Eggs: The Most Cost-Effective Protein Source Special To MD Monthly November 29, 2016 Holistic Health This content was originally published by Vital Plan. Eggs are possibly the most cost-effective sources of quality protein on the planet. They are packed with nutrition, including vitamins, minerals, and lecithin, a very important ingredient for healthy cell membranes. Eggs do contain cholesterol, but this is only a concern for people who are at significantly increased risks for stroke and heart attack. The best eggs come from true “pasture-raised” chickens. This means the chicken is allowed to forage for most of its food in an open pasture. Pasture-raised chickens produce eggs that are higher in nutrients and omega-3 fatty acids and about 30 percent lower in cholesterol than the average grocery store variety. Pasture-raised eggs can sometimes be found in a grocery, but the best source is usually a local farmer or someone who has chickens and sells the extra eggs. “Cage-free” will not do. This generally means the chicken is allowed eat grain from a dirt floor inside a large pen. These eggs are usually no better than the standard variety. Don’t waste your money here. If it’s not scratching in the yard for worms, it’s not a true free-range chicken! Easy Egg Recipes Basic Fried Egg A simple fried egg makes a great breakfast, but how you fry it does matter. Cracking an egg onto a red hot pan destroys the proteins and oxidizes the oils, this is not how you want to treat your egg. Instead, use a non-stick ceramic pan with a cover. Place the pan on low heat and spray with aerosol oil such as grapeseed oil. Crack the egg onto the surface as the pan is starting the heat up. Take a knife and nick the yolk if you don’t like runny eggs. Cover. Turn the egg after it turns white. After that it will only take a minute for a fully cooked egg. Boiled Egg Boiling is the cleanest way to cook an egg. It requires nothing more than a pot of water and at 212 degrees Fahrenheit, bacteria are killed, but the egg nutrients are not damaged. It takes about 6-7 minutes in boiling water for a soft middle and 10-12 minutes for a hard middle. Save an extra one in the refrigerator for leftovers the next day. Poached Egg Poaching is basically boiling an egg without the shell. In modern times, eggs are usually poached using a specialized non-stick egg poacher, but by the classical method, the egg is cracked into simmering water and vinegar. We’re going to do it the classic way, but one better. And it will be the best egg you have ever tasted! Start with a medium 10 inch sauté pan with a cover. Chop vegetables such as onions, mushrooms, yellow squash, and spinach. Pour a small pool of olive oil into the pan and spread the vegetables around in the pan. Season with a drizzle of rice vinegar, salt, a generous drizzle of soy sauce, and minced fresh herb such as basil. Cover the pan and simmer with the stove on low to low medium. Continue until the vegetables are tender. Push the vegetables to one side of the pan. This should leave a thin pool of liquid in the bottom of the pan, if not, add a little water. This is what you are going to use to poach the egg. Crack the egg with yolk whole into a measuring cup. Gently “drip” the egg into the pool of liquid in the pan. It will immediately start turning white. Cover the pan and allow the egg to cook completely. You may need to carefully turn it one time, depending on the depth of the liquid. Usually two eggs can be done at the same time. Serve the vegetables and egg together. This also makes a great evening meal. Scrambled Egg Use 1 to 1.5 eggs per person. Crack the eggs into a measuring cup, add a splash of milk–soy, almond or coconut–and blend with a fork. The key to good scrambled eggs is low heat. Place a ceramic nonstick sauté pan on low heat and spray the inside with oil. Pour in the eggs. When the eggs start to cook, repeatedly break them up and stir with a plastic spoon. Continue until the eggs are cooked and no longer runny; then take them off the heat and serve. Eggs Frijoles Beans for breakfast? Absolutely! Scramble eggs with your favorite salsa and black beans, canned, washed before using. Add sautéed plantains or bananas and you have really gone south of the border! Simple Banana Pancakes Mash a very ripe banana and blend it thoroughly with an egg, you can use a food processor if you like. Season a non-stick ceramic sauté pan with spray grapeseed oil and spoon in the mix like a pancake. Cook on low heat, one side and then the other. Top with fresh berries and a drizzle of honey. For more information visit Vital Plan. Vital Plan is a wellness company committed to offering quality natural supplements and credible health information to help people improve their lives. Vital Plan was founded by Dr. Bill Rawls to increase awareness about chronic illness and offer his personal journey through Lyme disease and fibromyalgia as an inspiration and learning experience for others.