If you've found yourself with a fridge full of eggs, and a coop full of girls that just keep laying - it can be easy to feel like you're swimming in eggs without knowing what to do with them all. Here are my 10 favorite ways to use extra eggs, plus some of the best recipes that use a lot of eggs!
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Freeze them for when the girls aren't laying.
As soon as I have an abundance of eggs each spring, this is the first thing I do with the extras. I follow this method of freezing eggs for long-term storage, and make sure I have a good supply of frozen eggs in the freezer.
Since I've been doing this, I've never had to buy eggs, even when all the girls take a few weeks off in the middle of winter. It's wonderful knowing that I've always got a good usable supply, of our own eggs from happy pastured chickens!
Feed them to the pets.
Eggs are a wonderful source of essential vitamins and minerals, and can be an extremely healthful part of a pet's diet. I've found that when I routinely feed eggs to my pets, their fur gets softer, and their skin seems healthier. I've also found that my allergies are less likely to be triggered by our cat, when she's getting an egg every day.
They also absolutely LOVE eggs! This post provides a lot of good information about feeding eggs to your dog, and this article contains great information about the benefits of feeding raw egg yolks to cats. Interestingly, every cat I've ever fed eggs to, has fastidiously eaten only the yolk but not the white. These days, I skip the white entirely and just feed our kitty Kona the yolks.
Freeze hard-boiled egg yolks, for adding to salads or sandwich fillings.
Did you know you can freeze hard boiled egg yolks? True story! While whole hard boiled eggs get pretty nasty when frozen, just the yolks alone freeze very well.
Frozen egg yolks can make a wonderful topping when crumbled on a salad, and they can be added to fresh hard boiled eggs to stretch a batch of egg salad. They also make a great addition to the filling of a lunch wrap, with ingredients like hummus, baby spinach, and avocado!
Give them to friends and family.
This is always high on my list, when I have extra eggs. I absolutely love being able to stock friends and family members up with eggs, when then come to visit!
I especially enjoy loading folks up with duck eggs, since they're so wonderful to bake with, and are harder to come by than chicken eggs.
Donate to the local food pantry.
Just like with donating extra tomatoes, donating farm fresh eggs to our local food pantry is great for two reasons. Not only is it a nice way to love on some neighbors in our community, our donation is also tax deductible. So it makes a difference at the end of the year, as well.
Not all food banks accept eggs from backyard chicken or duck keepers, so it's important to give a call before showing up with a load of eggs. Other places that might be grateful for a donation of farm fresh eggs are churches that have a soup kitchen, fire stations, women's shelters, homeless shelters, and even local schools.
Feed some back to the flock.
I know is seems a little counter-intuitive to take eggs that your chickens laid, scramble them up, and feed them right back to the flock. However, eggs are such a great source of protein, calcium, and other nutrients, they're an excellent source of nutrition for your feathered girls.
My friend Janet over at Timber Creek Farm actually has a video about feeding eggs back to her flock, with lots of great ideas for herbs and other add-ins that can boost the flock's health even more!
Make salt-cured egg yolks.
This is a really fun culinary project that can take meals to a whole new level. Curing egg yolks is really easy, and you're left with a yolk that resembles a hard cheese - fairly solid, and salty, and able to be sliced or grated. It's a fun way to add a pop of color and flavor to a dish, and can make an enticing salad topping.
There are many great tutorials about how to cure egg yolks, but I especially like this one from America's Test Kitchen.
Try some new egg-based recipes that use a lot of eggs!
Having lots of eggs on hand definitely cuts down on our grocery bill, since we not only have eggs for breakfast nearly every day, but I also try to make egg-based dinners a few nights each week.
It can be easy for mealtime to get a bit monotonous with all those egg dishes though, so I recently turned to some of my favorite food blogger friends to help freshen up my menu, and they delivered big time! Check out some of these AMAZING egg-based recipes they shared! These are all fantastic ways to use lots of eggs, while spicing up your meal rotation:
Make tempera paint.
Did you know that the lowly egg yolk was one of the primary ingredients used to the make paint for some of the most gorgeous masterpieces of the Italian Renaissance, like Botticelli's Idealized Portrait of a Lady, and The Doni Tondo, by Michelangelo? It's true, and you can read more about it on this site - I think it's absolutely fascinating!!
In fact, the history of egg-based tempera paint goes back much farther than the renaissance. It was the staple medium for mural paintings throughout the ancient world, including artwork throughout ancient Egypt, Babylonia, China, and Greece.
The cool thing is that you can still easily (and very affordably!) make tempera paint right at home. It's got an entirely different feel than either watercolor or oil paint, and is a lot of fun to work with. There are many great suppliers of the powdered pigments that you need for mixing with egg yolk, but I especially like the super-affordable pigment sets that are available here from Earth Pigments.
This is probably the first thing that comes to mind, when folks think about what homesteaders do with all their extra eggs. Where we live, though, farm fresh eggs go for so very little that selling them isn't a very profitable endeavor. Unless they're fertile hatching eggs.
Since we have pure Icelandic landrace chickens, I'm able to sell their eggs for hatching, at a far higher cost than regular eggs for eating. And that definitely makes it worth my while.
If you have a rooster, even regular barnyard-mix fertile eggs can command a significantly higher price than eggs for the table. So if you find that you're having a hard time selling your farm fresh eggs for even a price that covers the cost of chicken feed, it might be worthwhile seeing if there's a market for hatching eggs in your area.
Those are my favorite, go-to ways for using lots of eggs every spring. I hope you find some of them helpful in using up your bounty of extra eggs! What are some of your favorite ways for using lots of eggs? I'd love to hear about them!
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