This Pancake Day we’ve added a twist to traditional pancakes with these recipes from Two Chicks and its range of free-range egg whites and pancake mix to give you sweet and savoury serving suggestions big on flavour. but minimal in effort.
Impressed with the American idea of liquid egg whites, their convenience and health benefits, friends Anna and Alla recognised a gap in the market here in the UK for such a product – and the rest is history. HELLO! talks exclusively to the pair of entrepreneurs, discovers how they are helping disadvantaged girls and young women and reveal the answer to the obvious question: what happens to the yolks?
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Anna, where did the idea for the product/company come from?
"While I was living in Los Angeles for a short time back in 2005, I was struck by the popularity of liquid egg whites to make fat and cholesterol free, lower calorie omelettes as an alternative to cooking with whole eggs. Egg whites were available in cartons in all the supermarkets, and I used to buy them all the time.
"When I got back to the UK, I wanted egg whites for breakfast, but didn’t want the hassle and wastage of separating eggs and it seemed ludicrous that we didn’t have such a product on the market. Numerous magazine articles, along with celebrities and sports stars, were recommending eating egg whites to stay in shape, yet you couldn’t buy them over here.
"Alla and I were friends and when I shared my idea with her, she also recognised the gap in the market. The next day we got together and began writing the business plan.”
Meet your Pancake Day saviours, Two Chicks founders Anna and Alla
And what happens to the yolks?
"We get asked this question so much that we have actually written it on the bottom of our carton! The yolks are never wasted, but are used by other manufacturers for products such as cakes and desserts.”
Alla, what health benefits do egg whites have?
"Unlike the yolk, which contains around 7g of fat and 230mg of cholesterol, egg white is fat and cholesterol free and has 70% fewer calories than whole eggs. It is also very high in protein and has no carbohydrate.
"We recently conducted some research for National Cholesterol Month: it seems that some people may be misinformed about the nutrition contained in egg yolks versus egg whites. The part of an egg highest in fat is the yolk, yet less than a third (32%) of the public believe this to be the case. It seems that people also need educating as to the ways in which to consume egg white; whilst 39% of the public would eat egg whites in the form of meringues, only 22% said they would make an egg white omelette.”
Anna, how did you two first meet – and who’s the better cook?
"At a party in 2004. We hit it off immediately and then ran into each other in a nightclub a few weeks’ later and exchanged numbers. I wouldn’t say that cooking comes instinctively to either of us actually. Alla probably has to cook more as she has children, and we can of course both make an incredible egg white omelette!"
Alla, as female entrepreneurs who established your business just before the 2009 recession [but continued to grow it throughout] you know what it is like being a small company in a sector dominated by larger, more powerful players. Tell us about the aims of the Two Chicks Female Empowerment Fund you’ve launched?
"It has always been a long-standing ambition of ours to align ourselves with women’s causes. Our Two Chicks Empowerment Fund has been set up to support the personal, social and emotional wellbeing of disadvantaged girls and young women. It aims to help them develop self-confidence through mentoring enterprise schemes and engagement in holistic practices, the arts and other areas, which may be overlooked. We are starting with girls’ comprehensive schools, but our aim is to roll the programme out further.
"We will donate 10% of our profits to the fund and will highlight this on our pack, so that customers are aware that they are contributing to our cause."
The business was launched pre a recession, you’ve come through the 2020 lockdowns, you’ve scooped awards and accolades, are constantly adding to the Two Chicks range, what’s next for the two of you?
"We have a couple of new products that we are launching next year, we just had the first factory run for one of them, which is exciting. And we will of course be focusing a lot on the Two Chicks Empowerment Fund. It’s nice to be able to give something back and make our business about more than just food."
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GOAT'S CHEESE & ASPARAGUS FRITTATA RECIPE
An egg white frittata makes a simple, versatile and nutritious meal and is a great way of upping your protein intake, whilst removing the fat cholesterol of whole eggs. If you want a denser frittata, add in 3 medium Russet potatoes, scrubbed and diced into 1cm/½ in cubes.
Preparation time 10-15 minutes
Cooking time 10-12 minutes
• A handful of asparagus spears woody ends trimmed
• 150g/5oz fresh or defrosted frozen peas
• 6 spring onions, trimmed and sliced on the slant
• 1 tbsp olive oil or a knob of butter
• 1 1/2 cartons of Two Chicks free-range egg whites (750ml/25fl oz)
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 40g/1 1/2oz goat’s cheese (substitute for ricotta if you prefer a milder taste)
• A handful of fresh dill
• Fresh shavings of Parmesan
Preheat the grill to medium, or the oven to 180°C, 350°F, Gas 4.
Bring a pan of water to the boil. Add the asparagus spears and peas and steam/cook for 5 minutes then drain and set aside.
Melt the oil or butter in an ovenproof frying pan and cook the spring onion and potatoes, if using (see recipe intro). Pour over the Two Chicks egg whites and add a pinch of black pepper to season.
Cook for a few minutes, add the asparagus and peas and cook for a further few minutes to set.
Crumble the goat’s cheese over the frittata, then grill or bake for 5-7 minutes, or until set and golden brown on top.
Scatter over the dill, Parmesan shavings and serve warm, or cold with a green salad.
