Egg Whites Get Cracking

Egg Whites Get Cracking

Swapping egg whites for whole eggs just got easier. We asked one of our chefs for tips on making the switch in some of your favorite breakfast dishes.

If your New Year’s resolution is tied to making good food choices, there’s no better place to start than with the first meal of the day. And since so many of us reach for eggs in the morning, we have the tips you need to make the switch from whole eggs to egg whites without sacrificing flavor.

“Whether you choose to skip the yolk all of the time or some of the time, you’ll see it’s incredibly easy to swap one for the other,” says David Kos, a chef and member of the Panera Bread® Food Team. 

Switching to egg whites in omelets and breakfast scrambles is one way to lower your intake of cholesterol and save calories while still getting a good punch of protein. The white of one large egg, for example, delivers 17 calories and 7 percent of your daily protein needs and contains no cholesterol and a negligible amount of fat, while a whole large egg provides 72 calories, 13 percent of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of protein, 62 percent of the daily value (DV) of cholesterol, and 5 grams of fat1

Because the yolk contains most of an egg’s beneficial nutrients, try adding in sautéed vegetables to give the dish a nutritional—and flavorful—boost. Our Ham, Egg & Cheese Breakfast Sandwich features all-natural whole egg along with a thick slice of Vermont white cheddar and lean ham. “What great inspiration for a make-at-home breakfast sandwich,” says David, who loves the combination of flavor-rich ingredients.

Here are a few more tips from David.

  • It doesn’t have to be a complete replacement. “When making a three-egg omelet, it’s perfectly reasonable to use one yolk and three egg whites. You get a little extra color and flavor,” he says.
  • The same principle works for a quiche or frittata.  Add roasted vegetables, low-fat cheese, or fresh herbs to your recipes to ramp up flavor. 
  • Treat hard-boiled eggs the same as you would raw ones: remove some or all of the yolks before preparing your dish. Try it with egg salad sandwiches or fresh spinach salads. David likes the idea of mixing diced avocado into egg salad for an extra serving of good-for-you fat and nutrients2.
  • If more than one egg is called for in a pancake or waffle recipe, you can substitute egg whites for whole eggs. Gently beating the whites before adding them to the batter will make your finished dish lighter and fluffier.

“If you make it a habit to add at least one other flavor-rich ingredient to your recipes when substituting egg whites for whole eggs, you really can’t go wrong,” says David. “You may even find you get more flavor along with the other benefits.”