Hard boiled egg is one of those great American trends that has somehow become Americanized to the point that people actually ask what hard boiled egg is. Hard boiled eggs are just eggs, usually from a chicken, cooked in their shell intact, usually in boiling water with their heads still out of the shell. Hard boiled eggs are usually cooked until the egg whites become opaque and the egg yolk becomes soft, while boiled eggs can leave the white, some texture and sometimes the yolk, slightly liquid and sometimes even semi-liquid. When these two factors combine and you boil the egg, you end up with a delicious treat that is enjoyed by many people of all ages, although it is served warm, most often with toast.
Health Benefits of Hard Boiled Eggs
In 17th century England, hard boiled egg was called English bacon, owing to the fact that they were able to successfully cook the egg through a process that mimics cooking in a bacon frying pan. The process was originally invented by a man named Richard Hardee, whose grandfather had made his living by selling bacon but because he liked the food so much he decided to share what he knew by introducing a new process to cooking it. With his innovations came many cooking tricks that have come to be associated with the name hard boiled egg. For instance, the “hams” (for lack of a better word) that are formed when you cook the egg are formed not because of the heat, but because of the egg’s positioning inside the pan.
The egg was first cooked in its shell, then allowed to set, which takes about half an hour, then was cracked to release its contents. Although this seems like a long process when you consider the time it takes to make hard boiled eggs, it really only took about 10 minutes when they were first cooked. Once they were cracked, the yolks began to rise which gave them their distinctive shape. Because of the time that it took for the yolks to rise, it was necessary to cook them in the poaching liquid for a full four hours. This was done every day until the desired degree of doneness was reached, which could take up to three days depending on what type of hard boiled egg recipe you used.
Because the yolks were cooked so slowly, they were considered to be higher quality than eggs cooked quickly in water, or even boiled in vinegar. Because of the slow boiling process, they are healthier and usually contain a significantly higher protein count than do eggs cooked quickly in water. On the other hand, because of the length of time the hard boiled egg was allowed to steep before being served, the flavor and elasticity were preserved. This is the reason why many English breakfast recipes call for hard boiled eggs.
In addition to being healthier, a hard boiled egg is also more delicious and more nutritious than one that is boiled freshly from eggs. Eggs have natural cholesterol-like substance called lecithin that is transferred when they are heated, but the cholesterol that is present in eggs is not made naturally by the process of boiling. When the egg is boiled, the lecithin is removed and the cholesterol becomes oxidized in the process. Therefore, the cholesterol that is transferred when you fry an egg in a frying pan is more of a synthetic form and is of less nutritional value than the cholesterol that is found in eggs that are eaten raw.
Eggs that are hard boiled are also better for you than eggs that are fried. The texture of hard boiled eggs is very different from that of boiled eggs. When eggs are fried, they come out brittle and cooked egg whites are sometimes lost in the process. When eggs are hard boiled, their shell and interior remain intact and this prevents them from being broken as easily while frying.
In addition to being healthier, hard boiled eggs taste much better than boiled eggs that are fried. Hard boiled eggs contain lactic acid and acetic acid that are believed to aid in neutralizing the effects of cholesterol on the body. This makes hard boiled eggs healthier than fried eggs because the effects of cholesterol on the body can be reduced while the body is neutralizing the effects of cholesterol. The consumption of hard boiled eggs has been reported to decrease the risks of heart disease and stroke significantly, but further studies need to be conducted in order to confirm these results. A well balanced diet with a small amount of eggs each day is a healthy way to reduce the amount of cholesterol that is consumed in the body.
When hard boiled eggs have been properly prepared, they usually taste better than fried eggs and are healthier for you too. They are also very easy to make and they can be prepared in many different ways depending on how you want your hard boiled egg to come out. Some people like their eggs very raw while others like them cooked, but either way, the preparation process does not affect the health of the egg in any way. So if you are thinking about eating a hard boiled egg, remember to go easy on the salt and pepper and make sure you eat plenty of fruits and vegetables along with it so that your body can get the health benefits from the protein within the egg.