Eggs are an important part of the Paleo diet. They are nutrient-dense, good sources of protein, versatile and tasty too. When most people cook with eggs, they use hens’ eggs, but did you know that there are other varieties of egg out there that are even more flavourful than hens’ eggs? One such example is duck eggs.
Farm-fresh duck eggs are much brighter coloured and more flavour-rich than the kind of eggs that you would find in a typical supermarket. If you can source truly fresh eggs from ducks, then you will find that they have up to twice the nutritional value of eggs from hens, and they stay fresh for longer too because they have a much thicker shell.
Ideal for Baking
Duck eggs contain a lot of albumen, which means that they are ideal for baking. Albumen helps to make cakes fluffy and makes them taste richer and more luxurious. In addition, duck egg is a good source of Omega 3 fatty acids, which help to keep your skin healthy and are important for brain function too.
Another important benefit of duck eggs is that they are an alkaline-producing food, whereas eggs from hens are more acidic. Alkaline foods are thought to be particularly beneficial for reducing cancer risk.
Duck vs. Hen
While any egg can be considered an acceptable part of the Paleo diet, there are some good reasons to choose duck over hen. A typical duck egg contains 185 calories, just slightly more than a hen’s egg. It also contains six times the vitamin D of a hen’s egg, twice the amount of vitamin A, and a greater amount of vitamin K2. The only major nutrient that hens’ eggs are notably richer in is vitamin E.
The amino acid profile for the two types of eggs is quite similar, with both eggs being good sources of threonine, isoleucine, lysine tryptophan,serine, methionine, gylsine, cystine and arginine, to name just a few amino acids. An average-sized duck egg contains twice the amount of cholesterol found in an average-sized hen’s egg. This may be a cause for concern among people who suffer from high cholesterol or are at risk of heart disease, but it is important to note that the latest research suggests that the link between dietary cholesterol and blood cholesterol is not as clear cut as was once thought, so if you are a healthy and active person you should be safe to consume high-cholesterol foods. Of course, if you have a pre-existing medical condition, you should consult your doctor for advice before making significant changes to your diet.
A Versatile Food
You can cook duck eggs the same way as hens’ eggs and use them in the same kinds of recipes. One popular duck-specific recipe is salted duck egg. Once the egg has been pickled, it will remain edible for up to one month. Salted eggs are a popular delicacy in China, where the eggs are sometimes pickled in a brine that includes spices or chillies for extra flavour.