Don’t you hate throwing out ingredients? It just feels like such a waste. The greatest example of this is with your used and broken egg shells. Don’t worry I understand why you tossed them, you probably didn’t realize the shells could be so incredibly useful.
What am I talking about you ask?
Well, my dear friends, I am talking about the naturally healing, invigorating and health boosting effects of your old eggshells. I know, I know it sounds crazy, but stay tuned. I promise it’s worth it.
The egg is a pretty amazing little nugget. It’s versatile, protein-packed, and high in riboflavin, phosphorus, and vitamins D, A, and B12, as well a complete amino acid source.
You knew all that right? Well, what about the shell? Eggshells are composed almost entirely of calcium carbonate–the same material in our nails, teeth, and bones. If you’re trying to get your daily dose of calcium without dairy, (or currently take an over the counter supplement), than “eating” your eggshells might be an option for you.
- Save your eggshells. Surprisingly, they really don’t smell. You can leave the membrane in the shells but be sure to rinse out any egg white.
- Once you have a quantity of eggshells, sterilize them in boiling water. Strain, spread them on a baking pan, and leave them to dry overnight.
- Bake eggshells at a low temperature in the oven for 10 minutes to dry them out.
- Grind the eggshells to a very fine powder. A coffee grinder works best.
- Store in a tightly closed mason jar in a cool, dry cupboard.
- Simply add about ½ tsp. eggshell powder per day to your favorite foods for 400-500 mg of additional bioavailable calcium.
- You may notice a slightly gritty quality when added to some foods, but I find it very tolerable in smoothies or yogurt, and undetectable in baked goods and heavier foods.
Well if eating your old eggshells makes your gag-reflex act up then you might want to consider adding them to your garden instead. Why you ask? Because calcium is actually just as important for your garden as it is for you!
Calcium-deficient soil causes slow growth and diseases like blossom end rot (when tomatoes, squash, or peppers turn black on one end). Use leftover eggshells as a:
- Soil Amendment: The most important thing to remember when using eggshells in your garden is to give them time. Plants take calcium in through the roots, so you want to crush or powder the shells and push them deep into the earth, in the fall.
- Pest Deterrent: Crush your leftover eggshells into small shards and sprinkle over the soil in your planters or garden beds. Slugs and other pests will find the sharp shells inhospitable and find greener pastures.
- Seed Starters: Of course you can continue to use the moderately inexpensive seed starter kits if you want-but they don’t use your eggshell waste. Just half an eggshell makes an ideal and totally renewable seed planter! Save the eggs that break more or less evenly, wash them out, and poke a small hole in the bottom. Fill with seed starting soil and plant as usual. Plant grown seedlings in the garden right in the shell!
- Facial: Mix 2 TBS of finely powdered eggshell into an egg white. Gently apply the paste as a natural facial mask, letting it dry for 10-20 minutes. Wash off with warm water and a circular motion to exfoliate. I really notice firmer, smoother skin after this treatment.
- Homemade Toothpaste: Use eggshell powder in the place of the calcium powder in my DIY remineralizing toothpaste recipe. It will both whiten and remineralize. It can also be used as a calcium powder replacement in any of my homemade toothpaste or tooth powder recipes.
- Body Scrub: Add several tablespoons to a homemade body scrub recipe for a double-duty exfoliant–great prep for a summer pedicure!
Of course, the amazing-ness of eggshells doesn’t stop there. It can also be used to heal your sensitive skin reactions.
- Bug bites/red itchy skin: Let crushed eggshells soften in a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. Once it liquifies, apply with a cotton ball for a soothing effect.