Did you know that it takes about 53 gallons of water to produce a single egg? And that’s just the water footprint. There’s also the land for farming the chickens, the land for farming the chicken feed, the fuel for transporting the eggs, the toxins produced by farming and more.
When we take all of that into account, wasting just one egg - or part of egg - seems a lot more impactful.
So what should we do when a favourite recipe calls for just part of the egg? Hollandaise sauce, yellow cake, lemon bars and more deliciousness all call for just the yolk of the egg.
What should we do with the leftover egg whites?
There are several awesome ways to use up egg whites, but the first thing to know is that egg whites freeze very well. If you’re making a fluffy, moist yellow cake, chances are you aren’t also going to make a decadent pavlova that same day. But frozen egg whites still whip up nicely when thawed!
Store egg whites in an airtight container and mark on the container how many whites are in there. Then pop it in the freezer!
If you aren’t storing them individually, decide first what you will do with the egg whites. You can’t separate individual whites once you’ve mixed them, so make sure you’re freezing them in a usable quantity. If you don’t have a plan for them yet, freeze them individually. A covered ice cube tray is a great way to do that.
Pavlova is a delicious, versatile and forgiving dessert that isn’t as difficult to make as many people think. This pavlova recipe takes 4 egg whites (conveniently, this decadent yellow cake recipe takes 8 yolks, so you get exactly 2 pavlovas worth of whites from it) and you can swap out the fruit for whatever you like or have on hand.
The key to a good pavlova is making sure you whip the egg whites to stiff peaks before adding the sugar. Use an electric mixer to beat the whites. When you turn the mixer (in the “off” position) upside down, the whipped egg white peaks on the beaters should stand straight up and not flop over at all.
A common problem with the meringue of a pavlova base is it cracking after cooling, but if you embrace the rustic look and gob on the whipped cream and piles of fruit, those cracks become part of the charm.
This lemon meringue cupcake recipe uses 6 yolks for the lemon curd and 6 whites for the meringue, which is great if this is all you’re making.
But, if you’re using up leftover whites, you can swap the homemade lemon curd for store-bought, or use the meringue technique to make a unique topping for virtually any type of cupcake! Bake your cupcakes first, then skip to step 12 of the above recipe for the meringue technique.
This vintage cocktail recipe is sure to be the talk of the town if you bring it out for holiday parties, special birthdays, bridal showers or anniversaries. A single pink lady calls for one egg white, so you may end up using a LOT of whites if this is a hit. So you may end up having to look up a few more egg yolk recipes ;-)
You do want to use the freshest eggs possible for this, so we don’t recommend using frozen whites for your pink ladies. Instead, plan your event menu so that the yolks are used in another dish. Here are some tips for safely using eggs in cocktails.
Eggs aren’t just for food! Egg white face masks can be very hydrating, which is nice for our parched skin when it’s locked inside with electric heating all winter.
You can find a variety of egg white face mask recipes just by googling. If you want to know more about the benefits (and false claims) of egg white masks and how to use them safely, The Derm Review has a great article.
When this candied nut recipe warns that they are addictive, they aren’t kidding! These make great gifts… if you can stop yourself from eating the whole batch. The best part is that the recipe is very forgiving and doesn’t even give exact quantities for ingredients. So, if you have 2 extra egg whites or 3, or 1, or 4… you can make this!
Aside from the fact that it’s delicious, we love that this recipe makes something usually very unhealthy into a nutritious and fun side dish. These crispy baked onion rings use egg whites as part of the dredging rotation. If you don’t like spicy foods, you can simply leave out the cajun seasoning, or replace it with something like sweet paprika or garlic powder.
This granola recipe uses egg whites to add a nice crispy coating. What’s nice about this recipe is that you can easily swap things out for what you have on hand. Use almost any type of dried fruit instead of cherries or cranberries, sunflower or hemp seeds instead of sesame seeds, maple syrup instead of agave, whatever nuts you have, or swap the coconut shavings for more oatmeal or puffed millet.
We love recipes like this because they tend to be quite forgiving and the chocolate dip makes them a real crowd-pleaser but is surprisingly easy to pull off. These chocolate-dipped coconut macaroons can be made a variety of ways (including nut-free, as the pictured almond is simply a garnish) and use 4 egg whites. If you don’t have a cookie scoop, you can use two teaspoons instead. Scoop with one spoon and use the other to roll it off the first spoon. You won’t get a perfect circle, but once it’s dipped in chocolate it’ll look perfectly decadent.
Using egg whites to make homemade marshmallows is a French technique that tends to make fluffier marshmallows that can be easier to pipe into different shapes if you want to get really fancy. This marshmallow recipe uses 4 egg whites and, while it’ll probably feel more approachable for seasoned chefs and bakers, if you embrace the candy thermometer, this can be a surprisingly doable recipe for almost anyone.
No one will believe that this impressive dessert has only six ingredients and is remarkably easy to make. The crispy layers are a type of meringue, so just like the pavlova, the key is to make sure you beat the egg whites until you get those stiff peaks. Skinning hazelnuts isn’t too difficult but does get messy, so you can buy already skinned hazelnuts to skip that step. Just don’t skip the toasting part, as this really brings out the nutty flavour and cuts down on any bitterness.
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