If you love breakfast, then you love eggs. Eggs can make for a delicious and healthy breakfast. But if you cook them with oil or butter, then they might not be as healthy as they can be. Here you’ll learn how to cook eggs without oil or butter.
In general, a simple way to cook eggs without oil or butter is to use a good non-stick pan. You can also use a cooking spray to lightly coat your pan. If you won’t fry, you can opt for other cooking methods, like boiling, poaching, and baking.
Besides what you just read there are other ways on how to cook eggs without oil or butter. Here you’ll learn those ways in more detail. You’ll also learn why eggs can make for a healthy meal.
Why Not To Cook Eggs With Oil Or Butter
Foods like eggs are healthy, but how you cook them can make them less healthy. Cooking with oil or butter can make food delicious, but it can also make them unhealthy.
Eggs already have plenty of fats. You don’t need to add more by cooking with oil or butter. Doing so increase the calories. And if you’re already eating plenty of fat, it can increase your risk of heart disease.
Trans fats are a type of fat like saturated fats. But they are more dangerous. Their structure makes them much more likely to clog our arteries. While saturated fats have a recommended daily intake, trans fats do not. That’s because we are advised to consume 0 trans fats. Unfortunately, cooking with oil or butter causes chemical reactions that produce trans fats.
Cooking with fats like oil and butter can also create free radicals. Free radicals are highly reactive molecules. These free radicals can react with our cells and their parts. Free radical can even react with our DNA. The reaction is called oxidation and it is damaging. Too much oxidative damage can lead to diseases like cancer.
How To Cook Eggs Without Oil Or Butter
Save yourself the calories and health risks by cooking eggs without oil or butter. Below are ways on how to do it.
Use A Non-Stick Pan
The surface of a pan may look smooth. But if you look at it under a microscope, you’ll see that it is ragged. There are plenty of microscopic crevices. When you heat the pan, those crevices expand. The food sticks to pans because it seeps into these crevices.
When we cook with oil or butter, it fills these crevices. As a result, the surface becomes smoother. Hence, one of the reasons we cook with oil or butter is to keep food from sticking on the cookware. So if you don’t want to use either, use a non-stick pan.
Non-stock pans are typically coated with non-stick material like Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). These materials make the surface of the pan extra smooth so we don’t need to use oil or butter.
Use Cooking Spray
Cooking spray is the spray form of oils. So it still has oil, but it lets you use as little oil as possible. Instead of using cups of oil or butter for cooking, you just need to make quick bursts of the spray.
The duration of each burst should just be a fraction of a second, like 1/4 of a second. And you only need a few bursts to adequately coat a pan. Around 4 bursts are okay for a medium-sized pan. Doing only 4 1/4 bursts would equate to around 1 g. That is so much less than using tablespoons or cups.
Use Aluminum Foil
You can use aluminum foil if you don’t have a non-stick pan or cooking spray. Lay a layer of aluminum foil on the pan and cook the egg on it.
Egg Recipes Without Oil Or Butter
There are other ways to prepare eggs besides frying them. Below are egg recipes or cooking methods that don’t use oil or butter.
This requires little explanation. There are two kinds of boiled eggs: Hard-boiled and soft-boiled. Below is how you do either.
As simple as it sounds, you can easily undercook or overcook boiled eggs. A sign of undercooking is if the whole egg is still liquid. A sign of overcooking is when the yolk becomes crumbly and greyish/greenish. Perfectly boiling an egg takes practice. Here’s how you can start.
Submerge your eggs in a pot of water. Make sure the water is over the eggs by at least an inch. Bring the pot to a boil under high heat. Once there are aggressive bubbles, turn off the heat. Let the pot be for 10 to 12 minutes. After that time, remove the eggs from the water and let them cool.
The results can vary depending on many factors. These factors include your altitude, the quality of the eggs, and more. So being able to consistently make perfect hard-boiled eggs takes trial and error.
Soft-boiled eggs follow the same process, except that you boil it for a shorter amount of time. The time can range between 2 and 8 minutes. Boiling it this way keeps the yolk liquid. The albumen can be solid or liquid. If it is liquid, it should be opaque and white. It shouldn’t be clear like it is when raw.
In this way, you boil the eggs using steam instead of water. But in this way, the steam cooks the eggs more gently. Hence, you can get a softer albumen and creamier yolk.
You will need a pot with a steamer basket. Bring the water to a boil and until it steams, then reduce heat to a gentle boil. Place the eggs on the steamer as a single layer. You can make more than one layer, but you may have to steam for a bit longer to make sure the top layers get cooked. Steam between 5 and 10 minutes. The shorter times are for soft steam-boiling. The longer times are for hard steam-boiling.
This method is like steam-boiling, except that you use cracked eggs. Prepare a deep pot with water. Place a grill rack with a stand. The rack should be taller than the water, but it shouldn’t be taller than the pot. If you don’t have a rack with a stand or if the stand is too short, you can place the rack on some things to make it taller. For example, you can use shot glasses.
Bring the water to a boil until it steams. While waiting for the water to boil, crack eggs on separate bowls, muffin tins, or cups. When the water is boiling, reduce the heat to a gentle boil. Place the eggs on the rack. Cover the pot and steam-fry for 5 to 10 minutes. The longer the time, the more solid the albumen and yolk will be.
