I'm so excited to finally be presenting this recipe; one that I've worked on for WAY too long! In fact, I even made a new Fit Foodie Graziella TV video of the recipe, only to have lost the footage during a power outage, never to be recovered, (sigh). Part of the reason I've worked on it for so long is that the texture is somewhat difficult to achieve, yet is a big part of what makes egg bites so delicious and crave- worthy. But stop right there. Don't be intimidated, because I've figured out the tricky part for you, and this recipe is surprisingly very easy to follow, yet the results are quite gourmet :-D And...you can make a large batch of it to refrigerate or freeze for later consumption (can you say MEAL PREP!).
The photo below is one of my earlier attempts at egg bites (last year to be exact!) and I was wondering why they weren't silky like the ones I've had at Starbucks... that mystery was solved once I got the balance of ingredients correctly and blended them. Ahhh!
Let's be clear, these are not your average egg cups..these are egg bites. Similar to what Starbucks offers, these are silky, smooth, never dry or crumbly and oh so delicious! The silkiness is imparted by three factors: fat, blending, and the sous vide cooking method. Below you'll see what I'm talking about in the sliced egg bite; that fluffy, silky smooth texture.
Now, onto the final reason it took me this long.. I wanted it to be healthy, and not include an abundance of dairy, because, well, it's not a superfood and as your Fit Foodie, I refuse to compromise the very principles which my recipes are founded upon (Gosh I sound like a founding father, lol). This recipe is something I feel comfortable eating from time to time because the dairy I chose is top quality (more on that below), and it's in small amounts. More on my views on dairy
The quality of your ingredients makes or breaks the nutrition factor, big-time! I strongly recommend grass-fed, organic dairy as well as pasture-raised, organic eggs, as their fat and nutritional content varies greatly from their conventionally- produced counter parts; containing healthy omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin E and CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), as well as much lower levels of hormones and other yucky additives. Parmigiano reggiano is produced with grass-fed cow milk by default in Italy. The Gouda cheese, you will have to look for specific grass-fed labels on the packaging, but is usually grass- fed because that's how it's produced in Europe. For those of you that are dairy-free, you can totally make this recipe with dairy substitutes, but be very wary of the ingredients as many of these dairy- replacement products contain unhealthy oils and harmful additives. As I always recommend, READ LABELS!
Ok, now onto the recipe!
As you see, I'm using a large oven roasting pan on my stovetop with a 6- muffin cup pan in the middle, surrounded by water. This is going to simulate the bath of water that is necessary for the "sous vide" part, which means cooked within a vacuum, in French. To complete the sous vide set- up, you'll need a large pot cover, and some aluminum foil to seal in all the steam that will cook your egg bites. Make sure all sides are covered and no steam is escaping, as I've done here.
4 large, organic pasture- raised eggs
1/4 cup grated grass-fed Gouda cheese (or non-dairy sub)
1/4 cup cashew cream* (this replaces cream cheese and sour cream)
3 tablespoons parmigiano reggiano
1/4 cup finely diced peppers
1/4 cup finely chopped spinach
1 tablespoon organic, grass-fed butter
Salt and pepper to taste
*Cashew cream can easily be made by soaking 1/4 cup cashews in water for 4 hours on your countertop, or overnight in your fridge. Rinse them after soaking, until water runs clear and blend them with 1/3 cup water.
Take a roasting pan and fill with hot water halfway to the top, and place it in middle of two stovetop burners on medium-high heat. Butter a regular-sized 6-cup muffin tray and carefully place it inside the roasting pan by tipping one end in and then using a wooden spoon or spatula to lower the other side of the tray into the pan (and avoid scalding your hands with hot water!).
In a small pan, sauté the peppers and spinach for about 3-4 minutes until softened, and set aside.
Next, blend the cashew cream and cheeses with an immersion-blender (or handheld blender) until smooth. Add in your eggs, and blend until well incorporated. Now stir in the sautéed spinach and peppers. With a small ladle, carefully pour the mixture evenly into each muffin cup. This will yield 6 egg bites. Cover the top of the roasting pan with a large lid and some aluminum paper to seal in all the steam (that’s how the eggs cook to a silky perfection- with the steam!). Cook for about 20 minutes or until the tops of the egg bites are no longer wobbly.
Carefully remove egg bites with a silicon spatula sprayed with a bit of oil. Circle the muffin cup with the spatula to loosen and then gently lift it up from the bottom.
The egg bites last for several days in the fridge, or they can also be frozen in freezer ziplock bags. Reheat quickly in a toaster oven at 350 until hot.
Enjoy my friends, and let me know if you try this!!