Easter Eggs… but not of the chocolate kind!

kitchen with Lily 09Beauty business entrepreneur Liz Earle on how eggs are good for you inside and out – and why she keeps James Bond’s chickens on her farm!

 

Liz Earle, 49, is passionate about beauty, natural health and well-being, including experience and expertise in organic farming and the environment.

Liz co-founded the Liz Earle Beauty Co, creating naturally-based, ethically-sourced products. Grown from small beginnings into a well-known brand with a multi-million pound turnover and global customers in over 100 countries, Liz and her fellow stakeholders sold the company to Avon in 2010, although Liz remains as a consultant to the brand.

Returning to her roots as a long-term supporter of organic food, she and her husband took on a derelict dairy farm in the West Country and converted it to organic livestock. They now run several traditional and rare breeds including pedigree Hereford cattle; Lleyn, Welsh Black and Hampshire Down sheep, plus Marans hens for eggs. The farm is also home to her five children.

This Easter if you want to beat the sugar rush, stay trim and encourage clearer skin, Liz says that eggs are the answer – but not the chocolate kind…

 

Liz Earle’s Egg Insights:

Eggs, says Liz, are the perfect food, packed with high quality protein, vitamins A, D, E and highly-absorbable forms of the stress-busting B-complex vitamins, as well as minerals iron, phosphorus and skin-building zinc. They’re also a dieter’s delight as studies show eating an egg for breakfast makes you feel fuller for longer, so you eat less later on.

As well as being good for us, reducing stress levels and filling us up, eggs are also low in calories. A medium sized egg contains around 80 kcals and is relatively low in saturated fat. That old myth about eggs raising cholesterol levels is debunked now, with even the Department of Health saying we can eat as many eggs as we like – within reason!

The very best eggs are always organic for two good reasons: firstly, hens are kept with much better welfare so you are supporting greater care for animals and secondly, hens are fed higher quality, non-GM feed, which in turn leads to tastier, nutrient-rich eggs.

Organic eggs, along with organic milk, are two daily staples that Liz says she never skimps on for taste and well-being. Organic eggs are especially rich in trace elements too, such as iodine (required for thyroid hormones), selenium (an important antioxidant) and choline (linked to improved brain function).

The eggs from Liz’s farm are from Marans hens which lay stunning, speckled brown eggs, some of the darkest of any breed.

Interestingly, they were also James Bond’s egg of choice! Ian Fleming writes of 007 favouring a perfectly cooked boiled Marans hen’s eggs for Bond’s breakfast. Look out for these glossy brown beauties in local deli’s and farmers’ markets around the UK.

 

Liz Earle’s Egg Based Beauty Tips:

Liz with Chickens 2Eggs are not just for Easter, they’re the perfect mix of proteins for the skin to keep collagen and elastin fibres supple. Of note, egg-white only omelettes are no good for the skin as they’re missing the yolks that contain lecithin, a true skin superfood. Lecithin repairs skin tissues, helps keep cell membrane strong and slows the ageing process. Eating a whole egg a day is therefore a brilliant way to help keep skin looking young – just make sure it’s an organic one!

Eggs also work on the outside as natural beautifiers and can give hair an extra conditioning boost. For dry, colour-treated or normal hair, use the entire egg to add moisture and shine. Oily hair types can just use egg whites as these contain enzymes to help remove excess oils. In either case, apply the fresh raw egg mixture to dry hair, leave on for 15 minutes before shampooing and conditioning as usual. Be sure to use lukewarm (not hot) water or you’ll end up with scrambled egg in your hair!

 

Liz Earle’s Easy Cheesy Soufflé

This recipe serves 4 with one large soufflé or 4 smaller individual ones. You’ll get the best rise using a dish with straight sides.

 

  • 25g (1oz) butter, plus a little extra to grease the dishes
  • 1tbsp finely grated Parmesan or Grana Padano cheese
  • 200ml (7fl oz) whole milk
  • Optional: a few black peppercorns, a crushed bay leaf, half an onion and carrot, both roughly chopped
  • 2tbsp plain flour
  • 2 tsp smooth mustard (optional)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 75g (3oz) mature Cheddar or Gruyere cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

 

Butter the soufflé dish or four small ramekins using a dab of softened butter or use a leftover butter wrapper. Sprinkle in most of the finely grated Parmesan cheese and tip to coat the bottom and sides. I often use Grana Padano as it is cheaper and tastes as good. Heat the milk in a small saucepan, adding the optional ingredients to give the milk a rich flavour for the soufflé base. Bring to the boil and then put to one side to allow the flavours to infuse. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees (160 degrees in a fan oven) or gas mark 4.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan, add the plain flour and mustard (if using). Lightly season with a grind of salt and pepper (omit if making for young children). Stir all the time to make a smooth paste (no lumps!). Stir in the milk a little at a time (mixture will thicken). Beat in the egg yolks until smooth, then add the grated cheese until it has melted and the mixture is smooth.

Whisk the egg whites until softly firm and they form small peaks. Gradually add the whisked egg whites to the cheesy egg yolk mixture one spoonful at a time, folding in gently so as to preserve as many air bubbles as possible to keep the soufflés light. Using a metal tablespoon helps.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared ramekin dish(es) and sprinkle with the remaining finely grated Parmesan or similar cheese. Stand on a baking tray and cook for approximately 20 minutes (smaller ramekins will cook more quickly than one larger dish). The soufflé should rise above the rim of the dish and turn a beautifully golden brown in colour.

 

Hints:

The cheesy egg yolk mixture can be prepared in advance, leaving the egg whites to be whisked in at the last moment (a good supper party tip). Egg whites will only whisk if they are completely free from any egg yolk. If you do get a trace of egg yolk in the egg whites when breaking the eggs, the easiest way to remove is by using part of the egg shell as a scoop (egg shell attracts the yolk much more than a spoon).

 

You can follow Liz on Ttwitter @LizEarleMe

Photograph: Copyright Liz Earle

Author:

I’m Mary Cummings, a ghostwriter, collaborator and all round word doctor. I help business owners write and publish business books; I'm also passionate about helping creative freelancers find work that they love - their work sweet spot with work on their terms, projects they love and clients who are a dream to work for.

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