Why You Should Stop Throwing Out Eggshells

Eggs are good for a lot of things: omelets, salads, cakes, French toast, and much more, but most of the time, after we gently crack the shell open and let the yummy, protein-filled stuff out, we all too often toss the rest. We almost exclusively use the inside of eggs, and rarely look to the shell for any kind of value. But what if you could use eggs to not only make a delicious breakfast food, but also a classic morning beverage?

Coffee is a fan-favorite drink for those that need a morning caffeine boost. People tend to reach for lattes, expressos, and cappuccinos, but have you ever heard of cowboy coffee? Waka Coffee tells us that back in the days of the pony express and cross-country ranchers, cowboys relied on and revered coffee. They often rode on horseback for long hours and got very little sleep, but to stay awake they'd place a pot over a campfire and pour ground coffee straight into the water and wait until the mix was boiling. 

The only problem with cowboy coffee — and some of our coffee today — is that it is powerfully bitter. But luckily, there is an easy solution to a too-strong brew: eggshells.

Eggshells are good for your health

Coffee is sometimes unbearably tannic because it is brewed using high heat which, according to Cooks Illustrated, releases acidic notes. Adding crushed eggshell to the mix curbs these less-appreciated flavor notes. Eggshells help to prevent bitter coffee because they are made of calcium carbonate which absorbs some — not all — of the acid in coffee. This means you can brew a strong cup of Joe without blowing your taste buds sky-high. Additionally, Coffee Affection reports that eggshells also weigh coffee grounds down. This may not sound overly important, but if you like to make your coffee on the stove and not in a coffee machine, they really do help. And if coffee isn't really your thing, Better Homes & Gardens advises you to eat your shells due to their high calcium content — you can blend eggshells into a powder and add them to your smoothies or other foods to help protect your bone health.

But if you are planning on living a no-waste life and utilizing your eggshells, you must clean them. Healthline warns that your shells may have some unhealthy bacteria on them so avoid brewing yourself a nice hot cup of food poisoning by boiling the shell before you use it in your coffee. You can also go one step further and clean your eggs before boiling them by using vinegar to rub off any dirt or stains on the shell (via Eco Peanut).