Eggs are one of the most versatile meal options an athlete can have. If you have eggs in the fridge you will always have a meal.
When purchasing eggs try to get them from a refrigerated section, as freshness will deteriorate faster on a shelf.
As a general guide:
- A day on a shelf is equivalent to a week in the fridge
- Always buy free range eggs (happy chicken make happy eggs)
- One medium egg is equal to 6.5g Protein / 5g fat
Here are five different ways you can prepare eggs:
1. Boiled Eggs
Step 1. Start with the eggs at room temperature, this will stop the shells from cracking – if you haven’t thought ahead run a little warm water from the tap over.
Step 2. Put the eggs in a small saucepan and cover completely with cold water and bring to the boil over a high heat. Cooking on a high boil the whole time will create a rubbery.
Step 3. When the water boils turn it down to a medium heat to boil gently, gently stir the water so the yolk moves to the centre of the egg and start your timer from when the water starts to boil, not when you first put the egg in the pan.
Cooking times per egg:
- For runny, soft-boiled eggs: 3.5 minutes
- For medium soft eggs with a semi-firm yolk: 4.5 minutes
- For hard-boiled eggs: 6-7 minutes
If peeling straight away, run under cold water for a few seconds prior to cracking shell.
2. Poached eggs
Step 1. Fill a deep frying pan or saucepan to allow at least 10cm of water in. Bring water to a simmer so it is slightly bubbling. Use eggs at room temperature.
Step 2. Add 2 tablespoons of white vinegar to hold the egg white.
Step 3. Gently crack the egg into the water, holding it just above water level so it enters the water slowly.
Step 4. Cook for 1.5 to 2 minutes, spooning some of the hot water over the top of the egg to coat the egg yolk. The yolk should become a light yellow and white.
Step 5. When the egg has turned, use a ladle or slotted spoon to take egg out of the boiling vinegar/water and place it in a bowl of warm water to rinse off the vinegar. The eggs can sit there for 5-10 minutes and not continue to cook. The yolks will remain runny while you prepare more.
Step 6. Using a slotted spoon, remove the egg from the bowl of water. Then hold the egg over paper towel to drain before putting on some grainy.
Step 7. Serve with tomato or spinach for a complete meal.
3. Scrambled eggs
For basic scrambled eggs, allow 2-3 eggs per serve + 1 tablespoon of milk
Step 1. In a small bowl whisk eggs with milk and a pinch of salt.
Step 2. Add to a hot fry pan and continue to move eggs around the pan with a spatula, folding the mixture in on itself until cooked and no longer runny.
Step 3. Alternatively, you can whisk egg mix in a microwave safe bowl then cover with glad wrap or similar with a hole in it and microwave for 90 seconds. Stir half way through if necessary.
Scrambled eggs can have endless amounts of combinations or additions to make them your own. Be conscious that the protein amount will increase if adding things like ham or smoked salmon or cheese.
Be sure to include extra vegetables like mushrooms, asparagus or tomato to increase the nutrient density of the meal. If doing this cook off the vegetables then add the egg mix and continue as above to include
4. Egg snack cups (pictured below)
If you think a boiled egg is dull then cook up some egg snacks to pack into your lunch box. Here are the key ingredients you will need:
- Eggs – allow 2 eggs per serve, you may get more egg cups than eggs used.
- Low fat ricotta
- Any other add in, basil, spinach, finely sliced mushroom or grated zucchini
This is the same basic mix as scrambled eggs or frittata but cooked on a smaller scale:
Step 1. Whisk up eggs and milk and pour into individual greased cupcake or small muffin pans leaving about 1cm from the top for overflow.
Step 2. Add in sliced tomato and crumble on ricotta cheese or any other add in.
Step 3. Place in a moderate oven at approximately 180 degrees celsius and cook for 10-15min, or until raised and slightly browned.
Step 4. Allow to cool, then remove from the pan.
5. Egg and Tomato baskets
Makes 6 – or 1 egg per serve.
An alternative to the egg snack cups, these are made in a slightly bigger muffin pan and are a great breakfast option when cooking for a large group as you can make them en mass. Here’s the ingredients list:
- 6 Slices wholemeal or wholegrain bread, crusts removed
- 6 Eggs
- 100g Shaved ham
- 30g Baby spinach
- 3 Tomatoes, thickly sliced or diced
- 60g of grated low fat tasty cheese or feta or parmesan Olive oil spray
Once everything is in order, here’s how it all goes together:
Step 1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius
Step 2. Spray muffin tin with olive oil spray
Step 3. Remove crust from bread and slightly flatten by pressing with palm of the hand
Step 4. Place 1 slice of bread in each muffin hole, push down and mold lightly to fit in the pan
Step 5. Place 3 – 4 spinach leaves loosely in each case and a sprinkle of cheese
Step 6. Crack an egg whole over the bread, cheese and spinach of each muffin case
Step 7. Slice a tomato and layer on top of the egg along with sliced ham (optional)
Step 8. Place in a moderate oven for 25-30min or until egg white is cooked, and yolk looks to liking.
- Make sure you crack the egg into the bread case before you add any chunky extras on top. Make sure there is room and the egg doesn’t over
- This recipe is convenient for a group as you can put a number of them in the oven and not worry about having to cook each egg separately, which can be very time
- This option is a little lower in carbs after training as there is only one slice of bread. To increase the carbohydrate level, serve with some baked beans, additional toast or consume after having
- Try using pita bread. Split a small piece of pita bread in half and place the rounds in the muffin pans, or ramekins and add eggs and ingredients as above. This will give a taller edge and space to
- Make a frittata mixture by whisking the eggs with some milk, herbs and pour into the bread to cook the same
- If you don’t have muffin pans you could use ramekins; or with bread rolls. Cut the top off the roll towards the top and hollow out the inside and crack the egg and fill and cook the same way for a crunch