Deviled Eggs? A Nourishing food? After all, they contain some of the most processed foods in our kitchen. Mayonnaise, sweet pickle relish and French’s mustard. .
We had been making the transition to a Real Food diet for about a year before we realized that those same three condiments – mayonnaise, pickle relish and mustard – were all very healthy if made in a traditional manner. Since these are three condiments that we try to keep around at all times, we now make deviled eggs just as easily using traditionally prepared condiments as we once did using processed ingredients.
Deviled eggs are the ideal appetizer for a homestead’s summer table. They are an easy way to utilize excess eggs. When made with traditionally prepared ingredients they start off your meal with enzymes and fermented foods. Due to the fact that traditionally prepared condiments can vary widely in their flavor and moisture content, we no longer use a recipe. 🙂 But here is the basic method we use on our homestead, along with a few ideas for substitutions and easy transport.
We have always found old eggs much easier to peel than fresh eggs. So when we start getting loads of eggs every spring, we don’t bother to rotate them. The freshest eggs always go on the top of the stack, and we use them for most of our egg eating right away. About once a week we’ll pull the cartons off the bottom of the stack and boil them. We have found that the perfect length of time for our eggs to boil is 4-5 minutes, but our elevation is not very high. At higher altitudes boiling works differently. We peel them right away, since the heat seems to help the shell come off easier.
Now compile your ingredients. An understanding of the purpose for each ingredient will help you to tailor the egg filling to suit your personal preferences.
Mayonnaise: this adds moisture, texture and some flavor to the egg yolks. –
Pickle Relish (we prefer Sweet Relish, but use your favorite type.): this adds flavor and some moisture. Depending on the type of relish you use, it could add only a little moisture or quite a bit of moisture.
Mustard: this adds flavor. If you are using lacto-fermented mustard, please note that a litle goes a long way.
Sea Salt, Pepper, These are for flavor
Paprika and/or Parsley. These add a decorative effect when sprinkled onto the top, as well as flavor.
Slice the peeled, boiled eggs in half. Carefully remove the yolks and place them into your mixing bowl. Add your mayonnaise, relish and mustard. Remember that you can always more, but it is difficult to remove an ingredient once it’s been added. Mash everything together and give it a good stir, than taste it and see if you need more of anything. Once you’re satisfied with the texture and flavor, add salt and pepper to taste. Stir and mash and stir until the filling is creamy, with no lumps of yolk left. Carefully spoon the filling into the eggs (or pipe it from a pastry bag) and sprinkle paprika and/or parsley on top.
There you have it. A healthy, simple appetizer.
Replace the mayonnaise with Sour Cream if I know that the eggs will be out of the refrigerator for a while.
Leave the mustard out if you don’t like the way it tastes.
Add small bacon bits, chives or grated onion for a different flavor.
When we are planning to take deviled eggs to a potluck or picnic, we mix them a little differently. Instead of placing the yolks into a bowl, we place them into a baggie, and add the other ingredients directly into the baggie. Rather than stirring, we mash the mixture together inside the bag. When we arrive at our destination, we snip a corner off the baggie and use squeeze the filling straight into the eggs. No fuss, no mess, no spilling on the way over.
If you feel these directions are not clear, or you have a favorite way to make deviled eggs, we’d love to hear about it!