Sauerkraut

For most of us, we probably aren’t aware that out guts need a bit of healing in order to absorb all the nutrients from the food we eat. 
Poor gut health can be caused by stress, inflammatory substances like sugar, pasteurised  milk and refined or processed foods, bad eating habits (eating just before bed, eating too much, snacking constantly or eating mindlessly) and a lack of seasonal, fresh produce. 

The connection between gut and mental and emotional health has long been apparent to many indigenous cultures and is a pillar of Ayurvedic science – and more recently recognised by western science. The gut-brain connection is well worth exploring for those who want to learn how we truly are what we eat:

https://chriskresser.com/heal-your-gut-heal-your-brain/

Fermented foods are a great way to  get started healing and repairing your gut. Sauerkraut is an excellent place to start and so easy to incorporate into your meals. Sauerkraut is a fantastic digestive and the fermentation process produces beneficial probiotics that are linked to improvements in immune, cognitive, digestive and endocrine function.

And it’s so easy to make yourself! Give it a try and pay attention to how your body and mind feel after eating it! 

Makes 2kg

What you need

  • 2 kgs white or red cabbage (cored, outer layer removed and saved)
  • 2 tablespoon Himalayan pink 
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seed (optional)

What you do: 
Prepare a large glass jar or fermentation crock by sterilising with boiling water. Finely slice your cabbage and sprinkle with salt allowing to sit 10 minutes.
Crush with your hands, squeezing and reducing down the cabbage to about 2/3 original volume.

(Brain food!!)
Add your cumin seeds and pack tightly into crick or jar, sealing with your reserved cabbage leaf and weighing down with either an onion or Beetroot. You need to keep the air out, so either seal with an airtight jar lid or pour a layer of oil onto surface. Make sure every couple of days the kraut is fully submerged in brine.


Keep on shelf for 4 weeks then refrigerate.

Enjoy !! 

Salted Caramel Flaxseed Muffins

For such a tiny seed, flaxseed (or linseed) are a nutritional powerhouse, with omega 3 essential fatty acids perfect for those looking to increase their polyunsaturated fats. For those interested, they have a remarkable fat profile:

70 Health Reasons To Eat More Flaxseed

They are also a potent anti inflammatory and antioxidant and contain heaps of fiber, which helps your body be able to digest all that good stuff.

But because of their hard outer layer, you need to either grind them or soak them for 8 hours to ensure bio-availability of the nutrients, otherwise our bodies will just churn them through undigested and, well, that would just be downright pointless. 

Here is a recipe for a very healthy snack you can take with you anywhere and know you’re getting a good omega 3 and protein boost wherever you are.

The Prana Protein powder adds a delightful salted caramel flavour, but these muffins would lend themselves well to any flavoured protein.

What you need:

  • 1 cup whole flaxseed (soaked 8 hours in 1 3/4 cup water)
  • 1 cup Prana Salted Caramel Protein 
  • 1 1/2 cups almond meal
  • 5 organic eggs
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Coconut flakes to sprinkle on top


What you do:


Oven to 180 degrees. Line a 12 hole muffin tray with baking paper. Place eggs and almond meal in food processor and blend 2 mins or until light and creamy. Add remaining ingredients except coconut. Make sure you include all of the flaxseed fluid as this will have become gelatinous and is helpful in binding ingredients.  Blend a further 30 seconds or until just combined and spoon into tray.

They only take around 12-15 mins so keep an eye on them! They are best a little on the under-done side! 

Buckwheat Chia Bread

There is nothing better than creating a delicious, highly nutritious bread that:

  1. *Takes less than 10 minutes to throw together 
  2. Lasts days in the fridge and tastes better with time
  3. Can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner in as many sweet or savoury food creations as you can imagine

Yep, this is a keeper. I’ve now made it twice in 2 weeks and have experimented with poached eggs, avocado, toasted with butter, hummus and sauerkraut and things have just entered a whole new gastronomical dimension around here – with the addition of some Fix and Foggs’ Smoke and Fire… 

Without further ado, with the exception of how brilliant activated buckwheat is for digestive health, I present to you the deliciously humble, Buckwheat Chia Bread.

What you need

  • 2 1/3 cups *sprouted buckwheat  (see how-to at bottom) 
  • 1/2 cup chia (soaked for 20  minutes in 1 cup water) 
  • 1/2  cup coconut oil (melted) 
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric 
  • 2 tablespoon ground flaxseed
  • 1 teaspoon gluten free baking powder 
  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt (Himalayan)
  • 2 tablespoon sesame seeds 

What you do:

Oven to 180 degrees. Line a loaf tin with baking paper. All ingredients into food processor. Blend 30 seconds, until just combined. Pour into tin, smooth over, sprinkle with sesame and bake 1 hour and 15 minutes or until just cooked through (springs when touched). That’s it!! That’s all there is to it.



* how-to: activating buckwheat

Soak your raw buckwheat groats for 20-30 minutes, rinse and put in a bowl, covering with a tea-towel. Rinse every 4-6 hours with water, leaving for approximately 18-24 hours or until you can see em start to sprout! 

Zucchini Frittata 

Frittatas can be hit or miss in my opinion. Such a healthy meal and a simple way to prepare eggs, but frittatas need to be flavoured generously and creatively to breathe life into otherwise boring old milk and eggs. 

This recipe uses loads of fresh and dried herbs and seeds to add flavour and texture to this dish. Perfect if you are avoiding meat but still want a high protein meal. 

Experiment with whatever fresh herbs and veges are in season around you and if you’re into cheese, it would certainly have a home in and/or on this frittata. I’ve loaded mine with zucchinis, a great source of potassium and good for lowering blood pressure, as well as increasing immunity. 


What you need:

  • 12 organic free range eggs 
  • 1 cup raw milk 
  • 5 small zucchinis (grated)
  • 2 tablespoon organic basil pesto
  • Handful fresh sage leaves 
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 2 teaspoons dried Italian herbs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Black pepper to taste 

What you do: 


Oven to 180 degrees. Whisk milk and eggs together until light and creamy. Mix in all other ingredients and sprinkle some sunflower seeds and oregano.  leaves on top. Bake for an hour, or just until centre springs back when touched.

Enjoy!! 

Eating big, Eating little. 

In Ayurvedic philosophy, it is nearly as important when you eat, as it is what you eat. 

Our digestive fire, or Agni is our bodies capacity in which we break down food and absorb nutrients. Think of your Agni like a daily fire.. In the morning it needs to be awakened with a little fuel to ignite and prepare for the day. At midday, when we are alert and active, the fire is roaring and at its strongest –  it can handle a larger meal. At night, when the fire is no longer needed to burn so strongly, a light meal is ideal just to maintain embers for warmth.

Lately, in an effort to kickstart my digestive fire after an illness, I have been enjoying larger meals at lunch and much smaller meals for dinner. Eating big when I need the fuel and eating little when I don’t, allowing my gut to rest and repair.
It is risky to eat large amounts when our digestive fire is low, such as just before bed or a heavy breakfast first thing in the morning, as our digestive enzymes are not as abundant leading to malabsorption of nutrients and undigested food which can ferment in our guts and cause big problems.

Of course, everyone’s fire burns strongest at different times of the day in sync with energy expenditure and our daily routines. But there is a relationship between our Agni and the sun’s movements (or the Earths to be precise!) burning most efficiently when the sun is at its highest in the sky and lowest around sunrise and sunset, natures way of encouraging us to eat in synchronicity with her cycles!!

It’s beneficial to listen to your body and mindfully feed your fire with the right fuel at the right time. 

Tonight’s dinner: tiny antipasto with salami, cheese, cucumber, sauerkraut and hummus. 

Raisin Bread

This gluten free, higher protein raisin bread recipe can be prepared, baked and in your pie-hole in less than an hour.

Inspired by a recipe from The Paleo Cafe, it is the perfect treat for those who love a big thick slice of cinnamony raisin toast but who’d prefer to keep it gluten free and on the healthy side.

I’ve played around with adding Teff flour to the bread, which gives it some structure without drying it out. Teff is a great addition as it’s high in protein and amino acids and loaded with vitamins and minerals, particularly manganese which is great for strong bones. 

