Egg Eggstravaganza

After a successful trip to the farmers’ market, Whole Foods, and Trader Joe’s, I returned home to begin my cooking. For my first project, I am checking to see if local, pasture eggs taste really taste better than store bought cage-free eggs.

 Central Valley Farm Eggs

These are the eggs I bought at the farmers market. As you can see they are locally grown in Ashbury, NJ, which is about an hour west of the

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Local eggs from my farmers market

city. According to their website, the chickens at this farm “have their own cage-free barn and their own pasture outside. Their eggs are gathered daily and sold fresh to you.” I am a big fan of buying from local sellers and these eggs were only $2.50 for half a dozen. While that may seem steep when comparing it to grocery store prices, it makes me feel good to be supporting local farmers. Right on the carton it says “taste the difference,” but the real question is: do these eggs really taste any better than normal eggs?

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Eggs from Trader Joe’s

These are the eggs that are usually in my house. They are Trader Joe’s cage-free eggs. My family usually just buys whatever eggs are the cheapest, but recently I have been trying to make an effort to eat “better,” and even if just for my conscience, cage-free sounds my humane.

 

 

 

 

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Eggs, eggs, eggs oh my

For the first week of this project, I thought I would start how we all start the beginning of the day: breakfast.

I began looking through recipes in my mother’s old cookbooks. I found some that looked interesting, and I noticed one thing they all had in common: eggs. Now, it is a bit of an exaggeration for me to say that I am learning how to crack an egg, but I thought it would be best to start at the very beginning. Thus, I actually looked up for information about cracking eggs and eggs in general. One of the most useful videos I found had 3 tips about eggs.

After reading a comment on that video about bacteria and eggs, I realized that I do not know very much about eggs. I decided to do some research. I wondered if eggs from cage-free chicken really tasted better than chickens who were raised conventionally. Also, what is the difference between white and brown eggs? From my research, I have found that there are many more options than just cage-free vs. regular eggs. They all seemed to have their letdowns except pasture eggs. Even though pasture eggs are not sold in many supermarkets, I am going to go to the farmers’ market later and try to pick some up. I will test them to see if they really do taste better than normal eggs, but even if they don’t at least the chickens are being treated more humanely. To make it even more complicated: what about the color? In reality, white and brown eggs are based on the chicken’s genetics. There really is nothing different between brown and white eggs except for the shell color.

Enough about eggs. Let’s get shopping…but in order to get shopping I need to find some recipes. Moving on to something more complex: muffins and crepes. These are two foods that are not usually associated with being health foods, but I want to change that.

One of the best resources I found was Blogilates‘ series “Cheap Clean Eats.” I had watched many videos about crepe making, but they were all filled with unhealthy additions, used far too much sugar, and had too many processed ingredients. In the coming days, I plan to be making her recipe of crepes, along with normal crepes and see how they pan out. As I did more research, I also noticed she had a muffin video. Even though it’s spring, I love apples all year round, and I think I will also be making her apple cinnamon recipe. Like with the crepes, I am going to try to make both her recipe of muffins and a normal version. I love how she records the prices of the ingredients, because as a college student I know I’ll be on a budget. It is also nice how she compares the calories of the healthier version to the normal version.

Anyway, the day has just started and I have to get to the farmers’ market as well as a few other supermarkets to get all my ingredients. I have my list finished, and I’m ready to go. Let’s get shopping!

The Beginning

I’ve watched my mom cook everyday. Sometimes it was just throwing a frozen pizza into the oven, but sometimes it was making a full homemade meal, such as brisket or fish with multiple sides. I’ve always relied on my mom to put nicely cooked food onto the table every night, but then it occurred to me that I would be going to college in a few months. When people think of eating in college, their minds often wander to ramen noodles and Easy Mac. I don’t want this to be the way that I eat in college.

That is why for this seven week project, I was dedicating myself to learning how to cook. I want to focus on creating healthy food alternatives for some of the best comfort foods, as well as staples in every college students’ lives. In this blog, I will be documenting the process. This will include the videos that I am watching and the books that I am reading. I will also be photographing my trips to various markets. I will explain where the ingredients are from and if I know how they were grown (local organic, non-GMO etc.)

At the end of this project, I want to create a physical cookbook of my favorite/best recipes that I create.