4 Egg Recipes Beyond Breakfast

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Like a blouse with cutouts over the arms, I’d describe eggs as trendy. You can have them for breakfast, lunch, dinner – any way you want. They’ve scrambled, poached and fried their way to the best of restaurants, from fancy deviled eggs to a fried egg in the pocket of an acorn squash. Think sunny-side up pizzas or an upscale hash, topped with a poached egg.

We simply love our eggs, and we can find plenty of them. The U.S. has about 313 million layer hens in total that produce more than 7.5 billion eggs per month, according to the Park Ridge-based American Egg Board.

The top egg-producing state, neighboring Iowa, combines with Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas to raise 52 percent of all hens. By comparison, farmers in Illinois raise fewer hens than these other Midwestern states, ranking 31st in the nation for poultry and egg production.

Some of us now look for hens raised cage-free – or at least in an extra roomy cage. As of May 2017, the most recent data available from the American Egg Board, organic and cage-free shell egg production accounted for 13.2 percent of the current table egg layer flock (41.2 million hens). An organic label means the U.S. Department of Agriculture certified the egg producers as organic based on feed, antibiotic and hormone use, while a cage-free label means the hens roamed in a building, room or open area with nest space. Organic does not necessarily mean cage-free, and cage-free hens may be raised conventionally, receiving antibiotics if they get sick (like humans) or eating bugs or other nonorganic feed, something they’d likely do if raised in your backyard.

Not only have eggs returned as in-vogue additions to menus, but their trendiness extends to nutrition as well. We once thought egg consumption should be limited due to cholesterol concerns, but not anymore. Research now demonstrates that healthy adults can enjoy eggs without significantly impacting their risk of heart disease.

Packed with protein, they contain 6 grams per large egg and serve as one of the least expensive sources of high-quality protein at 15 cents each. Nutrient dense, a single egg contains 14 essential nutrients including choline and vitamin D, all the while with only 70 calories – the ultimate in portion control.

The nutrient package of eggs can play a role in weight management, muscle strength, healthy pregnancy, brain function and eye health. Eggs’ high-quality protein may reduce hunger and facilitate weight loss as well as help with weight maintenance.

I hope I’ve offered a few reasons to enjoy eggs for any meal, and not just scrambled or fried. Check out some egg recipes below to enjoy this spring.

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