Eggs Florentine

Eggs Florentine makes the perfect breakfast when you're banting; a very low carbohydrate diet, but high in fat and the vitamins B6 and 12.


By Bernard Preston


Homocysteine is a highly toxic breakdown product of animal protein metabolism; it is normally immediately reconstituted in the body into healthy, non poisonous forms.

However, this process is vitally dependent on several vitamins and zinc which, if not present in the diet, allow the buildup of this toxic amino acid.

It causes serious destruction of the inner lining of blood vessels, known as the intima, and consequently a host of blood circulation diseases.


Homocysteine

Vitamins B6 and B12

Homocysteine is a toxic break down product of protein metabolism; it's immediately degraded but the chemical process requires certain vitamins and minerals.

Vitamin B12 is often seriously deficient in the diet of vegans; B6 is in short supply in those who won't eat their greens. The solution is eggs Florentine; spinach and eggs make certain you have adequate levels of these vitamins.

A build up of homocysteine in the blood has a fearful effect on the heart and brain.


Eggs Florentine

Eggs Florentine poached on a bed of spinach is a good part of the solution.

Why and how, you may well ask? Eggs are normally considered part of the problem with cardiovascular disease, and not the solution.



Researchers have found that homocysteine is not broken down unless very adequate amounts of the B complex and zinc are present in the diet.

Enter spinach and eggs, rich in these vitamins. Zinc is plentiful in red meat, eggs, shell fish and legumes.

So, this is how it's done.

Chop up half an onion and fry it lightly in butter; add any herbs and spices you like. I often add a little ginger, a few slithers of chili and perhaps half a tomato; that helps prevent prostate cancer and every man should eat them daily.

The easiest way to provide fresh spicy peppers for your eggs Florentine, and other dishes, is to freeze them; how to preserve jalapeno peppers works just as well for chilies as peppadews, or any other of the family; it's dead easy and quick.

Cut out the stalks if the leaves are large, thick and mature. Incidentally, how to grow spinach is one my three top easy vegetables from what's potting in the garden.

Add a tablespoon or two of boiling water to the pot, drop in the cleaned spinach leaves and turn it up on high, cooking the spinach hard for about five minutes.

I like mine slushy, so I add extra water.


Then drop your eggs directly onto the spinach, and poach them in the steam to your taste. Turn off the heat and put the lid back on. I like them soft, but she who must be obeyed demands hers hard.



Peel your clove of garlic, slice it in two and lightly wipe it over your half slice of toast, as garlicky as you like it. Actually, this is a fag; I now drop it it into the spinach just before adding the eggs, or with the onion if it gives you heartburn.

The phytochemical allicin is richly found in the onion family.

Butter your toast thickly, I never use margarine, partly because it tastes so... can't find a decent word, sorry, it tastes so S-H-one-T, and partly because I avoid trans fats like the plague; it's bad stuff.

Specifically these vitamins are necessary to prevent a homocysteine build up; vitamin B2, B6, B9 and B12.



Ladle lavish portions of your spinach onto the garlic buttered toast, including some of the cooking water. It contains a third of the magnesium and in any case I like it drippy and wet; give a quick squeeze of fresh lemon juice, and cover with your poached egg.

Salt and pepper, and tuck in whilst it's piping hot.


Poached eggs on spinach


Spinach is full of phytosterols and is the richest source of magnesium, a vital mineral in the body, especially if you want to avoid chronic arthritis. Which I assume you do!

Now you know how to make eggs florentine and how to cook spinach. Wasn't difficult, eh? Good food, made fast is our theme.

If you find it dull, which you won't, then how about a sprinkle of fresh coriander; after parsley it's the world's most popular herb. If you have a tiny spot in the garden you'll find that growing coriander is a cinch; it comes up like a weed.



