Eggs are a breakfast staple for so many, whether fried in ghee and eaten sunny-side up or scrambled with your favorite veggies. A delicious and healthy addition to your diet, eggs contain powerful brain-boosting nutrients and antioxidants, as well as a good dose of vitamins B12, B2, B5, vitamin A, and selenium. One large egg contains an average of 6 grams of protein, making it a great meal option to satisfy that rumble in your stomach. Contrary to popular belief, the egg yolk is what holds most of the nutritional value, while the egg white only contains the protein!
Eggs may seem like a simple and plain meal, but there are actually dozens of different ways to cook and enjoy them (some healthier than others). When it comes to cooking them with your health in mind, it’s important to coat your pan with healthy—monounsaturated or polyunsaturated—fats, like avocado oil, olive oil, or ghee. These kinds of fat are essential to your diet, supporting cell growth and protecting key organs in the body. It may also be a good idea to look for free-range, organic eggs, as these are free of hormone and antibiotic exposure and can offer the highest nutritional value.
Interested in learning more? We’ve compiled ten healthy ways to cook your eggs for a foolproof and delicious breakfast (or lunch or dinner), listed below!
The Top 10 Healthiest Ways to Cook Eggs:
1. Hard-boiled eggs
Making hard-boiled eggs is one of the easiest ways to prepare an egg. All you need is boiling water and the egg itself! With a quick prep and easy clean-up, you can prepare a whole batch of hard-boiled eggs to refrigerate and use in salads, lunch wraps, or as a grab-and-go snack throughout the week.
2. Scrambled eggs
Scrambled eggs are a classic breakfast choice that are very simple to make. Start by choosing a healthy oil to coat your pan, like coconut or olive oil. Coconut oil, in particular, is a great oil to use for high heat cooking, as it will not oxidize in the pan. Not into the coconut flavor? Try using ghee or clarified butter instead. These are lactose-free versions of butter that provide the same creamy taste without causing gut discomfort.
Many scrambled egg recipes will call for milk to make the eggs extra fluffy, but if you’re watching your calorie count or want to make your eggs lactose-free, you can try substituting the milk with a little bit of water or even unflavored nut milk. You can also add a boost of flavor and nutrients by adding in chopped onions, mushrooms, fresh tomatoes, or a handful of spinach.
3. Poached eggs
Like hard-boiled eggs, poached eggs are a healthy option because they don’t require any additional ingredients during the cooking process other than boiling water. To make a poached egg, gently add the raw egg directly into a pot of simmering water and boil for 4 minutes. You can also try adding white vinegar in the boiling water to make the eggs whites firm faster, and prevent them from dissolving in the water. Remove the egg and enjoy!
To keep your meal of poached eggs free of unhealthy fats, try skipping the hollandaise sauce and ham typically found in a traditional benedict. As an alternative, add your egg on top of a piece of whole grain toast with mashed avocado.
4. Fried egg
While “fried” and “healthy” typically contradict one another, it is possible to enjoy a healthy fried egg. Instead of using margarine or another type of highly-processed fat, try using coconut oil, olive oil, or ghee. Enjoy your fried egg on top of a breakfast salad, or with a side of toast, avocado, and fruit!
5. Egg omelet
Omelets are a simple way to enjoy your eggs with a variety of toppings, vegetables, and spices. You can boost the nutritional value of this dish by swapping out the cheese for fresh veggies like peppers, onions, mushrooms, spinach, and tomatoes, and spices like freshly-cracked black pepper, red pepper flakes, or even turmeric for some color and a boost of antioxidants!
6. Egg salad
Who said egg salad can only be made with mayonnaise? You can easily make a healthy egg salad by mixing chopped hard-boiled eggs with some full fat Greek yogurt or mashed avocado to create the same creamy consistency but with an added kick of probiotics and monounsaturated fats.
7. Baked eggs
If you’re looking for a healthy on-the-go breakfast, a baked egg muffin may be your best bet! Simply whisk together your eggs, salt, pepper, and assorted veggies, and pour the mixture into a muffin tin. Bake for about 20 minutes, and enjoy! Baked eggs freeze well, making them the perfect make-ahead breakfast that can be easily reheated all week long.
This savory egg tart is a French delicacy, delicious served hot or cold. Whisk together 1 cup of milk with 6 eggs, salt, pepper, and a teaspoon of a flavorful herb like dill or rosemary. You can even alter the recipe by swapping out dairy milk for an unsweetened nut-milk of your choice, or using a whole grain crust for the outer layer of the quiche. Bake at 375 degrees for about 40 minutes in a pie pan, and voilà--you’ve made yourself a healthy quiche!
A frittata may look hard to make, but it’s actually simpler than you’d think. Frittata’s make a hearty and healthy treat for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Simply whisk together 4 eggs with ¼ cup of vegetable or chicken broth, and add in your choice of protein and vegetables to make the meal more substantial. Cook in a large skillet with a small amount of coconut oil over medium heat until the egg sets (about 10-12 minutes).
10. Deviled Eggs
Deviled eggs are a popular party food, but they can also be made into a healthy breakfast or snack. A classic deviled egg recipe is often loaded with unhealthy fats, like mayonnaise. To make a more nutritious alternative, try topping your egg with a mixture of Greek yogurt, Dijon mustard, salt, pepper, and paprika.
Eggs are a great source of healthy protein, and a valuable addition to any diet.
Next time you decide to cook up some eggs, consider how you can best prepare your meal to maximize nutrients. Try pairing your egg scramble with a side of complex carbs like sweet potatoes, and important antioxidants found in a handful of spinach and tomato. These additions will not only enhance the flavor of your meal, but will boost nutritional value and bring balance to your diet, too!
There are so many ways to increase the health benefits of this hearty breakfast food, whether you swap your cooking oil for something healthier like coconut or avocado oil, or reduce sodium by cutting back on salt and relying on other spices such as black or red pepper flakes, both of which go great with eggs!
What’s your favorite way to cook eggs? Share with us in the comments below!