Do you have chickens? Depending on how many and how often they lay, you may find yourself swimming in extra eggs. Here are some ways to use up all those wonderful fresh eggs.
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Different ways to use eggs
From recipes to garden additives, eggs have many special uses. They are versatile in that they can be in both savory and sweet dishes while also providing much needed nutrients to plants and animals. Naturally, eggs are by design, developed to carry all of things a growing chick needs. This means that it is one the most dense nutritional foods out there.
We have four hens in a mobile chicken coop in our urban homestead in Northwest Louisiana. While they stopped laying for a bit during molting in the fall, they pick up pretty quickly here in the south. I am more of a fan than my family of just regular scrambled or sunny side up. But we bake a lot and they are in everything from cookies to breads. In many recipes, the eggs are a binding agent and are required to keep things together such as meatballs and meatloaf.
Egg Heavy Recipes
There are many ways to use up those eggs in the kitchen. One of the best ways is a nice, egg-heavy quiche recipe. One of my favorites is cherry tomato and spinach quiche. Eggnog, as the name suggests, uses a good bit of eggs in the winter. The USDA recommends heating it to a certain temperature (160F) to kill any negative bacteria.
Egg noodles are a great way to have delicious from scratch pasta and use up some of those eggs. If you have not tried homemade pasta, you are missing out. It is simply delicious. Desserts are another way to use up eggs. Meringues and macarons both use a fair number of eggs. Japanese pancakes are made fluffy with lots of eggs and are simply delicious
You can sell your eggs, depending on your local ordinances, to your neighbors, coworkers and friends. For many people, this just helps with the cost of feed and is not a big money maker but you could always expand your operation if you have room
Joel Salatin has a book called Pastured Poultry Profits that cover the meat side of raising and selling pastured chickens but you can apply some of the same principles with a chicken tractor and sell meat or eggs. Often you will see more returns with value added things like selling homemade goods that use them up, especially in baking.
Eggs and eggshells in the garden
As an egg decomposes, it can add nutrients to your garden. Put one in the bottom of a potted plant and plant your seedlings as usual. Over time it will disintegrate adding much needed benefits to the soil and helping feed your plants.
You can also use egg shells in many ways throughout the garden. A common one is to put the crushed shells around plants to prevent slugs from eating your garden. I crush them and feed them back to the hens for calcium. You can also grind them up and use them as a calcium boost in the garden. Finally, if you hard boil your eggs, save the water. Pour the cooled egg water on plants for a boost.
You may want to keep your eggs for your own use for as long as possible. This is especially true with a small home flock as they will likely stop laying in the late fall and early winter when they molt. There was a period of about 3 weeks when we had to buy them.
There are many ways to preserve eggs. You can crack them open into an ice tray and freeze them. Then remove them from the ice tray and store them in a sealed container.
Another way to preserve them is salting. You need A LOT of salt and you separate the yolks from the whites. Cover the yolks in the salt for a period of time until they solidify. Then you can use it like cheese! Use of the whites in things like meringues. Or an egg white omelet.
You can also hard boil your eggs and then pickle them. They can last for quite a while using these methods.
DIY natural care
Eggs are an excellent way to pamper your skin and hair. One way is to make an egg white face mask. The eggs will naturally tighten your skin and leave the face feeling fresh and rejuvenated.
You can also use eggs in your hair. This all natural method will help restore your hair especially if you have used lots of chemicals or heat. You will mostly use egg yolks for this and leave it on like any hair mask. Rinse with warm water and your hair will thank you.
The incredible egg
As you can see, there are many versatile uses for eggs. If you have too many at home, definitely consider new and creative ways to use them up. The egg has been a staple of the human diet for a long time and many new and old methods have been developed to enjoy the efforts of your happy hens.
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