Many of us have raw and cooked eggs leftover from recent family holiday events.
The ones that were hidden in the yard or under the sofa waiting for kids to find them should of course be thrown out, but it is time to use any that you refrigerated for later.
You may have purchased eggs by the dozen that were never cooked or simply bought more than you would normally because there was a sale.
If you find you have some eggs-tra eggs in the refrigerator, it is time to get cooking to avoid a food safety disaster!
Storing and Cooking Eggs Safely
Always wash your hands after handling eggs in the shell.
It is a good practice to keep eggs refrigerated and separated from other foods in the fridge during storage. Be sure your eggs were kept in a refrigerated case at the store. Inspect them to avoid buying any cracked shells. Store them in their own carton.
The date on the egg carton is a pack date. You can store these eggs under proper conditions for about three weeks from this date.
If you have hard boiled eggs leftover, use within one week of boiling.
When preparing your recipes, you should avoid using egg shells as a yolk/white separator or to get a broken shell out of a mixture. Contact with the shell can spread Salmonella.
Eggs ideally should be cooked to 160 degrees F to be sure all pathogens are killed. When cooking eggs alone, they should be cooked until all parts of the egg are firm not runny.
Here is a handy reference for safe egg handling and storage that you can download.
When microwaving eggs, it is important to rotate the dish to prevent undercooked spots. It is a good idea to cover the eggs and stir to ensure thorough cooking. Eggs microwaved in the shell will explode due to the buildup of steam. For this reason, it is also a good idea to prick the egg yolk when cooking in the microwave.
If your recipe calls for undercooked or raw eggs, you should use a product that is pasteurized in the shell or a liquid product.
Extra Eggs Move Onto the Menu
When there are too many eggs and not enough time for breakfast, here are a few suggestions for using those eggs-tra eggs!
Hard boiled – egg salad sandwiches, chopped boiled eggs on salad, sliced boiled eggs in a pita, post-workout protein pick me up, deviled eggs
Mayonnaise or aioli
Custard or flan – a basic flan uses 5 eggs
Omelet for dinner – add the fresh veggies, shredded cheese, meat crumbles, beans, salsa, tofu, quinoa, rice, or any other ingredient you have on hand
Quiche – delicious and elegant way to use some eggs, add your favorite cheese, chunks of ham, bacon, onion, scallions, asparagus, broccoli, eggplant or any other add-in. You can bake this ahead and reheat when ready
Frittata – another great way to use eggs and make a delicious and often unexpected meal, delicious with fresh herbs
Pound cake and other baked goods that love eggs! The typical pound cake recipe uses 5 eggs. Make more than one and freeze it for when the bounty of in-season fruits are available and use for a quick treat.
Egg drop soup
Burrito with scrambled eggs
Fried egg over … anything you like
Eggs are packed with nutrition and worthy of our attention all year long.
One medium egg contains 7 grams of protein, 70 calories, 187 mg of cholesterol, 5 g of total fat, and is a good source of vitamins, such as B6 and B12, vitamin D and E, folate (B9), selenium, iron and zinc.
Eggs are inexpensive sources of essential nutrition, including protein. Most of the protein is located in the egg white.
Many have been warned about eating eggs because of their cholesterol. We have learned that cholesterol from our diet does not directly increase our blood cholesterol. It seems that our bodies make less cholesterol when we have ingested some so that our bodies can maintain their own balance.
The recommendation from the experts is to eat no more than 300 mg of cholesterol (200 mg if you have diabetes) per day. An egg a day fits into that profile. If you are concerned about your cholesterol level, you can use egg whites or cholesterol free liquid eggs.
Moderation in all things continues to be true, even for eggs and cholesterol.
One thing is for sure, eating eggs for health and handling them to prevent food poisoning are smart choices!