Eggstraordinary

An egg today is better than a hen tomorrow.

–Benjamin Franklin

When you saw the title you probably thought I was going to talk about the amazing goodness of eggs. I could, but I’m not. If you want to know more, read here.

No, what I’m going to talk about is how I managed to eat eggs, being allergic, and one recipe for a fun way to eat them.

If you’ve read this blog from the beginning, you’ll know that in the past I mentioned that I’m allergic to eggs. This has been distressing to me. After all, eggs are little powerhouses of nutrition, and they’re a much cheaper source of protein than beef. I’ve tried them every way possible, dressing them up and mixing them with things. I don’t love the texture of cooked eggs, but that wasn’t it. What it was, was the stomach. After eating them, I’d feel sick and vaguely nauseous for some time afterward.

Finally, I just gave up. But I was never happy about it.

Then one day I read an article by a doctor mentioning that egg allergies were one of the most common. Yup, I thought.

Then he went on to explain that the problem wasn’t so much the egg as the cooking of the egg. When you cook an egg you cause the protein strands of the egg to…(you can guess this)…scramble. They curl up. The more you curl those proteins, the more you kill off the nutrition in an egg. Turns out scrambling and microwaving are the worst possible ways to cook your eggs.

Then it turns out that lots of people who are allergic to cooked eggs have no problem eating raw ones. The reason for this is that many people are missing an enzyme necessary to unravel tightly scrambled egg protein strands.

This was immediately interesting to me, because I do have one recipe for a creamy Italian salad dressing that has one raw egg whirled in it. Oddly, I’d never had any stomach issues with this. I’d also occasionally made something like a crème brûlée and had no trouble with that.

So I tried it.

I got myself some pastured eggs. You can tell they are pastured by these three signs:

1. They are not all exactly the same size and color.
2. They have thicker shells than other eggs.
3. The yolks are a deep, dark orange. No pale yellow.

I then heated up some of my bone broth to a boil. I took it off the boil and dropped in just the yolk of an egg. I allowed it to sit in there about 30 seconds, then fished it out and swallowed it.

It was disgusting.

Raw egg yolk is no more appetizing than it sounds. However, though my stomach did a turn upon encountering the mouthfeel, and though I stood there waiting so anxiously for the nausea that it’s a miracle that in itself didn’t make me sick, it just never came. So I had the answer to my question.

It now became an issue of how to get the eggs without over-curling the proteins. If you’ve ever made crème brûlée, you know that the whole art and science behind it is keeping those egg yolk proteins from curling up. You heat your cream and then add it in a pencil-thin stream to your egg yolks, which have been whipped with sugar. Sugar and fat protect the egg yolk proteins. You then heat it a bit more, very carefully, and pour it in ramekins. You bake the ramekins in a water bath: the reason for this is that the water can never be hotter than 100 degrees Celcius, no matter how hot the oven gets. This means the egg cooks gently and slowly; no protein curling. You get a soft pudding, not Crème Scrambled Eggs, which no one would eat.

I tried that for a while. (I gave the recipe for this a few posts back) It worked beautifully. No sickness on my part at all when I ate this.

However, there was still just a little more sugar involved than I wanted. (about 14-20grams in a serving). 20g in a day is my limit, but I don’t like hitting the limit every single day.

The other day I tried this new idea, and it has worked beautifully. Now, let me warn you first: this contains raw eggs. If that makes you nervous, don’t make this. I personally think the eggs I have are reasonably safe. Pastured chickens don’t have to be on antibiotics all the time like factory-farmed chickens precisely because their diet is what they were made to eat and they are much less likely to get sick.

Raw eggs are so dangerous because the worthless chicken feed diet of normal grocery store egg producers changes the gut bacteria of the chickens (just like it does you) making it a nice, welcoming harbor for things like salmonella. Not to mention that factory-farmed chicken coops are terribly unsanitary. And cruel. Let me just mention that. I think it’s unconscionable to stuff five chickens into a 3×3.5 foot space, stacked on top of each other, where they eat garbage, peck off each other’s feathers, poop on the ones below them, and are subjected to bright lights 24/7 to make them produce the most number of eggs possible in the least amount of time.

Anyway.

Here’s the recipe for two people:

1/2-3/4 C coconut milk
2 T melted butter
6 small eggs, whole and raw
2 t of maple syrup (or 1.5 t of maple cream)
4 T cocoa powder
1/2 t vanilla extract

Just whirl those all together and throw it in the freezer for a bit till it reaches the consistency you like. It’s a meal in a glass, tastes much like a milkshake (buttershake?) and is an odd sensation to drink. I say odd because to me it tasted like a milkshake, so on one level I drank it and sat there expecting the post-milkshake feeling from long ago: Wow, so good. Ugh, so full. So happy. Peaceful….going to sleep now… Instead, you feel energized and ready to go.

This isn’t as satisfying as a meal. At least not to me. There’s something about drinking your food that just isn’t the same. But if you’re in a hurry, or if you’ve got to have eggs and can’t eat them cooked, this works very nicely.

Happy slurping.

 

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