Eggs are one of the most common items that you can find in any kitchen, all the time. From being an essential item in our breakfasts to being the most important ingredient in baking, eggs are the healthiest food item that supplies your body with all the essential minerals, vitamins, and good fat.
Whether it is a simple boiled egg that you prefer in the morning or scrambled eggs that kick starts your day, with eggs incorporated in your diet, you will be fueling your body with everything it needs to work the best all day.
In this guide, we will talk about different types of eggs along with some other helpful information. So, let’s get started then!
Before the eggs make it to supermarkets, they are inspected and graded by state agencies. Some eggs also have a USDA shield symbol on them. Following are three grades of eggs:
Grade AA Eggs
If you want the best-looking eggs that have firm and thick whites and round yolks, then grade AA eggs are for you. However, these are expensive than the other two grades.
Grade A Eggs
These are similar to grade AA eggs, but the only difference is that these have reasonably firmer whites.
Grade B Eggs
These are the lowest of the two mentioned above, but that doesn’t mean they don’t offer any health benefits. Grade B eggs might have stained shells. Their whites won’t be as firm, and the yolks might be less round.
Most stores don’t buy these eggs as they are not much presentable. Therefore, these eggs are used in liquid egg products.
Following are the standard egg sizes (amount of liquid per egg):
- Small (1.5 oz.)
- Medium (1.75 oz.)
- Large (2 oz.)
- Extra Large (2.25 oz.)
- Jumbo (2.5 oz.)
Does Egg Sizes Matter?
As you can see above, egg sizes range from small to jumbo. The larger the size, the more liquid it contains. If you want to cook more food while breaking fewer eggs, then you can opt for large or jumbo eggs. However, more recipes call for a medium-sized or large egg. So, if you are following a recipe that requires a certain amount of eggs, it is a good idea to go for medium or large eggs.
Nutritional Value of Eggs
Eggs are the healthiest option for adults (ages 19 and above) to obtain the recommended calories per day. A large raw egg has 72 calories, while a boiled one has 78 calories.
According to research, eggs have an abundant amount of protein that is enough for the requirement of a human body. Therefore, they are the best replacement for meat. If you are advised by the doctor not to eat meat, then you can obtain all the protein from the egg whites. Meat contains high levels of fat and cholesterol. For the intake of good fat, you can also eat the yolk.
Overall, an egg has around 12.6% of protein.
Eggs are an excellent source of all the essential vitamins, such as vitamin A, B, D, E, and K. An egg contains about 9mcg of vitamin D. With the stationary lifestyle that most of us are living, it is becoming almost impossible to obtain vitamin D from sunlight. Vitamin D is an essential nutrient; hence it is essential for us to get it inside one way or another.
This is the best type of fat that we can provide to our body. Another best thing about eggs is that they are a rich source of unsaturated fat – most of the fat it contains is unsaturated, while only 1.4 grams of it is saturated.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for boosting and enhancing your brain function and vision.
Different kinds of chickens lay various colored eggs – from creamy pink tones to bluish and even dark brown, you will see eggs in a variety of colors. However, the two colors that are commonly available in the market are brown and white. Some people might assume that brown eggs are healthier than white, but this is not the case. Brown eggs are just given by a different breed of chicken, and they cost more because that type of chicken is usually larger and more expensive to raise in the farms.
Different Types of Edible Eggs
Finally, let’s discuss the different varieties of edible eggs available in the market. You might be hearing about some of them for the first time.
Eggs laid by the chicken are the most common ones available in the market. There are two types of hens; white and brown. Brown eggs come from brown hens, and the white ones come from white hens. Both eggs have more or less the same nutrition values. Chicken eggs are further classified into the following types:
- Furnished / Enriched / Nest-Laid Eggs
- Free-Run Eggs
- Free-Range Eggs
- Organic Eggs
- Omega-3 Eggs
- Vitamin-Enhanced Eggs
- Vegetarian Eggs
- Bantam Eggs
Quail eggs are shorter than the chicken eggs. They have speckled shells that look quite attractive, and this is why they are trendy in gourmet cooking.
Duck eggs are high in protein but also high in fat content. They are one of the favorite choices for chef-style dishes.
Caviar consists of salt-cured roe of the family Acipenseridae. It is harvested from farmed sturgeon fish in Tanjung Malim.
These are indeed the most exquisite types of eggs. Hence, they are costly. Caviar is rich in antioxidants and considered very healthy.
Having double the size of a chicken egg, goose eggs are a rich source of protein and have a much-enriched taste. However, a goose doesn’t give more than 40 eggs per year. This is the reason why they are so expensive.
Both turkey eggs and duck eggs have the same size. However, turkeys don’t lay as many eggs as chickens. They can only give about 100 eggs per year (on average).
EMU eggs are seasonal eggs, only available through October to March. The EMU gives a dark green egg that contains about 68% unsaturated fat and 8 to 10 amino acids that are required by our body. Interestingly, the EMU eggs can weigh about 1 kilogram! Also, they have quite a distinctive texture.
Hilsa eggs are popular in Bangladesh and India. In fact, they are a legacy there. These eggs are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and other essential nutrients.
Ostrich eggs are the largest bird eggs in this world. They can weigh about 2 kilograms and are almost 20x thicker than chicken eggs. However, their fat and protein content is quite similar to that of chicken eggs.
Possible Risks from Egg Consumption
- Almost all the baked items contain eggs as an essential ingredient. Therefore, if you are allergic to eggs, you should be cautious while consuming baked food.
- You should cook the eggs properly because partially cooked or uncooked eggs can contain bacteria that might have entered in the liquid through the shells.
- If you are allergic to eggs or any of their components, then consuming them can posit grave consequences, which might lead to life-threatening situations.
For Storing Eggs
- For a longer life, store the eggs in the refrigerator.
- Don’t remove the eggs from the egg carton when you get home. Store them as it is because the carton is made in a way to prevent the eggs from absorbing flavors from other foods and strong odors through tiny pores on their shells.
- If some eggs break, you can also freeze them in an airtight container.
For Selecting Eggs
- Always go for the eggs that come from free-range chicken with plenty of water supply and feed.
- Organically raised chickens give the best quality eggs.
- Do not buy eggs that are even slightly cracked as there is a risk of bacterial contamination.
Breakfast is the first meal of your day that should be healthy enough to provide your body with essential nutrients. Eggs are the most important part of breakfast recipes because they are both tasty and rich source of vitamins, protein, and healthy fat.
If you love trying unique things, then you can check out some of the exquisite types of edible eggs that we have mentioned above.