A foodie's quest to turn up the heat through strength and conditioning with whole food and a hungry mind.

Monday, July 2, 2012

How to Make Your Own Healthy Egg “McGriddle”

Have you ever had a McGriddle breakfast sandwich from McDonald’s? The soft maple-flavored pancake “buns” sandwiching crispy bacon or sausage, egg and cheese creates a sweet and savory fast food breakfast. Mmm, I really enjoyed these sandwiches back in my “ignorant to how food is made” days. Now...not so much.

Glad to be free of food ignorance now, I see through the "M" branded griddle cakes stuffed with fluffy egg and crispy bacon.  I only see low-quality, non-nutritional ingredients like enriched flour, artificial flavors designed in a science lab, and cheese that is anything but. Starting from the top, lets break down the ingredients in one of these sandwiches from McD’s. This info is straight from their site here.
Who brands their buns anyway?

One Bacon, Egg, and Cheese McGriddle (source) packs a whopping 420 calorie handheld heart attack served neatly in colored paper wrap. You get a substantial (not in a good way) 18g of fat, 240mg of cholesterol, 1110mg of sodium, 2g fiber, and 15g of sugar. Still sound good? Lets keep going….

The top-level ingredients for a Bacon, Egg & Cheese McGriddles® are:

Griddle Cakes, Folded Egg, Pasteurized Process American Cheese, Bacon, Liquid Margarine

Seems somewhat safe, but dig deeper and we find the Griddle Cakes have a little more than you or I would use to make pancakes:

Water, enriched flour (bleached wheat flour, malted barley flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), sugar, dextrose, palm oil, leavening (baking soda, sodium acid pyrophosphate, monocalcium phosphate), brown sugar, salt, soybean oil, rice flour, whey powder, modified tapioca starch, buttermilk powder, caramel color, natural (dairy and botanical source) and artificial flavors, soy lecithin, corn oil (processing aid).

Surely there’s nothing in the Folded Egg besides "egg"….right?....wrong:

Pasteurized whole eggs, food starch-modified, soybean oil, natural flavors (botanical source), sodium acid pyrophosphate, carrageenan, flavor enhancer [salt, maltodextrin, natural flavor (plant source), spices, herb, turmeric (color)], monosodium phosphate, citric acid, soy lecithin (release agent).

And the topping on (and in) the “cake” is Liquid Margarine:

Liquid soybean oil and hydrogenated cottonseed and soybean oils, water, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, salt, soy lecithin, mono-and diglycerides, sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate (preservatives), artificial flavor, citric acid, vitamin A palmitate, beta carotene (color).

This is an example of why I cook at home. You can find many places that provide fresh, healthy ingredients, but the fact that I just don’t have control of what I'm eating bothers me. Plus, I don’t want to pay a premium because someone else prepared my meal when I can do the same from the comfort of home; and I’ll tip myself, thank you.

My version is actually what you would expect an egg sandwich with pancake buns to be; two pancakes with a cooked egg in the middle. Wow, shocker!! I cooked a batch of pumpkin pancakes using less liquid in my crepe recipe on this post, but you can use your favorite pancake recipe if you choose.

The fluffy white one was my weapon egg of choice for the pics.
For the egg, I had this bright idea to microwave it in a small, circular glass dish to make the perfect round egg patty. As you can see, I did this 4 times and the egg just expanded into a miniature Leaning Tower of Pisa. Fail. I made do with the best rounded one of the bunch and just saved the other eggs to put on salad. Since my pancakes were too big, I trimmed around them a little; not necessary, but I wanted to make it look good!

Topped with a drizzle of honey, sprinkle of cayenne, and dash of pepper, this was a delectably sweet and spicy sandwich I devoured right after the last picture. I was so excited when the idea to make this sandwich came to mind, and I’m glad I did. I no longer crave a McGriddle after seeing the extensive list of crap for ingredients, but my non-McGriddles are a delightful (and healthy) way to start or end the day.

I think it's smiling at me...
Egg sandwiches are just awesome, and I recall having many homemade scrambled egg and ketchup sandwiches on white bread as a kid. Not all that healthy, but better than McD’s. I'll just have these instead from now on.

Q: Have you ever made your own fast food version into something healthier?

Q2: Do you like egg sandwiches with ketchup?

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