Judging by the number of eggs sold each Saturday at the Saratoga Farmers’ Market, customers certainly appreciate the quality of very fresh eggs right from our local farms. They no longer heed outdated warnings that eggs will surely lead to heart disease because the results of more recent research have debunked this and other myths about the egg.
Nutritional Information about Eggs
The Harvard School of Public Health found no link between eating eggs and heart disease, and the American Heart Association no longer makes a specific recommendation on the number of egg yolks a person can eat in a week. If that’s not enough information to encourage a person to enjoy eggs, then nutrition information might be.
One large egg at the farmers’ market weighs about two ounces, contains six grams of protein, and costs between 30 and 38 cents. Although an egg yolk does contain cholesterol, little dietary cholesterol is usually absorbed by the body, and the egg is low in fat.
The egg yolk is an excellent source of the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, which may help protect eyes from macular degeneration. The high content of the nutrient choline is thought to help with brain function. Eggs are also packed with vitamins, including vitamins B-vitamins along with A and D.
All these benefits shouldn’t be surprising. When a hen lays an egg, that egg must contain all the necessary nutrients, vitamins and minerals to produce a baby chick.
Eggs at the Market
This winter the Market has an abundance of farms which offer homegrown fresh chicken eggs – Elihu Farm, Kilpatrick Family Farm, Homestead Artisans at Longview Farm, M & A Farm, Malta Ridge Orchards and Gardens, and Kokinda Farm. (Duck eggs are a new addition at Joy of the Journey Farm.)
Most vendors sell only fresh eggs by the whole or half dozen; however, two egg producers also use their own eggs as ingredients in other products (Brookside and M & A Farms). Two other vendors (Funky Fresh Foods and Something’s Brewing) use eggs from the Market in their prepared foods.
Even before the Market opens, delicious aromas fill the air as Arnold Grant (M & A Farm) begins cooking ham or sausage from the farm’s own pork to go with their eggs in breakfast sandwiches. Laura Weil of Funky Fresh Foods starts preparing her popular breakfast burritos, filled with an egg, fried potatoes, and yogurt from Argyle Cheese Factory, and topped with her homemade delicious salsas.
As customers stop at Beth Trattel’s Something’s Brewing for coffee, tea or hot chocolate, they often add a sweet treat from her kitchen. Most recently she’s been making cheesecake bars, using eggs and other ingredients from the Market.
Here’s a simple recipe which uses Farmers’ Market products. Leeks are especially good at this time of year.
Easy Egg Scramble
(Makes two servings.)
(Those marked * are available at the Saratoga Farmers’ Market.)
½ to 1 cup chopped leeks *
1 cup chopped Zehr and Sons oyster mushrooms *
4 eggs *
⅛ tsp. salt
1 tbsp. olive oil or butter
½ cup Battenkill Valley Creamery half and half *
Or ¼ cup heavy cream *
Sliced bread (toasted or not, buttered or not) from Murray Hollow Bakery * or Mrs. London’s Bake Shoppe *
In a small or medium-sized frying pan, heat the oil or butter on medium to medium-high heat, then sauté the leeks and mushrooms for about five minutes. The mushrooms will shrink considerably; the leeks should become tender but not brown.
While the vegetables are cooking, lightly mix the eggs and stir in half and half or cream, along with the salt and a few grinds of black pepper. (If using optional additions below, the quantities of leeks and mushrooms can be reduced.)
When the vegetables are cooked, reduce the heat to medium and add the egg mixture.
As the eggs cook, gently fold them toward the middle of the pan, until they form a mass and are just set. The texture should be a little loose, rather than firm.
Optional farmers’ market additions to the egg mixture: One or two slices cooked bacon *; crumbled; fresh finely chopped herbs * such as chives, basil, thyme or parsley; some shredded cheese * from Homestead Artisans or Argyle Cheese Factory.