The humble egg is a nutritional star. One large egg contains only 70 calories, but provides almost 13 percent of your daily protein requirement and nearly 11 percent of your daily B12 needs. More good news about eggs from the U.S. Department of Agriculture: The average egg has 14 percent less cholesterol than it used to, and one egg per day won't break your dietary bank. Eggs are as easy to cook as they are healthy, which is crucial at family breakfast time.
Make healthier omelets by spraying your skillet with cooking spray and reducing the amount of butter or oil you use. Before adding beaten eggs to the pan, cook green pepper slices, halved cherry tomatoes and sliced mushrooms until they're softened. When the eggs are cooked, top them with shredded low-fat cheddar cheese before folding the omelet over. Or make a Florentine omelet by wilting spinach in the skillet before adding the eggs and topping the cooked mixture with part-skim mozzarella cheese.
Poaching eggs is one of the healthiest ways to cook them, because no additional ingredients of any kind are needed. Keep them healthy even when you add other foods. Instead of poaching your eggs in water, cook them in marinara sauce, about 1 cup per egg. Serve the eggs on light or whole-wheat toast, topped with the sauce. Or make light egg muffins with broiled slices of turkey Canadian bacon, poached eggs and low-fat cheddar cheese on light multi-grain English muffins.
Easy to prepare, baked eggs can be light on calories and fat, as well. Lightly butter custard cups or spray them with cooking spray. Break an egg into each cup, then add a little low-fat milk or light cream. Season the eggs with ranch dressing mix and bake them until the whites and the yolks are firm. Serve hot baked eggs with salsa, shredded low-fat cheese, low-fat yogurt, crisp and crumbled turkey bacon, chopped chives and green onions for the grownups, or plain old ketchup for the kids.
Hard-boiled eggs are portable and easy to eat with no further accompaniment. Use them to make egg salad or deviled eggs with low-fat mayonnaise and a little salt and pepper. An egg salad sandwich might sound like a lunch item, but there's no reason you can't serve it for breakfast instead. Add a variety of toppings to deviled eggs to create little one-dish meals. Add crumbled turkey bacon, thin slices of turkey sausage or cooked cubed chicken with shredded low-fat cheddar, Swiss or mozzarella cheese.
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- "Eating Well": Spinach and Tomato Omelet; "The Eating Well Diet"; 2007
- Rainbow Egg Farm: Poached Eggs in Marinara
- What's Cooking America: How to Make Baked (Shirred) Eggs
- Incredible Egg: Nutrition Nuggets
- Egg Nutrition Center; New USDA Analysis: Egg are 14 Percent Lower in Cholesterol; Marcia Greenblum; 2011
- Goodshoot/Goodshoot/Getty Images