A few weeks ago, I was invited to get together with a few Ohio Bloggers and learn all about Ohio Eggs from none other than Jim Chakeres, Ohio Poultry Association executive vice president. We spent two days learning tips and tricks, nutrition facts, recipes – all while taste testing each and everything thing! I might have to write another blog post to share everything I learned – but, for now, I’ve listed the things that made me go, “WOW, I had no idea!”
Did you know Ohio is one of the largest egg farming states in the nation? Our egg farmers produce more than 9.5 billion eggs annually, with an estimated annual retail value of about $412 million. Even better? Ohio is one of 10 states that has an egg quality assurance program. What is that? Same question I had. The Ohio Egg Quality Assurance Program is a voluntary program that is intended to minimize the risk of Salmonella Enteritidis in eggs.
Numbers on Carton
Ever wonder what the numbers were on the end of your egg cartons? The number 135 is the Julian Date. This is when the eggs were packaged, meaning they were packaged on the 135th day of the year. All eggs by federal law have to be packed within 36 hours of being laid. They are then placed at 45 degrees and below temperature for the remainder of their transportation/storage. The letter P gives you the location of the processing center. If you want to go one step further, you can head over to the USDA website to see more details on the center.
Brown vs. White
Do you buy brown eggs because they’re nutritionally better for you? Where did you hear that? I am not sure where I heard it, but, I did fall victim to that thinking. What I learned is – there is actually no nutritional difference whatsoever. A hen’s breed determines the shell color of eggs. Hens with white feathers and ear lobes lay white-shelled eggs and hens with red feathers and ear lobes lay brown-shelled eggs. The color of the egg literally has no relationship to egg quality, color, nutritional value, cooking characteristics or shell thickness.
Egg Nutrition Basics
- One egg has 70 calories with 6 grams of high-quality protein, 5g fat and 0g carbohydrate.
- Most of the delicious nutrients are in the egg yolk – don’t skip out on it!
- One large egg has 41 IU of vitamin D (10 % of the Daily Value).
- Eggs are a top food source of chlorine, which many people int he US eat inadequate amounts of. It is especially important in pregnant women! One large egg has 147 mg choline.
- All the egg facts you could ever want can be found in this toolkit.
Eggs in the fridge
Eggs, kept in their cartons in the refrigerator, will keep at least four weeks from purchase. You should store eggs in their carton because eggs can absorb refrigerator odors. (Gross). Also, do not keep eggs in the door of the refrigerator. As you open and close your fridge, they are affected by the fluctuation of temperature. Something else I learned. In order to determine if an egg is old (besides a terrible smell), you can use the “float or sink” test. If it floats – you may want to get rid of it!
Scrambled Eggs vs. Omelette
When you think of making scrambled eggs – when do you think of making them? When you’re rushing in the morning, which to rush to make? I go to scrambled eggs because I think they’re quick and easy to make. Omelettes? Well, that takes forever – I don’t have that kind of time in the morning. I learned (and was shown) I was wrong! If you do it right, scrambled eggs take time and are a weekend luxury. An omelet can be made in minutes. Two to be exact.
When making scrambled eggs, you want them creamy and tender – which means you need to use low, slow heat to make them. A fun addition to your weekend eggs is cream cheese. When I heard they were adding cream cheese, I was a bit hesitant to the idea. After taking the first bite, I will now be adding it to all scrambled eggs! Click here for the recipe.
If you aren’t adding cream cheese to make creamy eggs, you should add water. The water wille evaporate while its cooking and make them light and fluffy.Now for the omelet. You want to cook that fast and on high heat. It takes a certain technique. One you get that down, you’re golden. Check out this video with Ohio Poultry Association Executive Vice President Jim Chakeres on how to make a traditional omelet using eggs, water and cheese. My favorite recipe was the brown butter, asiago, and herb omelet. It was so simple, yet very flavorful. I couldn’t stop eating it.
Eggs & Ranch on Pizza = The Dream
Jim demonstrated many recipes throughout the day and I have to say – the BELT pizza was a fav. BELT = Bacon, Egg, Lettuce, Tomato. Not only was it delicious, it was simple and impressive at the same time. Just another great example of how an egg can elevate a recipe. You can find the recipe here. Perfect recipe for a rainy afternoon, a night in with the girls or a brunch on Sunday with the in-laws.
Add the lettuce on top + ranch and you’ve got yourself a salad, which automatically makes it healthy. Right?
Another example of how an egg can elevate a dish is this one skillet dish – Huevos Rancheros. This Mexican classic gets a makeover in this flavorful one-dish meal that can be prepared cook-top in less than 20 minutes. You confined the recipe here.
Dessert Deviled Eggs + The Trick
Did you know hard-boiled eggs is the number one google search? I know I have searched it a time or two. The trick to the perfect deviled eggs? Steam them. They peel like a dream. All you do is steam them in a steamer basket, put them in a little tupperware container and shake it. Shells guaranteed to fall right off.
Now, on to the dessert deviled eggs. How does that sound coming out of your mouth? Quirky, right? Don’t judge too quickly because you’ll be disappointed you didn’t take the chance to try them out. They are surprisingly tasty.
Any questions about eggs, head over to the Ohio Eggs website. They have answers to everything. Overall, your destination for recipes, tips and fun facts about eggs and the Ohio farmers who produce them.