Decadent Eggs Benedict with Creamy Avocado
Decadent Eggs Benedict with Creamy Avocado
Every year, my family makes sure I’ll be poaching eggs, slicing avocado and whipping up a hollandaise. Because in our house, it’s not Christmas without eggs benedict. The combination of perfectly poached eggs with creamy avocado and luxurious hollandaise sauce is definitely a perfect fit for one of the best days of the year.
Quite simply eggs are one of the most economical sources of animal-based protein. I always buy organic, pasture raised eggs. Pasture-raised eggs are laid by hens that spend their time outside foraging in the grass – not cooped up in small cages indoors. Buying organic ensures that when the hens have to be indoors (ie. cold weather), they must be fed organic sprouted grains. Their feed is free of hormones, pesticides and GMOs. When it comes to pasture-raised, a 2007 study showed some pretty astonishing results in the comparison of factory-farmed eggs. According to the study, pasture-raised eggs had:
- 2/3 more Vitamin A
- 2x more omega-3 fatty acids
- 3x more Vitamin E
- 7x more beta carotene
You’ll know you’ve found a good pasture-raised egg by the colour of the yolk. The oranger the yolk the better. Even though I spend a few extra dollars on high-quality eggs, I’m still only paying about .66 cents an egg! That’s 6g of protein for under a dollar. Can’t beat it!
But, are eggs even healthy for me?
The hot topic surrounding eggs is the cholesterol issue. Decades of research has now shown there is no correlation between egg consumption and heart disease. Keep in mind, the cholesterol in the yolk can be oxidized with high temperatures, so poaching is one of the healthiest ways to get all the nutrients an egg has to offer.
Remember, eat the WHOLE egg. Yes, I’m telling you it’s perfectly safe (and even encouraged) for you to eat the yolk. The majority of an eggs nutrition comes from its yolk. Over 90% of an eggs calcium, iron, phosphorous, zinc, thiamin, vitamin B6, folate, and vitamin B12 are contained in the yolk. One hundred percent of its vitamin A, E, D, and K plus it’s DHA, AA, and carotenoids are found in the yolk.
Did you say butter?
So you’ll notice I included butter in my recipe.
What?! A nutritionist puts butter in her recipes?!
Yep. I do.
But the only butter I buy is organic, grass-fed butter. This nutrient dense butter is filled with vitamins A, D and K2. Studies have shown that milk from grass-fed cows is much higher in the good fatty acids. Grass-fed butter is even a richer source of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a powerful immune booster. So always choose organic and grass-fed butter whenever possible. I use butter for lower tempature cooking, like in the hollandaise.
But what to do if you have a lactose or casein allergy? Ghee is an excellent option. Now what is this ghee I speak of? Quite simply, it’s clarified butter. The process of making ghee removes the water and milk fats. This allows it to have a high smoke point, perfect for higher temperature cooking.
Tips for poaching the perfect egg:
- Make sure your eggs are fresh.
- Use a little bit of vinegar in the water.
- Water should be simmering, not boiling.
- Do not put salt in the water as this will cause the whites to go whispy.
- Crack eggs individually into a small bowl or ramekin.
- Using a spoon, create a gentle whirlpool just before dropping the eggs in.
- Gently slip the eggs into the water via the ramekin.
- Set a timer and cook for three minutes exactly.
- Remove with a slotted spoon, allowing excess water to drain.
- Place on a paper towel to remove any remaining liquid.
10 minPrep Time
20 minCook Time
30 minTotal Time
- 4 eggs
- 1 tbsp vinegar
- Water (enough for 2 inches in the bottom of the pot)
- 2 ripe avocados, sliced
- 1 large organic tomato, sliced
- 4oz smoked sockeye salmon (sugar and additive free - look for just salmon, salt and natural hardwood smoke in the ingredients)
- 2 slices grain-free or organic Kamut/spelt bread, toasted and halved (look for sugar-free)
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- ¼ cup organic grass-fed butter or ghee, room temperature
- Unrefined sea salt, to taste
- Place a pot with about an inch of water on the stovetop and bring to a light boil.
- If you don’t have a double boiler, make sure you have a stainless steel bowl that is just big enough to fit in your pot without touching the bottom.
- Whisk the egg yolks and lemon juice together in a stainless steel bowl until the mixture has doubled in volume.
- Rest the stainless steel bowl on the pot and whisk rapidly. Do not let the eggs get too hot or they will scramble.
- Slowly add chunks of the butter or ghee to the egg mixture - whisking constantly.
- Once the sauce has thickened, remove from heat and whisk in sea salt.
- Cover and place in a warm spot until eggs are cooked.
- If your sauce gets too thick before serving, add a few drops of water to loosen it back up.
- Bring water and vinegar to a light boil, reduce heat so water is at a simmer.
- Meanwhile, crack eggs into a small bowl or individual ramekin.
- One at a time, gently tip the eggs from the bowl/ramekin into the simmering water.
- Set timer for 3 minutes.
- In the meantime, layer the toast and smoked salmon (if using) with the avocado and tomato. You should have four layered servings.
- Using a slotted spoon, remove eggs from pot and place on a paper towel to drain. Blot up any excess water.
- Place one egg on one layered serving.
- Pour hollandaise over top. Serve immediately.