(BPT) The first step to improving your eating habits is simple: When it comes to meals, always include fresh ingredients. Fresh foods make meals taste better, and they can provide more of the nutrients that fuel your body and support your immune system.
A great way to start your morning is with fresh fruit, whole wheat bread and an egg dish that incorporates freshly cut vegetables, says Registered Dietitian Elizabeth Ward. I opt for fruits that are in-season and I only use Egglands Best eggs, since they stay fresher longer than ordinary eggs.
You might assume all foods found at the grocery store are fresh, but looks can be deceiving. Ward offers some tips for choosing fresh foods:
■ Meat: Avoid meats that are purple or dark brown, as these are signs meat is not fresh. The freshest cuts of meat are a bright pink or red color; bones and fat are bright white.
■ Fruits and vegetables: Research which fruits and vegetables are in-season and be on the lookout for firm and crisp leaves. Before you place any fruit or vegetables in your shopping cart, examine them for any bruising, mold or signs of damage from insects.
■ Eggs: Read up on the ingredients in your egg producers hen feed. A recent study from The Journal of Applied Poultry Research published an article in December 2013 titled Market survey of quality and freshness of eggs produced under an enhanced hen nutrition and egg production program. The study confirmed that hen feed and processing production plays a significant role in producing a fresher egg. In particular, this study revealed that Egglands Best eggs are the leader in freshness and are packed fresher than ordinary eggs. When it comes to freshness, it all boils down to quality assurance from brands found on store shelves.
For brands like Egglands Best, that entails a consistent hen feed diet that is all-vegetarian and fortified with vitamins and minerals, as well as delivering the eggs to store shelves within seven days of being laid to ensure the eggs are fresher and more nutritious than other brands of eggs.
Find fresh and healthy recipe ideas, including this Crab Souffle, at www.egglandsbest.com or www.pinterest.com/egglandsbest.
EGGLANDS BEST CRAB SOUFFLE
1 scallion, minced
3 tbsp. butter
2 cups crab meat, fresh
3 tbsp.all-purpose flour
2 tbsp.tomato paste
1 1/2 cups milk, warmed
1/8 tsp.cayenne pepper
1 tsp. salt
3 Egglands Best egg yolks, beaten
4 Egglands Best egg whites
1/8 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
Set rack on lowest level of oven and preheat to 400 degrees. Butter and flour a 2-quart souffle dish or a 9x13 inch glass baking dish. If using a souffle dish, extend the height of the dish with 4-inch wide collar made from folded strip of aluminum foil tied around the dish. Also butter and flour foil.
In a medium skillet, cook scallion in 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat, about 1 minute just to soften. Add crab meat and cook, stirring 1 to 2 minutes. Layer in bottom of prepared dish.
In a medium saucepan, melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. When foamy, add flour and cook, stirring 1 minute. Blend in tomato paste.
Gradually whisk in warm milk. Bring to a boil, whisking until sauce is thickened and smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Season with cayenne and salt. Remove from heat and whisk in beaten egg yolks. Stir in Parmesan cheese.
In a large bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tarter to stiff peaks. Fold sauce into whites with gentle wide strokes. Pour over crab meat.
Place dish in oven and immediately reduce heat to 275 degrees. Bake 25 minutes, until soufflé is puffed and golden on top and slightly jiggly in center. Serve immediately.