The egg yolk usually gets all the nutritional cred in the world of omelets, scrambles, and quiches. While it’s true that the core of the vegetarian-friendly protein contains more vitamins and minerals than its pale counterpart, there are plenty of reasons to love everything your eggs have to offer. If you find yourself wondering what to do when you get stuck with just the egg whites, though, (which sometimes happens when certain recipes call for only yolks) we asked as a dietitian for her best ideas.
“Egg whites are a convenient, affordable source of high-quality protein that is naturally portion-controlled,” says Malina Malkani, RDN, media spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and creator of Solve Picky Eating “Each egg white delivers a good amount of protein (about four grams) and roughly 17 calories.” But for what it’s worth, Malkani’s not necessarily an advocate of eating just the white part.
“Skipping the yolk also means missing out on a wide range of health-promoting, important nutrients found only in the yolk, like vitamins D, E and A, choline and antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin,” she explains. “I actually can’t think of a time recently when I’ve omitted the egg yolks in foods I make at home. As a mom of three, I don’t want my kids to miss out on the health-promoting nutrients in eggs, the majority of which are found in the yolk.”
For the general population, the American Heart Association recommends adding one whole egg or two egg whites per day in your stir-fries, pancakes, banana bread, and more. But because eggs have such a complicated relationship with cholesterol, it may be worth having a convo with your doctor about how many whites and yolks belong in your diet. (Really, it can’t hurt.)
A dietitian names eggs “nature’s multivitamin”:
If you wind up making a yolk-heavy recipe that leaves you with heaps of extra whites that you want to eat instead of toss, you can freeze ’em in a standard ice cube tray and save them for a rainy day recipe—including the many ideas listed below.
Wondering what to do with egg whites? Here are 8 delicious ideas
“Common recipes that call for egg whites include angel food cakes, meringues, pavlova, marshmallows and macarons—foods that are usually billowy and light in texture,” says Malkani. “Whipping integrates tiny air bubbles into egg whites which results in a foam that is relatively stable, especially when you add an acid, like cream of tartar. The foam can act as a natural leavening agent, expanding during the cooking process and resulting in a light, airy product that holds its shape.”
This is good news for you: Anything you whip up with those leftover egg whites is guaranteed to have the soft, delectable texture of a cloud. What more could you want?
Meringues are the cloudiest of desserts, and if you have a KitchenAid, they’re pretty speedy, too. Blogger Maya Krampf’s recipe calls for only four easy ingredients (one of which is, you guessed it, egg whites). The lemon juice in these babies gives them a divine, fresh taste that’s perfect for moving into warmer weather.
Usually, fried rice (like this one dreamed up by chef Dale Talde on a recent episode of Well+Good’s Cook With Us) calls for the whole egg. If you’ve got whites to spare, though, you can absolutely throw them in the pan all my themselves.
You can start your day with most of your servings of veggies behind you with The Gracious Pantry’s pretty egg white omelet that features spinach, yellow onions, zucchini, tomatoes, and mushrooms.
This creamy lunch recipe calls for four whole eggs plus two egg whites so you can use up any leftover you might have lying around. Dijon mustard and Greek yogurt makes it an extra-smooth, protein-packed spread to enjoy on your favorite multigrain toast.
The words “pesto veggies” make my mouth water. Tack on sundried tomatoes, pumpkin seeds, and goat cheese… and I’m seriously thinking about having a second breakfast. Talk about eating the rainbow.
6. CLOUD BREAD
For nights when you need buns for your burgers—and stat—a simple cloud bread recipe can come in clutch. Oh, and you’ll only need four ingredients in this protein-packed bread.
All those egg whites can also go into your meal-prep for the week. Just grab your cast iron skillet, plenty of veggies, and your Tupperware and you’re set for a week’s worth of filling, delicious meals that will have you saying “Yolk, who?”
Another recipe you can make on Sunday and eat all week long for breakfast, this recipe is swimming with veggies. Because just about anything can taste good in these muffin cups, it’s a perfect opportunity to pull in all your leftovers and make a hearty, flavorful morning meal that you’ll love to wake up to.
Even more mind-blowing ways to use egg whites
You thought there was nothing left to do with egg whites, dear reader, but you were wrong. There’s even more in store for the baking staple—even if you dont’ necessarily feel like following a whole recipe to use the egg whites you have in your freezer or fridge.
1. Fold them into your granola before baking for extra protein
If you’re one of those outstandingly put-together folks who makes their own granola, you can stir your oat/dried fruit/seed combo in with leftover egg whites before sliding the whole mixture into the oven. That way, they’ll come out with even more protein to top of your breakfast parfait, homemade coconut yogurt, or other impressive meal you’re making.
2. Add a little protein to your cocktail or mocktail
It’s not uncommon for those who know their way around a cocktail shaker to turn to egg whites for a whipped, frothy addition to their favorite drinks. If you’re getting a little over your normal happy hour beverage, try adding a frothy egg white layer on top. (I mean, why not?)
3. Make an egg wash for all the delicious bread you’re baking
We’ve all been making a lot of homemade bread lately, and one way to ensure your next loaf comes out of the oven shining is to brush a layer of whisked egg whites on top of it before baking. This will also make it taste at least 25 percent better, by my current estimates.
4. Make an egg white waffle
Anyone who is only using their waffle machine to make waffles is missing out on some of the finer things in life—egg white waffles included. Just spray your machine as usual so your whites don’t stick, pour them in with your chosen spices, and top the cooked waffle off with cooked veggies.
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