By Alison Diven, Contributing Writer
Y’all, a week of breakfasts or light lunches doesn’t get any easier or more delicious than this. These little darlings? Five minutes prep, then bake. Done. No sautéing, no mixing, no mussed up bowls. And the flavor combinations are endless! This batch got all fancy with layers of leftover pesto, goat cheese, and ham, but I can also vouch for the simple pleasure of ham and cheddar. And what about in-season Hatch chiles and cheese? Oh baby. I’m still all over the freezer burrito idea, but if you don’t watch your supply, you run out before you have time to make more. (Ask me how I know.) Egg muffins to the rescue!
One thing I love about this method is that, unlike scrambled eggs (which I also love), it showcases the glorious orange-gold yolks of pastured eggs. If you’ve never tasted a backyard-raised egg, you really owe it to yourself to locate some. Their flavor is so much richer that I now find grocery store eggs bland, even the fancy ones. We buy grocery store eggs too, of course, but every chance I get, I nab the “good stuff.” Farmers’ markets are a great place to look for them, and sometimes locally-owned health food stores will carry eggs from the community. You can also ask around. You want eggs from chickens that spend most of their lives outdoors being chicken-y–eating bugs, worms, and grass. Once you see and taste the difference, you’ll know the “pastured egg thing” isn’t just hype.
Pastured eggs, or eggs of any kind, are especially important for pregnant women like me. Egg white omelets may still populate the “healthy” menu at restaurants, but it’s eggs with their yolks that offer so much for general health and for building babies—including hard-to-get nutrients like vitamins A, D, and K, choline, zinc, and iodine. (Read more nutrition details from Kimberly here.) These days, as I plod through the third trimester, I get as many egg yolks as I can for the brain-food choline, but scrambling eggs every morning gets really old. Adding in these egg cups and raw “milkshakes” with egg yolks has kept me going.
Swap out ingredients freely! Don’t do pork? Skip the ham or substitute a slice or two of chicken sausage. Use any cheese your heart desires, or nix it altogether if you’re dairy-free. Some easy, no-pre-cooking-required flavor combinations to try:
- Jarred roasted red peppers, ricotta cheese, and a basil leaf
- Roasted New Mexico (Hatch) chile peppers with goat cheese or cheddar
- Tomato, mozzarella, and a basil leaf
- Thinly-sliced zucchini, monterrey Jack cheese, and cilantro pesto
- Ham and cheddar
Do use paper muffin liners. While not strictly necessary, they help hold everything together since you’re layering, not mixing ingredients.
Eat ’em hot or cold. They’re delicious fresh, of course, but I eat them cold throughout the week.
Other Bulk Breakfast Recipes You Might Like:
Individual Ricotta and Spinach Ricotta Omelets in a Muffin Tin
15 Freezer Burrito Hacks for Nourishing Cooks
Spiced Oatmeal-Apple Muffins (Dairy, Gluten, Egg-Free)
Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Pancakes (Soaked)
- 6 ounces sliced ham (I often buy Applegate or Organic Pastures)
- 4 ounces soft goat cheese or your favorite cheese, optional
- ½ cup prepared or leftover pesto (use dairy-free pesto if needed)
- 12 eggs, preferably pasture-raised and GMO-free
- 12 paper muffin tin liners
- Preheat oven to 350. Meanwhile, line regular-size muffin tin with paper liners.
- Chop ham and cheese into largish pieces.
- Distribute chopped ham among muffin cups. Then add a small spoonful of pesto to each cup. Sprinkle in the cheese. Crack a whole egg into each cup.
- Bake for about 20 minutes, until the yolks are set but not chalky. Let stand for 5 minutes. Eat warm or refrigerate for later meals.