Onion skins. Carrot tops. Potato peels. In most homes, these things get thrown in the trash or ground up by the garbage disposal. In the homes of gardeners, they might get pitched into the compost bin where they will decompose into the soil. But for the select few who know the secret…kitchen “waste products” are not waste at all. Upcycling is a term that is used to describe ways to repurpose discarded material into something valuable. In our house, those vegetable trimmings get collected and stored in the freezer, and when we have enough, they get cooked down into a rich vegetable stock that can be used as a flavorful base in all sorts of recipes. That’s just one simple kitchen upcycling trick…read the article below for some even more unusual and creative ideas.
Recycling is a good thing…but upcycling is even better. There are so many creative, health-conscious, and environmentally friendly ways to handle household waste, especially from your kitchen. Of course, composting is a great option, but there are all sorts of ways to use things that you may not have ever thought of repurposing. These kitchen waste hacks will green up your home in no time, and boost your health in the process.
Turn Eggshells into a Calcium Supplement
Researchers have found that calcium supplements function differently in the body than calcium from food sources. Studies have found that people who consume high amounts of calcium, particularly from supplements, might have an increased risk of heart disease. This is likely because the overload of chemically isolated calcium causes calcification, or hardening, of the arteries and heart muscles. The incidence in kidney and gallstones has also been found to be associated with high calcium consumption from supplements, but not from food.
It is much better to get calcium from food sources, such as organic dairy products (milk, yogurt, and cheese), leafy green vegetables (kale, broccoli or cabbage), or fish with edible soft bones (canned sardines and salmon often have bones soft enough to consume). Powdered eggshells are also a fantastic source of whole food calcium.
Ingredients and equipment:
One carton of organic pastured chicken eggs — you can identify good quality eggs by a healthy thick shell, which indicates the chickens have been fed a supportive diet and they are not exhausted from laying too much.
- Coffee grinder
- One small Mason jar with a secure lid
1. Use up your eggs as you normally would, keeping the shell in the carton to make your supplement.
2. When you have your dozen shells, rinse them thoroughly in water. Remove any whites that might be stuck, but don’t remove membrane as these have extra nutrients.
3. Fill a stock pot with approximately 6 cups of filtered water and bring to a boil.
4. Carefully put your eggshells into the water. This will kill any harmful pathogens.
5. Let cook for 10 minutes, then drain shells.
6. Spread the shells on a glass or stainless steel baking sheet and let dry overnight. In the morning, put in a 200°F oven for about 10 minutes to completely dry out.
7. Once completed, put a few shells into a coffee grinder and run until they are pulverized into a granular form. Continue until all of your shells are powder.
8. Store in a tightly sealed Mason jar in the cupboard away from heat or moisture.
How to consume eggshell calcium
One teaspoon contains approximately 800–1,000 mg of calcium. Consume by mixing in a small amount of water with a meal. Consume 3/4 to one teaspoon daily, divided into three servings with meals. Don’t consume more than one teaspoon a day as it can irritate sensitive digestive tracts or cause constipation.
Turn Apple Peels into Tea, Chips and More
Make chips: Toss apple peels with melted butter, cinnamon and a little brown sugar and roast for a light and crispy snack.
Add to your smoothie: Freeze apple peels in a freezer bag and add a few each time you make a smoothie. They are an excellent source of fiber and can add a little sweetness too.
Make a tea: Add a few apple peels to hot water along with a cinnamon stick and a teaspoon or so of raw honey. This is a soothing warm drink to enjoy on a chilly afternoon.
Fold into baked goods: Chop peas up and add them to that next batch of healthy cookies, waffles or muffins. Peels add a light fruity flavor and boost the fiber content of your creation.
Make apple cider vinegar: If you have a big bunch of apples, save the peels and the cores and turn them into delicious and nutritious apple cider vinegar.
Make Banana Peel Tea
Do you have trouble falling asleep or wake continually throughout the night? You may have a magnesium deficiency. Called the “invisible deficiency,” magnesium deficiency is often hard to spot and diagnose. This condition is also difficult to detect with medical tests since only one percent of magnesium is found in the blood. Most magnesium is stored in bones and organs. Therefore, a simple needle prick by your doctor often won’t help determine whether you’re deficient.
But here’s the thing: your body needs magnesium for your DNA, all living cells, reproduction and protein synthesis (how cells build their specific proteins). Additionally, magnesium is essential for the regulation of muscular contraction, blood pressure, insulin metabolism, cardiovascular health, nerve transmission, and neuromuscular transmission. And according to research, magnesium deficiency is linked to a variety of chronic diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, migraine headaches, and even ADHD.
Banana peels are a good source of magnesium, and the tea is a great way to get magnesium into your diet. Magnesium also helps your muscles relax. So, drinking the tea about an hour before going to bed will help you get a good night’s sleep.
Note: Did you know that bananas are one of most heavily sprayed crops in the world? So to avoid consuming pesticides, you should always make your tea with organic bananas only. Additionally, use a ripe banana — no green spots. An under-ripened banana could mean a bout of constipation.
- 1 ripe banana
- Dash of cinnamon
- Raw honey to taste
- 1 small pot of filtered water
- Add water to a saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Cut both ends off the banana, but leave the skin on.
- Place it in the boiling water. Boil for 10 minutes.
- Strain water into a mug, then add cinnamon and honey.
- Drink one hour prior to bed.