ASIAN STYLE PANCAKE WRAPS RECIPE
These Asian style pancakes are full of flavour. The salmon can also be substituted for crab, chickpeas or tofu.
Preparation time 15-20 minutes
Cooking time 5-10 minutes
For the omelette wraps
• 160ml/5 1/2fl oz Two Chicks free-range egg whites
• 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh chives
• 50g/2oz rice noodles made up as per the pack instructions, drained and dried on kitchen towel
• Sea salt, for sprinkling
• 1 tsp unsalted butter
• 1 tsp sunflower or vegetable oil
For the dressing
• 3 tbsp chilli paste
• 2 tbsp runny honey
• Juice of 1 lime
• 1/4 tsp freshly grated ginger
• 1 tbsp cold water
• Cucumber, shaved lengthways
• 150g/5oz smoked salmon fillets, flaked
• 1/2 fennel bulb, trimmed, finely shaved and mixed with juice of 1/2 lime and a sprinkle of sea salt
• A small handful of sprouted greens
• A small handful of Thai holy basil and coriander, roughly torn
• 2 spring onions, trimmed and finely chopped
• 2 tbsp toasted cashew pieces, crushed
In a small bowl, mix the ingredients for the dressing together, stir and set aside.
In a medium sized bowl add the egg whites, half the chives and half the rice noodles and sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt. Stir gently to combine and try to keep the mixture as unfrothy as possible.
Add the butter or oil to a non-stick frying pan and cook on a medium heat. Pour a serving of the egg white and noodle mixture from the bowl into the frying pan and cook for a few minutes on one side. Flip and cook for a further 2 minutes on the other side. Repeat, until all of the mixture is used up.
Assemble your pancakes on serving plates, add a long strip of cucumber and scatter with the smoked salmon flakes and the fennel. Top with the sprouted greens, herbs, spring onions and crushed cashews. Pour over the dressing and serve extra on the side for dipping.
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HIBISCUS MERINGUE WITH MANGO CREAM RECIPE
This dessert bowl makes a wonderfully creamy and fruity sweet treat.
Preparation time 25-30 minutes
Cooking time 2 hours
For the meringue
• 160ml/5 1/2fl oz Two Chicks free-range egg whites
• 115g/4 1/4oz caster sugar
• 115g/4 1/4oz icing sugar
• 4 tbsp ground hibiscus flowers (or hibiscus tea bags)
• 300g/11oz fresh mango chunks
• Juice of 1 lime
• 1 x 240g carton whipping cream
• Fresh lemon basil (mint also works well)
• Ground hibiscus flowers
Preheat the oven to 130°C, 250°F, Gas ½ and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
In a processor, blend the mango and lime juice until smooth then set aside.
In a clean mixing bowl beat the egg whites to stiff peak stage using a hand mixer or stand mixer. Add the caster sugar, 1 tbsp at a time, leaving a few seconds between each spoonful so it’s fully combined and doesn't separate later. Once the mixture is thick and glossy, sift in a third of the icing sugar with the 2 tbsp of hibiscus flowers. Fold in so that the mixture looks smooth.
Use a spoon to dollop the meringue onto the baking paper or alternatively, place it into a piping bag and pipe 4 equal portions onto the baking tray. Sprinkle the top of the meringues with the remaining hibiscus flowers, sieved through a strainer.
Cook in the preheated oven for 1 hour and then lower the temperature to the lowest setting, leaving the door open for a few minutes. Cook the meringue for a further 1 1/2 hours and then remove from the oven and leave to cool.
To make the mango cream, in a mixing bowl whip the whipping cream until soft peaks form. Add the mango and swirl through the cream using a metal spoon. Sieve some more ground hibiscus over the cream and wait for a few minutes for the colour to ‘bleed’ into the cream.
Serve in bowls topped with a sprig of lemon basil.
BLUEBERRY PANCAKES WITH GREEK YOGHURT & HONEY RECIPE
Serve these gluten and lactose-free pancakes with blueberries, Greek yoghurt and honey for a delicious weekend brunch that takes just minutes to create.
Serves 2 (makes 5-6 pancakes) or 1 large pancake
Preparation time 10 minutes
Cooking time 6-10 minutes
• Knob of butter
• 500ml/18fl oz Two Chicks pancake mix (made with free-range eggs)
• Fresh blueberries
• Tub of Greek yoghurt
• Honey, for drizzling
Add a knob of butter to a non-stick frying pan on a medium heat.
Shake your pancake mix before use and pour in 100ml/4fl oz (roughly 1/5) of the carton into the frying pan.
Heat until the pancake top has set, then flip over and heat for another minute until golden. Remove from the pan and place on a plate. Repeat, until you have made a stack of 5-6 pancakes.
Top with fresh blueberries, Greek yoghurt and a drizzle of honey.
EFFORTLESS EGGS - THE WHITE STUFF
Launched in 2007 after identifying a gap in the market for a fat and cholesterol free, lower calorie alternative to whole egg, today the Two Chicks brand has grown to embrace a range of convenient egg-based products including an organic liquid egg white, an ambient egg white, a liquid whole egg and a fresh ready-to-use pancake mix. Available from Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Tesco, Booths, Ocado, amazonfresh, Abel&Cole and Whole Foods Market in 500g cartons.
For more information and recipes, visit twochicks.co.uk.
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