Loving Leftover: How to Use Extra Egg Whites
On the first day of each month, I give you imaginative ways to use up leftovers—what can you do when faced with too much of "_____?" (fill in the blank). In the past few months, we have talked about repurposing leftover mashed potatoes, meatloaf, stale bread, ham, barbecued meats, spaghetti, and rice. We've dealt with too many zucchini and ways to use up leftover egg yolks.
Today we'll focus on egg whites. Of course, you could make a meringue (topping for a lemon pie) and I'll tell you how, but let's try to find some more creative uses too.
Meringue—soft, cloud-like egg whites whipped to perfection—is the basis for the topping on lemon pie, 7-minute icing, divinity, angel food cake, and countless other treats. Follow these steps and you can make meringue in your own kitchen:
- Use "older" eggs. In this case, fresher isn't better. Fresh eggs are more difficult to separate and don't whip as high. Here's a simple trick to test how old your eggs are. Gently place your uncracked egg in a glass of water. If it stands up on its end, it will be great for meringue. If it floats, it’s actually too old—toss it. If it lies on its side on the bottom, it’s very fresh.
- Use eggs that are room temperature.
- The bowl and beaters must be squeaky clean; not one speck of oil and no egg yolk in the whites.
- Don't rush the process. Beating too hard or too fast can cause your egg whites to break.
- Dry days are better for meringue. If the humidity is high your meringues will absorb the moisture in the air and become sticky.
- 2 large egg whites
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar or ½ teaspoon lemon juice
- In a large bowl, combine the egg whites with cream of tartar and beat until foamy. You can do this with a stand or hand mixer set to medium or with a handheld whisk.
- Try not to overbeat the eggs at this point or they’ll have a harder time combining with your sugar.
- Once the whites are foamy, kind of like soap bubbles, stop. Gradually add the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time.
- Beat well after each addition to combine.
- Continue beating until stiff glossy peaks form.
Not sure what I mean by "stiff peaks"? Watch this video by Martha Stewart kitchens.
How to Whip Egg Whites (Soft, Firm, or Stiff Peaks)
Potato Cakes (1 White)
I love potato cakes (I love potatoes) but they've always been a "guilty pleasure" that I rarely indulge in. Did you know that you can make them (and they'll hold together nicely) with simply egg whites in place of the usual whole eggs? I found this recipe at the Weight Watchers website.
Makes 6 Servings
Nutritional Info Per Serving: Calories 59, Total Fat .8 g, Sat. Fat .1 g, Protein1.9 g, Carbs 11.2 g, Sodium 63 mg, Fiber .9 g
Egg White Mayonnaise (1 White)
Believe it or not, with one egg white, some neutral oil, Dijon for flavor, and a simple immersion blender, you can make mayonnaise. No yolk, no guilt.
Lighter Sesame Chicken (1 White)
This sesame chicken is so much better than take-out. The colors are bright, the flavors are fresh, and it's light, not laden with sodium and fat. This recipe makes two servings.
Seven-Minute Icing (2 Whites)
Christy Jordan, the author of the food blog Southern Plate shares with us her Grandma's favorite seven-minute icing, a unique recipe that doesn't require a hot-water bath. Christy is my kind of gal—she writes with wit and a little snarkiness. For example, in this recipe, she cautions:
The pattern on “the internets” these days seems to be taking a recipe, making fifty thousand substitutions and alterations to it, and then getting your tinsel in a tizzy when it doesn’t turn out exactly like the original recipe said it would. I’m not saying you would ever do that, mind you, but I do want to issue a word of caution that this is one of those recipes which really must be followed to the letter. If you go rogue, you get rogue results. Maybe those will be good, maybe those will be bad, but they won’t be on me either way.
Veggie Fried Rice (2 Whites)
Enjoy this veggie fried rice when you are looking for an extra dose of vegetables for lunch. It’s made healthier with brown rice and egg whites. The author of this recipe (Jenny B of Honey and Birch) is a self-taught cook who creates healthy and economical meals for her family of five. Jenny uses 4 tablespoons egg whites from a carton; this is the equivalent of whites from 2 large eggs.
Key Lime White Chocolate Coconut Macaroons (4 Whites)
Denise, the creative genius behind Sweet Peas and Saffron whipped up these white chocolate/lime macaroons (my favorite kind of cookie) as the last grasp onto summertime. Personally, I think a batch of these would be great in the spring. There's something about citrus that makes me think of Easter eggs and sunshine and happiness.
You Can Freeze Them Too
Did you know you can also freeze egg whites? I often do this when I know I don’t have time or plan on making another recipe.
You can also make it really easy on yourself by using an ice cube tray and freezing one egg white per well, freeze, pop them out, and place them in a labeled container.
To use the frozen egg whites, simply let them thaw out in the fridge overnight. Egg whites will whip better at room temperature, so if you are planning on using them for a meringue, let them sit out for about 30 minutes before you whip them.
Questions & Answers
© 2019 Linda Lum