Have you ever tried prosciutto? This is the Italian version of ham, but it is not sweet and it doesn’t have that maple-y flavor of ham. Prosciutto is actually an Italian dry-cured type of ham that has a better reputation than our U.S. versions of ham and bacon.
Prosciutto is part of the European “Protected Designation of Origin” which means that for it to be true prosciutto, it must come from a particular region in Italy—similar to how wine is produced in France.
Prosciutto is just quality raw ham, sea salt, air and about of year of curing. That is all. No sugars, no nitrates or nitrites, and no other chemicals to preserve it. No artificial anything. This means prosciutto is actually not consider a ‘processed meat’, but merely a dried meat.
If you are following a keto or Paleo diet, prosciutto is the better choice, since it never has added sugar, nor does it contain any carbohydrates.
Prosciutto is sliced super thin and is full of flavor. You certainly do not need to eat a lot of it to taste its presence or to feel satisfied. That is why the prosciutto in this recipe makes it so delicious—and different from your standard eggs and bacon or eggs and ham.
When you compare prosciutto with bacon, prosciutto wins hands down. It is lower in calories, lower in fat, lower in sugar and lower in salt—and it is never made with nitrates or any other chemicals, and it has a BIG taste!
Now, let’s talk about eggs. If you have noticed lately, shopping for eggs has become more confusing—there’s regular conventional factory farm eggs which means the poor chickens are packed into a warehouse under artificial light, given antibiotics and hormones and pesticide laden grain for feed. Their beaks are often cut off so they don’t peck at each other and they are often sickly.
Then there’s ‘free range’ eggs which means the chickens are basically all stuffed in a factory farm like setting and there may be a door open in the big facility where they are raised. They don’t necessarily get to go outside, they are just not kept in cages all the time. Not a lot healthier. They are routinely given antibiotics and hormones and kept under artificial light as well. They are fed grain, often sprayed with Monsanto glyphosate.
Moving up the ladder we get to ‘organic eggs’. These chickens are fed only organic feed, but keep in mind, it’s ‘feed’, not their natural diet. Organic eggs must come from chickens that are only given antibiotics in the event of an infection. No hormones or added drugs are used in organic egg production. Chickens producing organic eggs live in a cage-free environment and must have access to the outside, even if that is just a small pen or enclosed yard.
There are now ‘pastured eggs’, not to be confused with ‘free-range’ eggs—a totally different way of raising chickens and you will notice the eggs look totally different too! Pastured eggs are about as good as you can get, unless you are raising your own chickens! Chickens are omnivores and like to hunt and peck for grubs, worms, and bugs. Pastured raised chickens get to roam around a rich field and are allowed to eat their natural diets—although they may get some organic grain to supplement their diets.
Often pastured chickens are kept in a move-able pasture, with plenty of room to roam, so they get to move to fresh fields on a regular basis. Pastured eggs are full of omega 3 fats and have rich egg yolks full of nutrients. Pastured eggs have twice as much vitamin E, almost 40% more vitamin A, two and a half times as much omega 3 fats and less omega 6 fats, compared to caged eggs.
You will notice the rich yellow-orange color of the yolks and the superior taste when you eat pastured eggs. Bon Appetite!
Prosciutto Spinach Cup Eggs
Easy to make and easy to clean up. Hold off adding salt until you’ve had a taste. Prosciutto is pretty salty, so your eggs may have all the salt they need. Serves 3-6 depending on hunger.
- Butter for greasing the pan
- 6-8 thin slices prosciutto
- 1 cup baby spinach or baby kale
- 6 pastured eggs
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon chopped chives or chopped green onions
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 6-cup muffin tin with butter.
- Line each muffin cup with a slice of prosciutto, doing your best to cover the surface of the cup with the prosciutto so that it forms a bowl to crack the egg into. Lay a few of the spinach or kale leaves over the prosciutto.
- Crack an egg into each muffin cup and sprinkle the top with a crack of black pepper.
- Bake until the white is set but the yolk still runny, about 18-20 minutes, keeping in mind it will continue to cook a bit after it’s out of the oven.
- Remove from oven and top each egg with a pinch of green onion or chives. Let cool for 1 minute so the egg sets up enough to remove.
- Use a narrow spatula or butter knife to carefully wedge each egg out of its muffin cup. Set on a plate and serve immediately. Taste and add salt if needed.