These girls work hard to make the delicious eggs that my family and I eat, so I don't want to waste even the shells. Besides, egg shells are so versatile, why would I want to waste them?
It's a tough job foraging, sun-bathing, clucking and walking around all day!
First of all, what exactly are egg shells anyway?
Take a look at this site for loads of great information on the value of egg shells!
An excerpt from this site:
One whole medium sized eggshell makes about one teaspoon of powder, which yields about 750 - 800 mgs of elemental* calcium plus other microelements, i.e. magnesium, boron, copper, iron, manganese, molybdenum, sulphur, silicon, zinc, etc. There are 27 elements in total. The composition of an eggshell is very similar to that of our bones and teeth.
*Elemental amounts are the amounts absorbable.
There are many ways I use egg shells, so I keep all of them.
As soon as I'm done with my eggs (the insides), I rinse out all the shells and leave them to air dry. If they're going to be smashed up for the garden or my plants, I don't always bake them, but if they're going to be used for cosmetics then I make sure they are put in a low temperature oven (about 170-200 degrees) for about 15 to 20 minutes to dry them out completely and dis-infect them further.
I have this cute little marble mortar and pestle. I put the broken and clean dry shells in there and smash them up! Once they easily fit into the bowl of the mortar I use a circular motion with good pressure to get them more finely ground.
At this stage I consider them about perfect for going into planters either in the house or garden.
They are fantastic if you have a slug or snail problem as they deter these critters from crawling across the earth to get to the plants. If they can't get on the plants, they can't eat them! As it rains (outside) or as you water the plants inside the water will slowly carry the calcium from the shells through to the soil and therefore the roots. Tomato plants especially love this treatment.
Another way to draw the calcium from them for plants is to soak them in water for a long time, and use that water for the plants. I have dropped egg shells in the rain barrel, and then in the fall just dump it all out into the garden and turn the dirt over to complete the composting process.
Of course, if you're a composter, then I'm sure your shells make it to the compost heap anyway.
Next spring I intend to start a few seedlings in clean dry egg shells too! Add a tablespoon or two of potting mix to half a shell, and plant the seed. The whole mess can go into the ground, and they look super cute in the house while sprouting!
Now on to the really fun uses!
Since egg shells are essentially Calcium Carbonate they are a FREE source of calcium, and can be great for skin care!
Some people even ingest the finely ground powder, and I might even try that in a capsule form.
Take a look at THIS SITE, for some great information on the health benefits of egg shells!
Now as for cosmetic uses, take a look at this AWESOME BLOG for a Mario Badescu knock off recipe for Silver Powder.
I've made it myself and it's a recipe I will make again when I run out.
My spin on her silver powder knock off is that I add a diluted drop of Melrose Essential oil blend (or sometimes Frankincense) to the cotton ball before applying to the face, and I use colloidal silver to wet the cotton ball too. This really makes it a 'silver' powder, and gives it an acne fighting boost ;)
To make the powder fine enough for such a purpose, you will need to use a high powered blender. This means saving egg shells for a while to have enough to properly blend.
Marie uses a coffee grinder for hers I think, and that's a fantastic option if you don't have enough shells to make a blender go work.
Last but not least, I have heard of soaking sterilized egg shells in ACV (preferably home made) to extract calcium and produce a 'calcium citrate' which can be used as you would regular ACV.
I have also personally tossed some finely ground shells on my nylon scrubber when trying to get stubborn burned on food off of my stainless steel or cast iron cookware.
It would not be safe on Teflon, though I don't consider Teflon a safe cooking surface anyway.
If it could kill a pet bird in the house, why would I want to cook for my family on it?
Please chime in and share how you use egg shells if you do.
If you didn't before, will you try some of these ways of recycling them?
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