Eggs are often prepared as hard-boiled, soft-boiled, scrambled, fried, omelet, or poached.
However, for Easter, let’s dial up a notch to make not only eggs, but also make them in their sweet potato hash brown nests!
Recipe adapted from Real-Food Whole Life
Ingredients (Yield: 12 Egg Nests):
4 medium-sized sweet potatoes (scrubbed and washed)
3 tablespoons avocado oil, plus more for greasing the muffin tin
¼ teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
12 large eggs
Preheat the oven to 400 °F.
Pre-bake the sweet potatoes for about 20 minutes. The sweet potatoes should be firm and almost tender.
Allow the sweet potatoes to cool before peeling and grating them.
Season the grated sweet potatoes with avocado oil, pink salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and turmeric powder.
Grease or spray the muffin tin with avocado oil.
Add the grated sweet potato mixture into each muffin tin. To make a nest, gently and lightly press the sides and bottom in each muffin hole.
Increase the oven temperature to 425 °F. Bake the sweet potatoes for about 20-25 minutes and until golden brown. Watch to make sure that the nests don’t burn.
Remove the nests from the oven and allow them to cool before cracking one egg into each muffin cup. Sprinkle with additional pink salt and black pepper to taste.
Return to the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
Allow to cool slightly and remove with a spoon or fork. Serve immediately and enjoy!
Health Benefits of the Ingredients:
1. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes (also called Ipomoea batatas) belong to the morning glory family, and their different colors confer different bioactive compounds. Yellow-and orange-fleshed sweet potatoes contain a blend of phenolic acids and have relatively high levels of carotenoids (i.e., beta-carotene, which is converted to vitamin A in the body). Both phenolic acids and carotenoids exert antioxidant activity by scavenging free radicals. Purple fleshed sweet potatoes are rich in anthocyanins (the pigments that give plants their deep purple color) and other phenolic compounds with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Not only are sweet potatoes a rich source of natural antioxidants, but they are also a rich source of dietary fiber, vitamins (such as vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6 that function as cofactors for various enzymes during metabolism) and minerals (such as iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, and potassium that are essential for enzyme, protein, and carbohydrate metabolism).
2. Avocado oil
Avocado oil is composed of more than 60% monounsaturated fatty acids, which are considered the healthy type of fats.
Moreover, avocado oil contains other bioactive compounds such tocopherols (vitamin E), polyphenols (antioxidants), phytosterols (compounds that are structurally similar to cholesterol and thus compete with cholesterol for intestinal absorption), carotenoids, and chlorophylls.
Animal and human studies have shown that avocado oil may play a role in weight control, reduction of the probability of diabetes, regulation of blood cholesterol levels, and skin care.
3. Himalayan Pink Salt
Himalayan pink salt derives its pink color from iron oxide. Although one teaspoon of pink salt contains small quantities of minerals, compared to white table salt, pink salt contains substantially higher levels of calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, aluminum, barium, silicon, and sulfur, and lower levels of sodium. Additionally, dark colored samples were associated with higher mineral levels.
Of note, the nutrient composition of pink salt varies depending on the region from which it is sourced. For instance, pink salt from the Himalayas was reported to contain higher amounts of iron, aluminum, silicon, cobalt, barium, and potassium compared to other regions.
Turmeric, also known as “yellow root,” “golden spice,” or “Indian saffron,” is a widely used condiment and coloring agent that contains the biologically active compound called curcumin. Curcumin has been shown to possess anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antimicrobial, blood-sugar lowering, wound-healing, and cancer preventive properties.
Despite the medicinal effects of curcumin, the ingestion of curucmin by itself is associated with a low rate of absorption or bioavailability. The major active component of black pepper, namely, piperine, acts as an absorption enhancer and is associated with an increase of 2000% in the bioavailability of curcumin. Therefore, the addition of piperine can help circumvent the issue of poor curcumin bioavailability.
5. Garlic powder
Garlic has been used as a folk remedy for intestinal disorders, flatulence, worms, respiratory infections, skin diseases, wounds, symptoms of aging, and many other ailments.
Allicin is the main bioactive compound in garlic, and when garlic is chopped or crushed, the alliinase enzyme is activated, converting alliin to allicin. Of note, heat can inactivate the alliinase enzyme. Because garlic powder is a simply dehydrated, pulverized garlic clove, the alliinase activity of garlic powder is the same as that of fresh garlic. It is important to note that dehydration temperature should not exceed 60°C as doing so will inactive the alliinase enzyme.
Some of the biological activities of garlic that have been reported include reduction of risk factors for heart diseases and cancer, stimulation of the immune system, enhancement of detoxification, liver protection, antimicrobial effect, and antioxidant effect. Moreover, chronic intake of garlic has been shown to inhibit the clumping of platelets, suggesting that garlic may play a role in preventing blood clots.
Eggs are undoubtedly nutritious. Not only are they highly concentrated in protein, but they are also loaded with vitamins and choline.
Except for vitamin C, egg yolk contains high amount of vitamin A, D, E, K, B1, B2, B5, B6, B9, and B12, whereas egg white contains high amounts of vitamin B2, B3, and B5 but also significant amounts of vitamins B1, B6, B9, and B12. Depending on the hen’s diet, the content of fat-soluble vitamins (A,D,E, and K) may vary. Check out this article for a brief comparison of the different kinds of eggs.
Additionally, eggs are a major source of choline, which is concentrated in the yolk. Choline functions in both cellular maintenance and growth and plays a role in neurotransmission (memory, mood, muscle control) and brain development and nervous system functions.
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