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Loving Leftovers: How to Use Extra Egg Whites

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Linda explores food facts, folklore, and fabulous recipes, one ingredient at a time.

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Recipes for Leftover 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

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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.

Ingredients

  • 2 large egg whites
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar or ½ teaspoon lemon juice

Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. Try not to overbeat the eggs at this point, or they’ll have a harder time combining with your sugar.
  3. Once the whites are foamy, kind of like soap bubbles, stop. Gradually add the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time.
  4. Beat well after each addition to combine.
  5. 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.

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.

© 2019 Linda Lum

Comments

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on April 09, 2019:

RTalloni, I'm glad to share. Thanks for stopping by.

RTalloni on April 09, 2019:

Enjoyed see these options and reading "If you go rogue, you get rogue results." :) Want to check out those potato cakes right away! I also learned some new-to-me egg white info–thanks.

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on April 03, 2019:

What a blast from the past. My sister used to make sea foam icing. I LOVED that stuff and have not had it since she passed away. I think it's time to break out the beaters.

BTW, I'll have an answer for you on Monday.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on April 01, 2019:

Linda I hope your Mondays are on fire like mine. Your sharing with me puts the loving touch on a week

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on April 01, 2019:

Linda, I knew you could substitute corn syrup for cream of tarter, but had no idea lemon juice is also an option. How does the lemon juice act as a thickener?

About the only icing I ever make, with the exception of pecan coconut for German chocolate cake, is seven minute icing. However, I make mine in a double boiler. By using light brown sugar instead of regular sugar, seven minute icing now becomes sea foam icing. It's even more yummy than the standard. It's a great complement to banana cake and chocolate cake.

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on April 01, 2019:

Eric, I'm not offering baking pans, baking recipes LOL. I'm glad that the index is helpful.

And, if you need a quick solution to the potato problem you know how to reach me. I will answer your question in my weekly Q&A (#79) next Monday.

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on April 01, 2019:

Hi dreamermeg, and welcome to my kitchen. I almost didn't publish this article, but with your comments and a few others, I'm glad that I did. I'm happy to help.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on April 01, 2019:

Linda I need baking "pans" cheap. What say you?

Yes indeed. How about something like eggs, flour, sugar and minor....

I am going to check out meatloaf from you.

Do you even realize how great your "index" is. This quite old Monday old feeling daddy boy loves it.

You also raised an idea of potatoes. I don't buy stuff as potato chips. I hear tell that baking/frying them and other good things is quite healthy and fun. Mine are burnt or mushy. Bend my ear on this would you.

dreamermeg on April 01, 2019:

What great ideas. I didn't know you could make mayonnaise with egg white, nor that there was a scale of beatenness for egg whites!

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on April 01, 2019:

And Pamela, thank you for your kind words. I almost didn't publish this article. I'm glad that I didn't listen to that little voice inside of my head. I hope you have a wonderful week.

Springtime is finally here and everything is budding and blooming. I'm a happy gal.

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on April 01, 2019:

Bill, you have much more on your figurative place to handle than do most mere mortals. I'm going to give you that excuse. Lazy certainly does NOT describe you.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on April 01, 2019:

I sure learned some new things about egg whites. I had no idea you could freeze them, and I didn't know you should use older eggs for meringue. Eggs typically don't get very old in our house, but I will keep this in mind.

The picture of the fried rice looks delicious, and I am going to check out the recipe in a minute. I like brown rice better than white, so no problem there.

This is a very interesting article today. Thanks and have a good week Linda.

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on April 01, 2019:

Eric, what do you want ti bake? Are you thinking something sweet like cookies or something to go with a meal? I can help. I'll send you recipes that I'm sure will work for you.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on April 01, 2019:

Waaaaaay tooooo much work for this guy. LOL Sorry, I'm just a "dump and whisk" kind of guy. Maybe I was just born for fast-foods, or too ADHD for all the details,although in truth I'm sure I'm not ADHD...that leaves "too lazy" to cook properly....I don't like any of those choices.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on April 01, 2019:

Well that is really cool Linda. I never have had trouble with egg whites being left over. I always just assumed you fry them in rice or made a sandwich with them.

Linda I am just still basically thinking of baking. I do not know why I am recalcitrant on the issue.

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on March 31, 2019:

They freeze perfectly and ice cube trays are the perfect size. Stay tuned. I still have one more "leftovers" article in the queue.

FlourishAnyway from USA on March 31, 2019:

I’m trying that vegetable fried rice. I also did not know egg whites could be frozen. It always seemed like such a waste when a recipe called for yolks only and left me wondering what to do with extra whites. I never knew they’d freeze well.