I posted a smoothie recipe yesterday that garnered several comments about whether raw egg whites are safe to eat.
It’s not really a matter of what is safe versus not safe … the entire egg is “safe” to eat raw if you obtain quality eggs. It is best to avoid eating commercial eggs raw due to the unsanitary conditions and crowded production methods the unfortunate confined chickens are subjected to which increases salmonella risk.
The real question is whether egg whites are healthy to consume raw.
The egg yolk is a wonderful way to get healthy, raw fats into the diet. Loaded with enzymes along with brain boosting and nervous system calming omega 3 fatty acids when from chickens allowed to run free to peck for their natural food of insects and grubs, raw egg yolks are healthy to use in smoothies, ice cream and other uncooked foods.
The raw egg white, on the other hand, contains avidin and trypsin inhibitors. Avidin blocks the digestion of biotin, one of the B vitamins and the trypsin inhibitors make digestion of the protein in the egg white more difficult.
Both of these antinutrients are neutralized by cooking, so it is best to reserve the egg whites for cooked dishes. My favorite way to use up raw eggs whites in a hurry is to make nutrient dense, soaked waffles or delicious high protein cookies.
Raw egg whites can be stored in a glass container in the fridge for several days until you are ready to use them up.
One other salient point – the egg yolk actually contains about 43% of the protein in the egg, so don’t worry that leaving out the egg whites from your smoothies will leave it devoid of this macronutrient.
Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist