The egg. Delicious alone – whether scrambled, boiled, poached or fried – but also an essential ingredient for chefs, bakers and ice cream makers. As many recipes don’t require a whole egg, it’s often easy to generate waste, or be left wondering what to do with the remaining parts. Make meringues, marzipan, or nougat for example, and you only need the white; turn your hand to custard, mayonnaise or béarnaise sauce, and you only require the yolk. Ahead of Easter, we investigate how to use all parts of the egg and how to minimize waste.
Left over egg whites…
1. Face mask
Whisk egg whites with a little bit of water to create a skin-firming face mask. Egg whites help to reduce puffiness, leave pores looking smaller and are thought to have anti-aging properties.
As egg whites dry, they become increasingly sticky. Although not particularly strong, they work well as glue for paper or light cardboard.
3. Leather cleaner
The sticky quality of egg whites also makes them good at cleaning certain surfaces, in particular leather. Gently rub onto shoes, bags or even sofas, and then wipe off with a cloth. Egg whites also form a protective covering for leather.
Left over egg yolks…
4. Biscuit decoration
You can create an edible paint for decorating biscuits before baking by mixing egg yolks with water and brightly colored foods. For example: spinach or parsley for green, baked beetroot for purple and saffron or chamomile for yellow.
5. Hair conditioner
Mix an egg yolk with water or olive oil for a rich conditioner. Apply the mixture to your hair after shampooing and leave on for about 10 minutes. Be warned: rinse with cool or warm (not hot) water to avoid cooking the egg!
Adding crushed eggshells to your compost will greatly increase the calcium content and make your soil richer – simply crush and add to the mix!
7. Seed holders
Calcium from eggshells can also help seeds to grow. When using eggs, try to break them in half to create two mini bowls. Then fill with soil and add the seeds – the nutrients from the shells will enrich the soil. You can keep your bowls upright by storing them in an egg box.
8. Pest repellent
If you crumble eggshells and sprinkle them on your plants or soil, you can deter pests such as snails and slugs that are repelled by the rough surface.
9. Pan cleaner
Add crushed shells to soapy water to create a natural abrasive cleaner to use on pots and pans. The rough edges help to remove tough stains, and possibly remnants of scrambled eggs!
10. Fabric whitener
Grandmothers’ tip: Put your eggshells into small cotton bag and add to your washing machine along with the laundry to whiten your whites.
And finally, remember you can even use your egg water…
Don’t throw the water out after boiling or poaching your eggs – let it cool and give your plants some nutrients!
P.s. Did you notice that the eggs in this photo are blue? No, you’re not seeing things! They are eggs from our Blue Egg Hen Presidium, where the hens lay colored eggs thanks to a genetic trait – one of the great examples of food biodiversity that Slow Food works daily to protect.