Heading out on a hike recently, I needed to find a good item for breakfast. Having already converted my friends to the awesomeness that is freeze-dried eggs, I wanted to try something new. I’ve long been anti- dehydrated/powdered eggs after having far too many bad experiences with them. To me they still always taste odd, and it leaves me not wanting eggs for a while afterwards. However, I do have a love for eggs and really wanted to have some on our hike. So as I was browsing along a local sporting good store, I happened upon a new item.
Ova-Easy Hearty Whole Eggs. My first thought was just another freeze-dried, or worse, powdered egg. But I had to read. Turns out this is a newer process to long-term egg storage. Crystalized whole eggs, no preservatives.
According to the Nutriom web site (the Ova-Easy manufacturer), crystalized eggs are dried in a very low heat evaporative manner so that the eggs arent’ cooked in the drying process. This leaves a fine, sandy crystal instead of the powder you usually see with a dehydrated egg.
Using Ova-Easy Eggs
This is the part that can often be scary. Up on a mountain with several very hungry guys, who are awaiting your breakfast. Sometimes experiments like this dont’ turn out well, and you’d better have some backup oatmeal ready to go quick. However, this time I was lucky with my gamble.
I started out by opening the small package show above. The package claimed it held one dozen eggs in crystallized form. Based on the size I was a little leery, even knowing how much of an egg is water, it seemed awfully small. I poured in the yellow sand and added the water required and watched for a second. It really did look just like water on sand, and I had a quick fear that this was not going to mix! The two just sat separate from each other, not even attempting a familiar clumping that you might see with most powdered mixes. But then I began to actually stir, and it was amazing how quickly it turned into a quicksand, and then into straight up mixed eggs, just like you would see if you had cracked several for yourself.
As the eggs were cooking, I tossed in the basics: Green onion, black pepper, salt, cheese, etc. The resulting scramble mix was served on tortillas as seen. And the hunger riots among my friends stopped. This was real egg, real good, on a backpacking trip. As for the amount, it really was about a dozen “Large” eggs.
OvaEasy vs Powdered
No contest. The only thing powdered eggs have going for them here is that you can actually make them at home. But the taste is totally different. OvaEasy actually tastes like eggs, whereas the powdered always have a funny flavor. Check out the OvaEasy page for some other great information regarding different molecule buildup in powdered eggs as well!
OvaEasy vs Freeze-dried
Apples to Oranges here. Freeze-dried eggs are simple, and tasty. But they are also more expensive, and you are buying a meal as-is. These are just eggs, that you can use for cooking anything. So if you’re like me and at times enjoy cooking something a bit more fancy on the trail, freeze-dried won’t work for you. This is just a raw ingredient in packable form, instead of a processed meal.
OvaEasy vs Real
Now I’ve done plenty of camps where I’ve taken real eggs. Often I’ll just pre-crack the eggs into a small dish that I can seal, and often freeze them. But for backpacking OvaEasy makes this much nicer, especially on a long trip. They also have a well tested shelf life, tested at a true 7 years. Although companies may advertise a long shelf for a variety of reasons they generally never last as long as the label claims.
Should you be cooking something that needs just the whites, there is a separate “Just Whites” product. The product being reviewed is an already mixed full egg in this package so you will need to purchase two products if you want to use both egg whites and whole eggs. Real eggs of course allow you to do this without having to buy different products.
Of course you’ll pay a premium to buy eggs processed and packaged in this manner, so of course plain old eggs will be cheaper but for quick and easy not to mention safe packability, OvaEasy is going to win most of the time. Given these benefits, the price isn’t that bad.
OvaEasy is now one of my go-to products for camping. They taste ‘right’, they are lightweight and they store well. In the case of long term food storage, it is obviously better to have some chickens around giving you fresh eggs. However, most people don’t have that, and with the powerful nutritional value of eggs, you should definitely look at adding these to your storage.