Poaching is like boiling, but you do it at lower temperature. Hence, it’s great for soft and tender proteins like eggs. But it’s also a delicate process that can take practice to perfect.
Prepare a pot that can carry at least 3 inches of water with some height to spare. Heat the water to boil. Once it’s boiling, reduce the heat to low. There may be bubbles at the bottom, but there should be none on the surface.
Add a pinch or two of salt, but this is optional. Some people also add a tablespoon or two of vinegar. Don’t worry because you can’t taste that little amount of vinegar. The acid helps keep the egg together during the poaching.
Adding vinegar is optional too. Another optional step is to prepare your eggs by cracking them on a bowl or cup.
Use a spoon or spatula to stir the water so you get a vortex. When you get a vortex, add the egg to the center and stop swirling. The swirl helps the egg albumen wrap around itself as it cooks. It also gives the egg a dome-like shape.
Let the pot be to cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Afterwards, use a slotted spoon to remove the egg. You can let the egg sit in the water longer if you want it to be firmer. While the egg is still on the slotted spoon, dab it on a paper towel to remove excess water.
You can also poach many eggs at the same time. In this case, you don’t make a vortex. You just drop the eggs into the water. They will be flatter though. Alternatively, you can use a spoon to gently move the water to create a more dome-shape for each egg. Cooking time is still 2 to 3 minutes.
Here’s one if you’re really lazy. Just crack your egg into a microwavable bowl. Pop it in the microwave and set the timer for 1 minute. Microwave the egg at 20-second intervals. The eggs will start exploding if you microwave it for a long time.
So doing it in intervals prevents that. Let the egg cool a bit for a few seconds. You can gently swirl the egg to redistribute the egg in between intervals so it can cook evenly. Repeat these steps until the egg is cooked to your liking.
Preheat the oven to 350 °F (175 °C). Crack the eggs on a non-stick baking pan. You can use cooking spray or aluminum foil on a regular baking pan. Use a muffin pan if you want to bake many eggs separately. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes. The longer you bake the harder the yolk will be.
All the recipes here can serve as bases for more complicated recipes. Once you master any of these, you can add flare to your eggs to make them more flavorful. Use spices, seasons, and sauces for flavor. Add in other meats and vegetables to raise the nutrients.
Why Eggs Are Healthy
Eggs are among the most nutritiously dense foods we know. They are packed with protein and healthy fats. They also carry a fair amount of vitamins and minerals.
Eggs are about 13% protein by weight. Hence a large egg (~50 g) can contain between 6 and 7 g of protein. About 2/3 of that protein is in the egg whites or the egg albumen. The egg albumen is special because almost all its protein is absorbed by the body.
Many studies found that the body absorbs roughly at least 95% of the protein in egg albumen. The protein absorption rate of egg albumen is so good that it is used as a standard. Scientists often compare the protein absorption rate of other foods with that of egg albumen.
But don’t knock the yolk yet. The rest of the egg protein is in the yolk. The yolk has less protein than the albumen but only because there’s more albumen than there is yolk in an egg. About 2/3 of an egg is albumen and the other 1/3 is yolk.
But the albumen is about 11% protein, while the yolk is 16%. That means if you have the same amount of albumen and yolk, the yolk will have more protein. The absorption rate of yolk protein is also high.
A study found that egg yolk (with the fats removed) has a protein absorption rate of more than 90%.
The egg albumen is often touted when making eggs look good because of its protein content. But protein is only a portion of the nutrients we need. We also need fats, vitamins, and minerals. When it comes to eggs, these three are mostly found in the yolk
All the fat in an egg is in the yolk, and the yolk is about 27% fat. With two standard large eggs (~100 g), there would be around 9 g of fat. Of that 9 g, around 3 g would be saturated fat, and more than 1.5 would be unsaturated fat.
Fat gets a bad reputation, but only because we get too much of it. Too little fat is also bad. Dietary fats are a great source of energy, especially for long-duration exercises. A gram of fat has about 9 calories while a gram of carbohydrate has about 4 calories. So if you’re trying to gain weight but you don’t have a big appetite, eating fats can help you get those calories.
Dietary fats are important for many body functions. Fats are an important part of cells. Hence, fats are essential for cell growth and function. Many hormones are also made from fats. And when it comes to nutrient absorption, dietary fats help our body absorb fat-soluble vitamins
Vitamins and Minerals
The yolk is rich in vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, B9, and B12. B vitamins are important for a bunch of body functions. Among the functions of B vitamins are proper cell function and energy metabolism.
There is also vitamin A, which we know well to be important for eyesight.
But what’s unique about the yolk is that it has vitamin D. We normally get vitamin D from the sun. The yolk, however, has naturally-occurring vitamin D. Our body uses vitamin D to maintain strong bones and teeth.
The other vitamins the yolk has are E and K. Vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat-soluble. The natural fat in the yolk helps our body absorb these vitamins.
When it comes it minerals, the yolk has a bunch. All of which are important for health. Some of these minerals are the following: