Simple Money Saving Recipes ~ Homemade Yogurt, Eggshell Calcium & Hibiscus Tea

Homemade Yogurt, Eggshell Calcium & Hibiscus, Rose Hip & Roasted Dandelion Root Tea

Here are a few simple money saving recipes to boost your intake of calcium & Vitamin C.  Homemade yogurt is so delicious, and much cheaper than store bought!  Eggshell calcium is a great way to increase your calcium intake, especially if you are not eating dairy.  I've already written a couple of posts (beginning here) discussing the importance of calcium intake.

While we were consuming a 'whole-foods, plant-based' (WFPB) diet, we began to accept the information being passed around in the plant-based circles, including the belief that we can get adequate levels of calcium from plant foods.  Supplementation was being frowned upon including by some of the plant-based doctors.

Now that Don and I switched to our Hypercarnivore diet, we have experimented with both avoiding and including dairy foods, and have come to see the error of our previous ways!

After spending some time researching, it became clear that the lack of calcium could be hindering Don's psoriasis from healing.  Sure enough, it stalled while we avoided dairy, and began to heal again once we added it back.  You can see before and after photos, and read his explanation of why consuming adequate calcium levels is improving his psoriasis on his website page discussing his new book, The Hypercarnivore Diet, now available on Amazon and Kindle.

Since dairy has received a bad rap lately, many have switched to non-dairy milk substitutes.  In our opinion, these pale in comparison.  They are more expensive, and lack the bioavailable nutrition found in dairy foods.

I used to believe that dairy caused me to have mucus problems, and worsened my allergies.  I avoided dairy for years, with no change to these conditions.

If anything, I have come to find the opposite to be true.  Not only am I digesting dairy foods just fine, but my chronic sinus congestion with excess phlegm has cleared.  It is such a relief!  I believe the whole grains were a big culprit to my ongoing sinus issues.

Dairy foods provide such a level of satisfaction and ease to our hypercarnivore diet lifestyle!

If you enjoy yogurt like we do, this recipe is super easy.  It comes out pretty creamy most of the time.  On occasion, it may come out less thick than others.

To make yogurt, you will need something to keep the milk + yogurt starter warm for at least 8 hours.  We have been using a classic ice cooler used to carry a six-pack, along with a heating pad.  You could also leave it in an oven that has been warmed up first on the lowest setting.  You don't want the temperature to come above 110º, so it may require leaving the door to the oven slightly ajar, or turning it off after it warms up, then checking it again later, turning it back on briefly as needed.

Since most people have an insulated cooler, and an electrical heating pad always comes in handy when experiencing an achey back, I suggest the investment in one, as it will certainly pay for itself in money saved from buying store bought yogurt in no time.  Of course you could also look on Amazon and purchase a yogurt making apparatus as well.

Homemade Yogurt:

To make about 2 quarts of yogurt, you will need:

An insulated cooler and heating pad
One half gallon of milk (8 cups)
1/2 cup yogurt - (1/4 cup per quart)
2 wide-mouth quart-sized jars, or 4 16 oz. jars - make sure they are clean and dry
Thermometer (A candy or meat thermometer will work)

Warm the milk briefly, until the temperature reaches 110º.  Pour a little of the warmed milk into the yogurt, stir, then pout back that back into the pot, and stir it through.

We used to heat the milk up to 175º first, then let it cool to 110º, but realized the milk has already been pasteurized, so this step seemed unnecessary.  However, if using raw milk, you may want to do that.  It is to destroy any unwanted bacteria.  You can see us making it this way in the video below.

Pour the mixture into the jars.  Place in your cooler, and cover, or wrap with the heating pad, turned to medium heat.  Place cover on and let it set undisturbed for 8 plus hours.  Check and see if the yogurt has set, and if so, just place in the refrigerator.  Enjoy after it cools.  We eat it plain, but you could stir in a little vanilla, or pinch of stevia, or for a real treat, some local raw honey.


Eggshell Calcium:

Save up your eggshells in a container on the counter.  When you have a dozen or more, place in a pot, and cover with water.  (You can include the filmy layer inside the shell, or rinse it out, either way.)

Bring to a boil for a couple minutes, then turn the heat off.

After the water has cooled a little, strain.

Place eggshells on a baking sheet.  Bake in a 200º oven for about 20-30 minutes, until they are dried and a bit crisp.  Grind as fine as you are able in a designated coffee grinder, Vitamix, or food processor.

1 tsp. = ~ 800mg calcium

I take 1 tsp. at night before bed.  You can take up to 2500mg of calcium per day if from a combination of dairy foods, bone broths or other food sources, including the eggshells.  It is a better option than taking capsules, and much more affordable.

I just put it right in my mouth, and chew it up a bit, as our coffee grinder is old, and didn't produce a very fine grind.  Once ready, I chase it down with a little water, or water mixed with milk.  Take a magnesium capsule, and a salt bath, and you should sleep great!

Eggnog is super refreshing.  Boost your calcium, biotin, and so much more with eggnog.  People who eat a low-fat diet, and avoid eggs have been found to develop non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.  While the advice to eat low-fat, and low-cholesterol foods has been drilled into our heads for decades now, it isn't the whole story!

Hibiscus Rose Hipe & Roasted Dandelion Root tea:

Roughly equal parts of hibiscus and rose hips, and half as much roasted dandelion root.  In measurements, I would measure the following:

1/4 cup each hibiscus and rose hips
1/8 cup roasted dandelion root
1 small piece of dried citrus peel, optional (Save peels from citrus, and let them dry.  They are great in teas, and can help stimulate digestion.)

Place ingredients in a pot and cover with ~ 4 cups of purified water.  Let it sit overnight.

In the morning, turn to medium and bring to a gentle simmer.  Simmer on low, covered, for about 10-15 minutes.  Strain, and add more water to the pot, with a pinch more of each of the herbs.  Simmer a little longer for the second pressing.

Once strained, it can be sweetened if desired.  Then place in the fridge, and enjoy cool, or reheat to drink.  I find it refreshing.  It is actually good with a little heavy cream and/or half-and-half.

Hibiscus and rose hips are a good source of vitamin C.  Another option would be to add licorice root, ginger, or a small piece of a cinnamon stick.  The ginger and cinnamon will warm it up.  Ginger also aids digestion.  Sweeten with a little local raw honey if you use it, or sweetener of choice.  Or try with heavy cream and skip the sweetener!  I find this to be very refreshing.

If you have some dried cranberries around that need to be used up, add a tablespoon or so to the pot.  I sometimes use my very dried fruit up in home made teas.

Don't forget about bone broth as another excellent and enjoyable nutrient booster, no matter what type of diet you adhere to!