Since my childhood, there's one sandwich that says summer to me more than any other: an egg salad sandwich.
Egg salad sandwiches, especially toasted, are not easy to eat because the egg salad squishes out the sides and falls on the plate (or the front of my T-shirt). Doesn't matter though, there's something eggily wonderful about egg salad.
Like American chili, there isn't just one definitive egg salad recipe. I know, I know, your recipe is the definitive recipe. That's why there are so many egg salad recipes; we've all got the special if-it's-not-mine-it's-not-that-good belief system in play.
When was the last time you had an egg salad sandwich? You can pause for a moment and consider that question because, for many, it's been a while. Here's why.
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In the 1990s the cholesterol police did a huge number on eggs, egg yolks especially. Back then, we all believed that a yolk's cholesterol and saturated fats were bad for us. I frequently separated the white from the yolk and put a small aluminum pan of yolks out in the woods behind my house for any animal foolish enough to eat them. It turns out the joke was on me.
Once again, the food world's been turned upside down. Consider this -- most health authorities agree that: " ... around 25 percent of all body cholesterol is accounted for by the brain." Plus, it's been known since the late 1950s that dietary cholesterol neither raises nor lowers our (good or bad) cholesterol levels.
Today, I believe that good-for-you fats and cholesterol coming from healthy sources in reasonable quantities belong in a health-making food plan.
That means whole fresh eggs are back. Eggs aren't unhealthy now, nor were they unhealthy 20 years ago.
There's a caveat here, though. It does matter from where our fresh eggs come. If those eggs come from egg factories where chickens never see daylight or are rarely if ever allowed outdoors and dine on chicken feed made from GMO soybeans and GMO corn, what ends up in those eggs? Nothing that compares to eggs that come from farms where the chickens roam freely eating foods natural to chickens and spending time in the sun doing everything healthy chickens do. Eggs from healthy chickens can't be anything but healthy.
How do you know with some certainty which eggs in the supermarket are the health-producing ones? The Cornucopia Institute did a massive study late in 2015 (cornucopia.org/egg-report/scrambledeggs.pdf) extolling the virtues of "true" organic eggs.
All the eggs you find in a supermarket with the certified organic label must follow certified organic production rules as set out by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. That's good, but not perfect.
Many of those "industrial" organic eggs fall short of what a "naturally" produced, pasture-raised organic egg can deliver.
There seems to be a significant nutritional difference between "industrial" organic eggs and true "pasture-raised" organic eggs.
Pasture-raised, organic-fed certified organic chicken eggs deliver almost four times as much Vitamin E (373 versus 97 milligrams), not quite twice as much Vitamin A, eight times as much beta-carotene and three times as much Omega 3s (0.66 grams versus 0.22 grams) with less cholesterol and saturated fat. Healthier? You be the judge.
That's why I make my egg salad with eggs that rank near the top of Cornucopia's list. And, to raise the nutritional level of my egg salad, I now mash in a ripe avocado and use that for almost all the mayonnaise I'd normally use. Yes, even though my egg salad is a beautiful green, it's still top-notch. Give it a try.
Contact Don Mauer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Avocado Egg Salad
1 medium-large very ripe avocado, peel, and pit removed
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon avocado mayonnaise (I like Primal Kitchen Mayo brand)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
6 hard boil eggs, peeled and chopped
To a medium bowl add avocado, vinegar, mayonnaise, salt, and pepper. Using a medium rubber spatula, mash the avocado until almost smooth. Add chopped eggs and stir and fold the eggs into avocado mixture until combined. Makes enough for four sandwiches.
Nutrition values per 1/4 serving: 190 calories (74.4 percent from fat), 15.7 g fat (3.4 g saturated fat), 3.5 g carbohydrates, 0.7 g sugars, 2.3 g fiber, 10.1 g protein, 317 mg cholesterol, 427 mg sodium.