If you’re a monarchist, or just enjoy the royal family’s tradition, you may have heard of the Coronation Quiche – made with spinach, fava beans, and tarragon.
The idea is that we make it and share it with friends and family during the coronation celebrations in May. King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla just had a recipe.
As dieticians, we are interested in the nutritional value of the quiche. So we analyzed the content and found that although it is quite a healthy dish, we could make a healthier version. Spoiler alert: the original recipe contains lard (pork fat).
We’ve also found that we can make the quiche with cheaper or more readily available ingredients.
Read more: King Charles III to be crowned in May. The ritual has ancient origins – here’s what to expect
What is a quiche anyway?
Today, most people think of quiche as a French dish that is essentially a savory pie. It usually consists of a pastry crust filled with a mixture of eggs, cream and cheese, plus various other ingredients such as vegetables, meat and spices.
Quiche can be served hot or cold. You can eat it for breakfast, lunch or dinner with salad or vegetables.
Read more: Platinum pudding: a history of desserts with royal connections
How much is it?
Quiches are usually quite economical to make. Most of the basic ingredients are cheap, and you can customize the fillings based on what’s in the fridge or what’s left over from recent meals.
Let’s see if this applies to the Coronation Quiche. We break down the costs into typical quantities you can buy at the store (say, six eggs) and the cost to make the quiche (which only requires two eggs).
Making the quiche from scratch and having to buy the ingredients in quantities sold in stores will cost you almost A$38. While this may seem like a lot, you’ll have some ingredients left over for another meal.
So how much do the ingredients cost for one quiche? We came to $12 for the whole quiche, or $2 per serving. Reasonable!
Can you make it even cheaper?
Busy lives and the rising cost of living are on the mind right now. So here are a few things you can do to save time and money when making a coronation quiche:
buy ready-made pastries. Keep any sheets you don’t use for the quiche in the freezer
use private label products whenever possible
consider vegetable shortening, as it is slightly cheaper than lard
buy vegetables in season and from a farmer’s market
can’t find dragon? Try seasonal and inexpensive herbs such as parsley, basil, or rosemary
can’t find fava beans? Try cheaper legumes like edamame or cannellini beans.
Read more: Are private label foods healthy? If you read the label, you will be pleasantly surprised
How nutritious is the Coronation Quiche?
We also looked at the nutritional profile of the Coronation Quiche. We have expressed quantities for the whole quiche and per serving.
The healthy… and the less healthy
This quiche has high amounts of healthy protein and fiber that come from the fava beans and eggs.
One serving of this quiche gives you about 18-25% of your daily protein and about 10% of your daily fiber needs, which is great.
But the quiche has a high content of saturated fat, mainly due to the large amounts of lard, butter and cream.
Saturated fat has been linked to an increased risk of diabetes cardiovascular eventssuch as heart attacks and strokes, as it raises levels of LDL cholesterol (the bad kind of cholesterol).
This LDL cholesterol can build up in the walls of arteries and form plaques, which harden arteries over time and increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. So high amounts of saturated fats is something we don’t want to eat too much of, especially if we have cardiovascular disease. It’s also something we want to avoid when we’re trying to lose weight.
For an average Aussie consuming about 9,000 kilojoules per day, the recommended maximum intake of saturated fat is about 24 grams.
Just one serving of this quiche contains about 17 g of saturated fat, meaning there isn’t much room for other foods after you’ve eaten a slice.
Maybe you better try this quiche instead, because it has half the amount of saturated fat as the coronation quiche. You might even have one crustless quiche.
Read more: Health Check: Is margarine actually better for me than butter?
4 ways to make a healthier quiche
Here are a few tips to make this recipe healthier:
1. Use low-fat options. If you’re watching your weight and want to cut back on the quiche’s kilojoules, swap the full-fat cheddar cheese, milk, and heavy cream for low-fat items. This reduces the total fat content per serving from 29.6 g to 15 g and saves 112.2 kilojoules per serving
2. Discard the lard. Swap the lard for butter to save 15 g of total fat per serving. This may slightly change the texture of the quiche, but it will reduce the kilojoules
3. Use feta. Swap the cheddar cheese for feta cheese, which has fewer kilojoules per gram
4. Add extra vegetables. This increases the fiber content of the quiche and adds plenty of extra nutrients.