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Chew on This: Get Cracking with Eggs

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Not all superfoods come from the Amazon or cost as much as adopting an acre of rain forest. "Eggs are an inexpensive source of high-quality protein," says Kath Younger, RD, a nutritionist in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the blogger behind Kath Eats Real Food. "And because they come 'prepackaged" in their shells, portion control is easy."

Break Out of Your Shell

We love scrambled eggs, but eating them every morning can get old fast. Branch out with these ideas from Michelle Tam, the author of the new cookbook Nom Nom Paleo.

Frittata Muffins: Beat 8 eggs with 1/4 cup milk (Tam uses coconut milk, but you can use any kind), fold in chopped cooked veggies and thinly sliced prosciutto, and pour the mixture into greased or silicone cup-lined muffin tins. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes at 375°. (Two mini frittatas equal one serving. Refrigerate leftovers for up to four days.)

One-Dish Eggs and Asparagus: Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a small cast-iron skillet; add 6 asparagus spears and toss to coat. Push asparagus to one side and crack 1 or 2 eggs into skillet alongside them; broil for 1 to 2 minutes.

Perfect Hard-Boiled Eggs: Poke a hole in the bottom of the shell with a pin, place in a saucepan, cover with water by 1 inch and add 1 teaspoon baking soda. Boil for 1 minute, then remove from heat and let sit, covered, for 10 minutes. Cool in a large bowl filled with ice and water for 5 minutes; peel.

Mellow Yellow

Don't fear the yolk! It contains the bulk of an egg's nutrition, Younger says, including almost half the protein and all the vitamin D. And new research in the BMJ found that eating an egg a day doesn't up your risk of heart disease, clearing yolks of their bad rap. Plus, whole eggs are satiating, which may explain why people who ate them instead of bagels for breakfast lost 65 percent more weight, a Saint Louis University study shows.

What's in a Name?

Not a ton, sizewise."Egg sizes are based on weight per dozen," explains Elisa Maloberti of the American Egg Board. There's only an eight-calorie difference between the two most popular ones, large and extra large, and the slight gap rarely matters -- except in some cases when you're baking. Maloberti's rule of thumb: Use them interchangeably unless a recipe calls for five or more large eggs. In that case, use one fewer extra-large egg.

 

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