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IMG_0399Last summer, my husband and I started renting a house, and the landlord let us get chickens. I can totally say that it was one of the better life decisions we have made. They are so easy to take care of and they are fun to have around. But, they also give us wonderful, tasty eggs. I love them almost any way you can cook them: scrambled, fried, soft-boiled, over-easy, poached, sunny-side up…the list goes on! I also use them to make delicious ice cream, meringue, custards, and hollandaise sauce.

So, eggs are tasty and can be used for so many things, but did you know that you can use the egg shells for other things besides just throwing them away? Yes! Egg shells are like nature’s perfect little package and have so many beneficial properties. Here is a list of ways to use your egg shells for your health and your garden, and around your home!

1. Egg shells are full of calcium and are perfect for your plants in your garden. Let the egg shells dry out and grind them up with a mortar and pestle, food processor, or blender. Sprinkle them around your plants in your garden and they will gain all the nutrients from the shells. The shells are also an all-natural pest deterrent. Critters like slugs, snails and deer will stay away from your plants. Alternatively, you could just put them in your compost pile if you have one. They will decompose and you can use the nutrient rich soil for next year’s garden.
2. You can use the shells to plant seeds in instead of buying peat pots at the store. Just fill them with dirt, place them in an egg carton and plant your seeds! When it’s time to plant the seedlings outside, just plant the whole thing. The egg shell will deteriorate and provide your new plant with the nutrients it needs!
3. If you’re a fan of making boiled eggs, instead of dumping out that water, let it cool and water your plants with it. The water has absorbed some of the calcium in the eggshells and it’s beneficial to your plants!
4. Crush up the shells and use them as a powerful, all-natural abrasive for scrubbing your pots and pans!
5. Add a few to homemade stock or broth for an extra calcium boost!

*It’s SUPER IMPORTANT to note that before using egg shells for anything, you must wash and dry them. Egg shells harbor tons of bacteria and germs and if you don’t dry them afterwards, they will rot and you’ll have a horrible smell eeking from your kitchen. Wash them with soap and water and put them in the oven at the lowest setting for about 10 minutes or so. If you plan on keeping them for a period of time, you can save them in the freezer!

*Featured image courtesy of Wikipedia