When to Use Egg Whites Instead of Whole Eggs

Jul 13 2016
Question@2x Hi Hungry Girl,

I've noticed that many of your recipes call for egg whites. Why is it that you don't you use whole eggs? Can I use whole eggs instead?

Eggs-tremely Curious
Answer@2x Hi Eggs-tremely Curious,

Good question! When it comes to eggs, HG recipes usually call for either egg whites or fat-free liquid egg substitute. Those can be used interchangeably. (Egg substitute is essentially egg whites with some added nutrients.) Here's why I tend to go for those as opposed to whole eggs...

Egg whites are a fantastic way to cut calories in recipes, and they're pure protein. A quarter cup of egg whites (about 2 large eggs' worth) has around 30 calories. The same amount of egg (a little more than 1 large egg) has about 85 calories, and around 60 percent of those calories come from fat (about 6 grams). While there's nothing wrong with having fat in your diet -- in fact, it's essential! -- I find that using whole eggs in most recipes really doesn't make them taste better. I'd rather save those calories and fat grams for things that don't have true substitutes, like cheese, avocado, nuts, and chocolate!

Sometimes, though, whole eggs are a must. HG recipes call for whole eggs when the egg is the star of the dish. Case in point? This Egg-Topped Breakfast Hash! Our Portabella Benedict is another delicious example.

If you prefer using whole eggs at all times, here's how to make the swap in recipes. Since eggs vary in size (and some people prefer to buy liquid whites or egg substitute), we call for egg whites by the cup, not the number. So just measure out the appropriate amount of freshly cracked eggs. We usually include the approximate number of eggs needed. You'll need about half as many of them if you're using the entire eggs. For each 1/4 cup of egg whites you swap out for whole eggs, add about 55 calories and 6 grams of fat to the total nutritionals. If it's a multi-serving recipe with a small amount of egg whites, the difference will be minimal. Single-serving recipes with a decent amount of egg whites, on the other hand, will have a more significant increase in calories and fat.

By the way, there are some great all-natural pourable products on shelves, if you don't feel like cracking a bunch of eggs to get to the whites. Check out Egg Beaters All-Natural 100% Egg Whites and Better'n Eggs All Whites 100% Liquid Egg Whites. The yolks are often used for other food manufacturing, so there's less waste too!

I'll leave you with some of my recent favorite recipes made with egg whites... Enjoy!

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