of salmonella, but as long as they’re pastured and organic, eating your eggs raw is completely safe.
The salmonella risk is increased when hens are raised in unsanitary conditions, which is extremely rare for small organic farms where the chickens are raised in clean, spacious coops, have access to sunlight, and forage for their natural food. Conventional eggs, making up the vast majority of eggs in typical grocery stores, have an increased risk for salmonella, which is why I advise against eating conventional eggs raw. One study by the British government found that 23 percent of farms with caged hens tested positive for salmonella, compared to just over 4 percent in organic flocks and 6.5 percent in free-range flocks.
It is important to know where your food comes from.The key here is to buy your eggs locally. Locating high quality organic eggs locally is FAR easier than finding raw milk as virtually every rural area has individuals with chickens. If you live in an urban area, visiting the local health food stores is typically the quickest route to finding high quality local egg sources.
Farmers markets are another great way to meet the people who produce your food. With face-to-face contact, you can get your questions answered and know exactly what you’re buying.
Why are egg yolks so special?
Again, folks I’m going to be honest with you. It’s totally fine to eat the entire egg (raw) but I prefer to eat just the yolks, not only because it’s the flavor/texture I prefer but because I it’s the most nutritious part.
- Fat soluble vitamins are highly concentrated in egg yolks. This is where all the valuable vitamin A, D, E and K are stored.
- The yolk is also where you’re going to find plenty of B vitamins (like the very crucial B6 and B12, which many people are short on), plus minerals like calcium and zinc.
- Egg yolks are rich in healthy cholesterol. And that’s a good thing! Cholesterol is imperative for hormone and neurotransmitter production (i.e. it keeps you feeling good), and is also crucial for the production of vitamin D. Check out this book about cholesterol’s health benefits.
- Yolks contain essential fatty acids like omega-3 DHA. Egg yolks, especially those from pastured chickens, have an excellent omega 3:6 ratio, too. There’s virtually no fat in the white, however.
- Egg yolks are also a great source of lecithin, which is great for your liver, your brain and your skin. Throw out your soy lecithin (it’s basically industrial waste) and get your lecithin from eggs!
Aside from the reasons above, yolks are basically fat and the whites are protein. I find that it’s very easy for most people to get adequate protein in their diets, but struggle to get enough healthy fats. By eating just the yolks your getting extra healthy fats in a delicious way without over consuming proteins. While I eat a low-carb diet, I always stress that eating high protein isn’t optimal for health, instead focus on high healthy fats instead. Everyone should be striving for AT LEAST 50% of their daily caloric intake in fats – I personally feel best when consuming roughly 75% fat, 15% protein and 10% low-glycemic carbs.
In addition, eating raw egg yolks is much less likely to trigger an allergic reaction, so even sensitive individuals may be able to tolerate them.
But don’t toss out your whites, I like scramble them up (in butter/coconut oil) for our cats, dog or for our chickens.
How to find the delicious middle ground to eating Raw Eggs; Egg Yolk Soup!
Ok, Like I’ve admitted several times, eggs aren’t my favorite food. And I don’t especially enjoy the idea of eating raw eggs either – like many of you. However, by adding a couple raw egg yolks to your daily serving of nutritious bone broth (you are having bone broth daily, right??) you’ll get all the added benefits of bone broth PLUS those from raw/gently heated egg yolks as well!
And – it’s totally not scary or yucky tasting at all! I promise!
You can eat the yolks, whole in the broth, which will be like an explosion of clean, delicious runny warm egg yolk or you can break the yolks and blend them into the broth. Both are nutritious and delicious, it’s only up to your personal preference.
When your raw egg yolks are submerged in hot (just off a simmer) broth, they are gently heated – which leaves more of the beneficial nutrition in tact. But you aren’t going to feel so squeamish about eating raw yolks since they are technically cooked albeit just barely.