I used to hate deviled eggs. I wanted nothing to do with them and didn’t understand why people seem to love them so much.
That all changed when I was feeling super carbed-out (e.g. stuffed with bread) and wanted to make a holiday app that didn’t have to do with bread. Don’t worry, I’m not on a low-carb diet. I just wanted something on the party table with a little more protein and a little less bloat.
While reading through appetizer ideas, deviled eggs stood out, and I realized I didn’t like them because I don’t love what’s in them. I whipped up this version with some healthier ingredients, and now this recipe is one of my faves!
Eggs: Buy the best eggs you can afford. If possible, use pasture-raised eggs for nutrient-dense yolks. I mean, just look at this yellow color from using pasture-raised egg yolks! I even had to turn down the saturation of this photo before posting it online because it almost looked fake neon yellow. I wrote about how to make perfect easy-to-peel hard-boiled eggs here if you want the shells to practically fall off of your hard-boiled eggs.
Veganaise: Deviled eggs are basically egg yolks mixed with mayonnaise and mustard stuffed back into egg whites. I detest traditional mayonnaise. Consider it an emotional scar from Miracle Whip in the 90’s. There’s just something about jarred mayo or Miracle Whip that just turns me off. However—and I have no explanation for this—I like Veganaise, which is an egg-free, vegan version of mayo. I know, I know. It doesn’t make sense. I just like it more. It’s a bit lighter and makes for stellar deviled eggs. Veganaise already has apple cider vinegar mixed in for a nice tang and really nice texture. The fact that it’s vegan here clearly doesn’t matter because we’re using eggs. Again, file that under the list of things I have no explanation for, like why I can never find a black hair tie despite buying a new pack every few months. I like the grape seed oil version of Veganiase with the purple lid. You can find it in the refrigerated section of your grocery store.
Fermented Pickle Relish: Here’s our star secret healthy ingredient. Instead of just plain old pickle relish, use a heaping tablespoon of fermented pickle relish because it contains naturally occurring probiotics (just like fermented yogurt). It tastes the same as regular pickle relish but is way better for you. Non-fermented pickle relish has vinegar added to it to give it that tangy taste—it’s a short cut to the real flavor of fermented pickle relish. Fermented pickle relish, on the other hand, gets it’s tang from the fermentation process. Real fermented pickle relish will always be found in the refrigerated section of your grocery store because it needs to be refrigerated to maintain the live cultures (i.e. probiotics). I use a brand called Bubbie’s (this is not sponsored, just sharing what I used). And one last thing, pickle relish usually has a good amount of sugar in it, but Bubbie’s is no-sugar-added. So, I add 1/2 teaspoon of plain honey to mimic the flavor of the traditional recipe. This isn’t the time for fancy or strong-flavored honey. Just regular mild-tasting honey works great.
Dijon Mustard: Plain old yellow mustard is traditional in deviled eggs, but dijon makes them taste much more gourmet. I’m obsessed with Sir Kensington’s Dijon and buy it on Thrive Market for the best price. Just use a mustard that you like the flavor of—if you don’t like it alone you won’t like it in your food.
Toppings: You can be as fancy or as simple as you want. A sprinkle of paprika is traditional for that pretty red color. It doesn’t really add any flavor—it’s just for decoration. Use regular paprika, not smoked, unless you want a smokey flavor. My favorite is a very thin slice of fresh jalapeno and a few chives for a pretty appetizer and awesome flavor. The fresh texture along with the rich filling make for a really nice combination. Just make sure you slice the jalapeno super thin so it doesn’t take over. Finely chopped chives or just a simple sprinkle of paprika also work well. Keep your toppings healthy to keep your eggs healthy. Here are some ideas for plating:
I experimented with adding different amounts of the ingredients listed here, and variations with things like more apple cider vinegar or salt. After about eight different batches, the simple recipe below is what won out time and time again. There’s one small variation that I noted every time I tested this recipe.
If making the day of serving—which is what I recommend—use 1/4 teaspoon of a fine sea salt (I use Real Salt). However, if making the filling a day ahead of time, add an extra big pinch of sea salt (that would be about an extra 1/8 teaspoon). There’s something about recipes like this where the salt kinda disappears the day after. It’s a very small flavor nuance so don’t stress about it. You can always adjust your seasonings before filing the eggs.
1 tablespoon fermented pickle relish (I use Bubbies)
1/2 teaspoon raw honey (mild in flavor)
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional, for heat)
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt (I use Real Salt)
1/8 freshly ground black pepper (about 2 spins of a pepper mill)
paprika, for garnish
chives, optional for garnish
jalapeño, sliced super thin, optional for garnish
Perfect easy-to-peel hard-boiled eggs: Pierce a tiny hole at the top of the big end of the eggs, then lower into boiling water. Boil for 30 seconds, then reduce to the lowest stove setting for a very gentle simmer. Cover and let simmer (not rolling bubbles) for 13 minutes. Transfer eggs to an ice bath and allow to cool for at least 15 minutes. Store unpeeled in the refrigerator up to seven days.
While the eggs cook, prepare the filling. Combine the Veganaise, mustard, pickle relish, honey, cayenne, salt and pepper and mix well.
Peel cold eggs. Dry them off if needed. Using a sharp knife, cut a very small slice off of the long side of each side of the egg to allow them to stand up and not roll on your plate. Cut in half lengthwise and gently remove the yolks to the bowl of filling. Arrange the egg whites on plate.
Using a fork, mash the yolks with the other filling ingredients into a uniform mixture. Adjust seasonings if needed. Transfer mixture to a piping bag. Do not use a piping tip as the relish will get stuck. Use the bag to evenly fill each egg.
Evenly fill each egg white with about 1 1/2 teaspoons. Dust the tops with paprika and/or garnish with thin jalapeño slices and chives. Refrigerate until 15 minutes before serving. Will keep in the refrigerator in an airtight container for two days.
If making for a party, make an extra hard-boiled egg in case one of your whites breaks when you peel the eggs. If making the day of serving—which is what I recommend—use 1/4 teaspoon of a fine sea salt (I use Real Salt). However, if making the filling a day ahead of time, add an extra big pinch of sea salt (that would be about an extra 1/8 teaspoon). The cayenne in this recipe adds a very small amount of heat. Omit, or add more to your liking. A reusable piping bag is cheap and better for the environment. If you don’t have one, snip about 1/4 of an inch off of a plastic ziplock bag and use it as a piping bag, then do something nice for the environment.
If you make these Secretly Healthy Deviled Eggs, let us know how they turn out in the comments below. Did you use the recipe as written? Or come up with new toppings?
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