Stuffed eggs are a classic. What picnic or family party is complete without a platter full of deviled eggs to enjoy? Displayed side by side with their cheery yellow yolks and a finishing sprinkle of paprika, stuffed eggs are not only a tasty addition to the appetizer table, but are filled with energizing proteins and fatty acids as well. This modern take on stuffed eggs uses avocados in place of mayonnaise to make a truly healthy and pleasantly spicy treat. Hard boiled eggs plus avocados? This is a match made in nutrient-dense-foods heaven!
Did you know that the tradition of making stuffed or "deviled eggs" dates back to the far-off days of Ancient Rome? According to historians, eggs were boiled, seasoned with various spices or sauces and served to wealthy patricians as a first course, or gustatio, to meals. The Apicius, a collection of recipes believed to have been composed around this time in the fourth century A.D., includes instructions for making boiled eggs drizzled with oil, wine or broth and garnished with pepper. The Romans even had a saying, "ab ova usque ad mala"--meaning from eggs to apples, or from the start of a meal to the finish-- that highlights the early importance and popularity of this dish. 1
The term "deviled" was first applied in a culinary sense in 18th century Great Britain, referring to dishes with ingredients that were spicy, boiled or fried. Throughout Europe, boiled eggs were often filled with spices and a mixture of cheese or creme fraiche, as explains the recipe in the beloved cookbook Nourishing Traditions. It wasn't until the 1940s however, that making "deviled eggs" became popular in the United States. The hors d'oeuvres most commonly include hard boiled egg whites filled with a mixture of the yolk, mustard, mayonnaise and paprika, although many other variations exist. Over time, this popular dish has also taken on a myriad of different names including "mimosa eggs," "dressed eggs," "angel eggs," "salad eggs," or, our personal favorite, simply "stuffed eggs."
While standard stuffed eggs are perfectly delicious, this updated version uses guacamole to add a hint of freshness, zest and extra creamy texture, alongside a slew of hearty nutrients. The avocado contributes over 20 vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients including anti-inflammatory carotenoids, as well as beneficial monounsaturated fats. You may opt to sub-in your favorite guacamole for this dish, or use the basic recipe that is provided below.
Many similar recipes for avocado-stuffed eggs recommend that you throw away the egg yolks. NO WAY! That's the best part of the egg! In this recipe, we incorporate them right into the guacamole. I would recommend using pastured eggs if at all possible, as eggs from hens that are allowed to roam outside are significantly higher in Vitamins A, E and K2, as well as omega-3 fatty acids. Work with a local farmer or look for words like "free-range" or "pastured" on the carton.
6 eggs (pastured/free-range if possible)
1/2 cup favorite guacamole OR:
2 ripe avocados
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped (optional)
Sprinkle of paprika and a spring fresh basil or cilantro for garnish
To hard boil eggs, place in a single layer in a saucepan and add about 2 inches of cold water or enough such that eggs are submerged. Bring water to a rolling boil over high heat. Turn off burner, cover pan, and allow to rest on the hot stove for 10-12 minutes. Once complete, strain, and run cold water over the eggs to cool them quickly and stop the cooking. Transfer the eggs to the refrigerator to chill.
Once cooled, carefully peel hardboiled eggs and cut into halves, lengthwise.
Using a spoon, scoop egg yolks into a medium sized bowl. Add avocados, garlic, jalapeño, and lime juice (or pre-made guacamole if using). Mash together until all ingredients are well incorporated.
Generously fill the halved egg whites with the guacamole-yolk mixture and sprinkle with paprika and/or fresh herbs to finish. Serve immediately or refrigerate in an airtight container. Enjoy!