This post is sponsored by Pete and Gerry’s Organic Eggs. All opinions are my own.
A few months ago, I broke my shoulder blade in a freak dog-walking accident (it was as embarrassing as it sounds). After ignoring the pain for weeks, I found myself at the orthopedic surgeon’s office in the company of motorcycle-riding men and athletes with similar injuries. One of the first things my orthopedist recommended was boosting my calcium intake—pronto. We’ve heard it over and over, but this vital mineral is crucial for strengthening bones and preventing injuries. Surprisingly, calcium also plays a role in everything from heart health to maintaining proper body weight, so it’s important that you get enough of it every single day.
One of the best, cheapest, and most bioavailable sources of calcium is eggshells. Yes, regular old eggshells! Whip up your own calcium powder in less than an hour with a few clean shells and a coffee grinder (a food processor works, too). So go ahead and give your smoothies – or juice, soup, or morning elixir – a boost with this DIY eggshell calcium powder.
DIY Calcium Powder from Egg Shells
I’ve been on a smoothie kick for breakfast lately. It’s one of the few meals of the day that I get to load up on fruits and veggies without having to force it. Not only do I just feel healthier when I eat them, but I love how smoothies make an awesome base for adding other vitamins and minerals to my diet.
Calcium is one of those minerals that’s important for bodily processes but can be tricky to get enough of the old-fashioned way. It’s found in leafy greens and broccoli, but you need to eat a lot of them to see any noticeable benefits. And supplementation isn’t always good either. Over the counter calcium supplements can be rough on the stomach and difficult to absorb.
Whole-food sources of calcium, on the other hand, are a totally different story.
Eggshells are made almost entirely of calcium carbonate, which is also what makes up our nails, teeth, and bones. They’re also loaded with protein, magnesium, selenium, strontium, and other compounds that are said to be good for bones and joints. Because they’re a whole food (not a man-made supplement), it’s easier for our bodies to absorb and assimilate the nutrients found in eggshells. And the best part is that they’re 100% free. Simply save your old shells (I like to freeze mine until I have enough saved up), and you can help cut down on food waste.
But I don’t buy my eggs from just anywhere. I believe that free-range, chickens that have access to outdoor pasture who consume quality feed make the most nutritious eggs and shells. Unlike a lot of factory farms, Pete and Gerry Organic Eggs prides themselves on raising healthy hens the old-fashioned way: on small family farms with access to pasture. Because their chickens get all the grass, sunlight, and bugs they need, plus high-quality feed to round out their diets, you can trust that their eggs are loaded with vitamins and minerals without any of the bad stuff. Not to mention, they value environmentally sustainable farming practices that help reduce pollution, maintain healthy soil, and conserve water. This means that Pete and Gerry’s Organic Eggs are highly nutritious and good for the environment. A win-win.
If you have a small family or don’t usually eat a lot of eggs in one sitting, I recommend stockpiling your shells over time. You’ll be sanitizing the shells before making your calcium powder, so you can simply put the leftover eggshells in a container in the refrigerator while your build up a stash (make sure to rinse them out first). If left in the fridge for fewer than five days, I have never had any issues with the shells starting to smell. If you need more time to accrue your shells, simply store them in the freezer until you have enough.
Then, simply toss a half a teaspoon’s worth of calcium powder in your morning smoothie to give it a nutritional boost.
DIY Calcium Powder
- 10-12 eggshells
- Medium sauce pan
- Baking sheet
- Coffee or spice grinder
1. Once you’ve saved up 10 to 12 shells, place them in a medium saucepan and cover with water. Boil them for 15 minutes to sterilize completely.
2. Spread the shells on a baking sheet. Bake at 225ºF for 20 minutes to dry them out.
3. Using a coffee or spice grinder, grind the shells to a very fine powder. You can also use a blender for this, but I find that a coffee grinder makes the finest powder, so you don’t have any large eggshell pieces in your smoothie. A finer powder also mixes better with other drinks, like coffee or juice.
4. Add ½ teaspoon to your daily smoothie for about 400-500 mg of calcium. Store in an airtight jar in a cool, dry cupboard for up to a month.