Where would we be without eggs? Just think—breakfasts, cakes, meringues—nothing would be the same! They seem such a simple store cupboard ingredient, but take them away and we would be lost.

Not only are eggs one of the most versatile ingredients in the kitchen, they are also surprisingly nutritious. As well as being naturally high in protein, eggs contain a number of vitamins and minerals, including A and D, which are essential for healthy skin, teeth and bones, and a range of B vitamins to boost the immune system and energy.

Until recently, despite their high protein, vitamin and mineral content, eating more than 3-4 eggs a week was not recommended for fears that their high cholesterol levels could impact on blood cholesterol levels. But the latest research has led to the British Heart Foundation revoking the limit, as it is now accepted that it is saturated fat, not dietary cholesterol, which causes our blood cholesterol to rise.

So now you can eat as many (free range) eggs as you like guilt-free! At 78 calories each, they have a low ‘energy density’ (number of calories per gram), which can help you to feel fuller for longer, meaning they can assist with slimming too.

Our favourite things to do with eggs?

  • Meringue, try flavouring the meringue with something like cinnamon or lavender for something a bit different
  • Eggs benedict – use the freshest eggs for poaching
  • Souffle – never fails to impress
  • Scotch eggs – the picnic staple
  • Custard – enough said.

Here are our top egg tips:

  • Poaching eggs? Only the freshest eggs will do. As eggs age, the whites become runny, making them a nightmare to poach.
  • Testing for freshness? Drop eggs gently into a bowl of water. Old eggs float to the top due to an enlarged air bubble, fresh eggs sink.
  • Scrambling eggs? Add cold butter at the same time you add the eggs and let it melt as they are cooking over a low heat. Results in seriously creamy eggs, without the cream!
  • Whisking egg whites? Use eggs at room temperature, use a glass or stainless steel bowl and make sure both bowl and whisk have no traces of grease, which will stop the egg whites from whisking properly.
  • Adding eggs to cake mix? Alternate between dry ingredients and eggs and whisk continuously to stop your mixture from curdling.

Try these recipes at home:

Sweet potato fishcakes with a poached egg

Smoked Haddock risotto with poached quail eggs

Coddled eggs with mushrooms 

Scotch egg

The Humble Egg