Thursday, June 14, 2007

Egg Muffins

Egg Muffins Revisited, Again                                     

I mentioned I've been doing phase one of the South Beach Diet to lose a few pounds and for a bit of *diet insurance* so when I go on a trip this weekend I can eat anything I want. I'm happy to report I've lost six pounds, all I really needed to lose, and in the process I've kind of re-discovered egg muffins.

I started with a post about egg mufins clear back in April of 2005.  Then I discovered the silicone muffin pans and did Egg Muffins Revisited in February of 2006. If you look at the difference in the muffins in that post and the ones in this photo, you can see I've gotten better at making them. I've picked up a few tricks that I think you'll like.

I don't think of egg muffins as only for people who are eating the South Beach Diet way, although they're perfect for any phase of the diet. They're high in protein, gluten-free, and perfect to feed to kids. This is a great idea for breakfast for anyone who's busy in the morning and wants something that can be made ahead and eaten on-the-go.

Here are some tips I've learned about making egg muffins.  (Complete recipe at the end.)

Use silicone muffin tins, spray them with nonstick spray, and put them on a large cookie sheet to catch spills. The two ingredients I think are essential are cheese and green onions. Other than that, the varieties are endless. Put cheese, meat, or veggies in the muffin cups first, then pour in beaten eggs.

For me, two small muffins is the right amount for breakfast. No matter how many you eat, smaller ones reheat in the microwave more quickly, so they don't get overdone. I fill the muffin cups about 3/4 full.

When muffins are done, loosen them with a knife before popping them out of the silicone muffin pan. Here's how big they are when they're cooked.

Let the muffins cool for 15-20 minutes before you store them in the refrigerator or freezer.

Here's my favorite way to do it. As soon as the muffins have cooled, put two at a time into small plastic bags. Put the bags in the refrigerator or freezer. Then when you need a quick breakfast, open the bag, pop in the microwave for about 2 minutes, grab the bag and run out the door with a quick breakfast. (Thaw before reheating if you freeze them.) I confess, I eat them in the car on the way to school.  
Egg Muffins Revisited Again
(makes 12)
15 eggs (for silicone muffin pans, use 12 eggs for metal muffin tins. You can use less egg yolks and more egg white if you prefer.)
1-2 tsp. Spike Seasoning
1-2 cups grated low fat cheese (I like sharp cheddar or a blend of cheddar/Jack cheese, use less cheese if using meat)
Optional, but highly recommended, 3 green onions diced small.
Optional: chopped veggies such as blanched broccoli, red pepper, zucchini, mushrooms, etc. (Using veggies will reduce the fat content)
Optional:  diced Canadian bacon, lean ham,  or crumbled cooked turkey sausage

Preheat oven to 375 F. Use regular or silicone muffin pan, 12 muffin size. If using silicone pan, spray with nonstick spray. If using regular muffin pan, put two paper liners into each slot, then spray liner with nonstick spray.

In the bottom of the muffin cups layer diced meat, if using, vegetables, if using, cheese and green onions. You want the muffin cups to be about 2/3 full, with just enough room to pour a little egg around the other ingredients. Break eggs into large measuring bowl with pour spout, add Spike, and beat well. (I used to add a bit of half and half or milk, but lately I like the way they turn out without it.) Pour egg into each muffin cup until it is 3/4 full. I like to stir slightly with a fork. Bake 25-35 minutes until muffins have risen and are slightly browned and set.

Muffins will keep at least a week in the refrigerator without freezing.  Egg muffins can be frozen and reheated. For best results, thaw in refrigerator before reheating. Microwave on high about 2 minutes to reheat.

If you are a South Beach Diet fan, you can find lots of great recipes for breakfast in the Eggs and Breakfast Dishes section of my recipe box. There are even pancakes or egg burritos, made South Beach friendly. Remember, breakfast is the most important meal of the day!

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