Even if your cholesterol is raised, even seriously raised, Eggs Florentine is unlikely to be a problem, despite the cholesterol in eggs and butter. The fibre in spinach, the phytosterols, the rich source of folate and other B vitamins, the garlic and fresh lemon, and the wholewheat toast; all of these are cholesterol lowering. Just avoid the butter, use olive oil instead.

Macular degeneration

Eggs Florentine is the perfect way to prevent age related macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness in the elderly; and almost entirely preventable.

Eggs and spinach are amongst the richest source of two carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin, that are found in the greatest concentration in the macula of the eye; they absorbe damaging high energy radiation.

Read more at lutein benefit but the short answer is that those who regular enjoy their greens, and especially kale and spinach, and eggs are far less likely to get macular degeneration and cataracts.



A lemon tree in every garden is a must

Fresh lemon juice is vital  for so many dishes. Just look at the Mediterranean recipes and you'll find three quarters of them call for freshly squeezed lemon juice. In any case, such a pretty tree, and the scent divine when they are in flower.

My brother has convinced me that the lime is even nicer than a lemon. Could I stomach being a limey?! Our first fruit is nearly ripe. After only two years. I'm a great meyer lemon fan, so that lime better be good.


Fresh spinach

Spinach is one of my three easy vegetables to grow, and how to grow spinach is one of the high ranking pages at this Bernard Preston site. Radish and pole beans are the other two. Just prepare some ground, drop in the seeds and water... fresh spinach every day for months.


This spinach may look rather untidy, so if you want it in your front garden you'd need to prune off the yellowing and  any mildewed leaves. So easy, so rewarding....

Too many cooks

Too many cooks may spoil the broth but they certainly sometimes may improve eggs Florentine; I had an early patient so, having started the fried onion, I left and Helen took over. Today she added sprigs of thyme and rosemary and a few broad beans; perhaps just a change, but it was spectacularly delicious.

Six months ago we started reading up on how to plant broad beans because of acquaintances with Parkinson's disease; now we drop a few into many dishes.


Banting diet

Banting diet is a very low carbohydrate meal planner.

Diets in general leave me stone cold; research shows that less than 2% of people who go on a diet, actually have lost any pounds twelve months later, and many are actually heavier. Most of them simply aren't sustainable, and many are spectacularly unhealthy.

A possible exception is the Banting diet, though I don't recommend it either; but it does work, and what's more you don't feel famished all day.

So, what the problem with banting?

In the classical Banting diet you have to go off virtually all carbohydrates, including legumes; in order to get sufficient protein you have to eat more red meat, cheese, eggs, fish and fowl.

You will probably lose weight when banting; your blood pressure will come down and your blood sugar control will improve if you are diabetic. So you are less likely to die of cardiovascular disease, but a lot more likely to get cancer. Instead of the sudden death from a heart attack, the long, slow and lingering death of prostate or breast cancer, say.

If you seriously need to lose weight, then I do recommend this modified Banting diet; it works; you'll be enjoying lunches like this. Plenty of organic food greens, brightly coloured salads, homemade hummus and even a little carbohyhdrate today from corn on the cob, and half a slice of low GI bread


Blood glucose and eggs Florentine

Are you still concerned about the effect of eggs Florentine on a slice of toast on your blood glucose? You needn't be, and certainly not if you are reasonably active.

I am pre-diabetic with blood glucose reaching 9 (162 mg/dl) if I over indulge on starches.

Here are my readings when I enjoy eggs Florentine on toast. It is made with 100% wholemeal bread, and it could be quite different with a supermarket loaf; test yourself.

Time (minutes)

0

30

60

120

Blood glucose (mmol/L)

5.0

5.4

5.0

4.8

(mg/dl)

90

98

90

86

  • I took a short 10 minute walk between 30-60 minute readings.
  • Busy gardening between 60-120 minutes.

The only conclusion I can come to is that eggs Florentine on wholewheat toast has little effect on blood glucose despite the starch in the bread, provided one is reasonably active. Test yourself if you are pre-diabetic and have to sit after breakfast.

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