All eggs are not created equal. By now, it is well known in the real food community that pastured chicken eggs are more nutrient-dense and healthy than their conventional counterparts (see a study and visual published by Mother Earth News).
If you're willing to stray further off the beaten track, chickens aren't the only birds that lay delicious and healthy eggs. Quail, duck, and goose eggs are all popular alternatives to the chicken, offering variety and different nutritional benefits. For one thing, if you're allergic to chicken eggs, don't give up hope! You may be able to eat eggs from a different species.
My toddler loves goose eggs, so they are quite a staple in our home. Goose eggs, however, are much larger than chicken eggs, so in a recipe, one goose egg can take the place of two or three chicken eggs. Compared to chicken eggs, they contain a larger proportion of yolk to egg white. An article by Andrea Cespedes states that not only do they have over three times the amount of protein than chicken eggs, but they are also rich in vitamin A and iron.
If you're baking with goose eggs, you may need to add an extra chicken egg white so the result isn't too dense. According to The Kitchn, goose eggs make excellent egg noodles because they are so rich.
While similar to goose eggs in that duck eggs have large yolks, high protein, and a nutrition density higher than that of chicken eggs, duck eggs are a lot closer in size to a large or jumbo-sized chicken egg. According to Local Harvest, duck eggs stay fresh longer and are an alkaline-producing food that aids in fighting cancer. Duck eggs make baked goods fluffy and light with a rich flavor, but they can be rubbery when overcooked.
A Washington Post article featuring duck eggs suggests using one duck egg for every chicken egg in a recipe that calls for three eggs or fewer, but if the recipe calls for more than three eggs, use three duck eggs for every four chicken eggs.
Quail eggs, while tiny, pack a powerful nutritional punch. Not only do they help with digestive disorders and asthma, but compared with chicken eggs, they are higher in protein, vitamin B, iron, and potassium. They don't work as well as a replacement for chicken eggs in recipes, however, because of their small size, so they are best cooked as a stand-alone addition to a meal. Deviled quail eggs are a delicious and dainty treat.
Deviled Quail Eggs
- 1 dozen quail eggs
- 2 teaspoons mayonnaise
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- fresh chives
Place eggs in pot with salted water. The salt helps in the process of peeling the eggs — they are so small it can prove difficult otherwise! Bring to a boil and then let it boil for 4 minutes. Once done, remove from the pot and peel the eggs. Cut them in half and remove yolks, whisking them in a bowl with the mayo and Dijon. Fill the egg whites with the mixture and top with chives and a gentle sprinkle of paprika.
Have you gone “beyond the chicken”? How do you like your eggs from other species?
Pictured above: quail eggs.
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