This recipe is a keeper!! Play around with your favourite fruit or nut combinations – I’m going to give fig and walnut a try..

What you need

  • 6 eggs 
  • 2 tablespoon raw honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup Teff flour
  • 3/4 cup raisins
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate soda 

What you do:

Oven to 180 degrees. Line a loaf tin with baking paper. First 2 ingredients into food processor and blend on high 3 minutes or until pale and creamy.

Add all other ingredients and blend in low speed 1 minute or until well combined.

Bake 40 minutes or just until the loaf springs back when touched.

Enjoy toasted with butter or your favourite nut butter (I’ve used homemade walnut and Brazil nut butter – so good 👌)

Prana Banana Bread

This is a simple and delicious,  healthy banana bread that is high in protein and good fats.

Many banana breads use cheap,  nasty oils, added sugar and preservatives which is a shame because it is so simple to create a wholesome version of this favourite!! 

This recipe is great for those wanting to increase levels of omega 3 fats, protein or who may love their MCFA’s (medium chain fatty acids – excellent for great brain function) or those who just want a simple healthy banana bread alternative. 

It is also naturally sweetened using only ripe bananas, so it is comparatively low in sugars and carbohydrates.  

Prana Protein is a great addition as it is packed with amino acids, plant based protein and digestive enzymes to help your body absorb all that goodness. 

I have used the Salted Caramel Prana Protein which lends itself beautifully to the flavours of baked banana and cinnamon. 

What you need:

  • 4 ripe  bananas (mashed)
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • 1 cup Prana Salted Caramel Protein Powder 
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 
  • Cinnamon and Coconut for dusting 

What you do:
Preheat oven to 180 degrees and line a loaf time with baking paper. 

Whisk together first 4 wet ingredients. Mix together next 5 dry ingredients. Gently fold dry ingredients into wet and mix until just combined.

Pour into tin, dust with cinnamon and coconut and bake 45 mins or until just cooked (insert skewer to test).

Enjoy!!

Kitchari

This is one of those delicious comfort dishes  that nourishes your insides and leaves you with a glowing aura and a healthy gut. 

Kitchari is an ancient Indian Ayurvedic dish, carefully designed to balance your doshas (constitutions). Put simply, when we’re in good health, the elements    within us that combine to give us vitality are balanced and working for us. 

Ayurveda is an interconnected, holistic system of achieving wellness. It is based on the belief that health and wellness depend on a delicate balance between the mind, body, and spirit.

According to Ayurveda we all have a unique constitution of the 5 elements (air, water, fire, earth, ether) that combine to give us our dosha. Think Captain Planet!! 


When we have an imbalance however, due to poor diet, toxic environment, poor mental health, illness etc, this creates disharmony among our elemental constitution and eventually leads to disease. 

Kitchari is considered a cleansing or detoxifying dish because the combination and ratio of easily digested sprouted mung beans, Dahl and basmati rice together with carefully selected anti- inflammatory spices that allow your gut to heal and repair. It also allows your body to rid itself of toxins before they accumulate, causing disease.

Sounds too good to be true??

Take notice of how you are feeling, physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally. Try it out for at least 5 days, trying to avoid meat and dairy to give your digestive system a break. Then take note of how you feel afterwards!! 

Read more on Kitchari here


What you need:


  •  1/2 cup of dry green mung beans (soaked overnight)
  • 1/2 cup of dry mung dal (split yellow)
  • 1 cup high quality Indian Basmati Rice 
  •  4-6 cups filtered water 
  •  6 cups choppedveggies (I used pumpkin and zucchinis)
  • 3 tablespoons of ghee
  •  4cm piece of fresh ginger root, minced
  •  1 tablespoon turmeric
  •  1 tablespoon cumin 
  •  1 tablespoon black mustard seeds
  •  1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
  •  1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Himalayan pink sea salt (or regular sea salt)
  •  1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon


What you do:



Seperate your ground spices from your seeds. Get ghee hot in a large pot and add the seeds until you can hear them start to pop. Quickly add the spices, ginger, rice and beans to the mix. Coat the rice and beans with the spices and seeds (important to do all these steps fairly quickly so you don’t burn the spices).

Slowly add the water, veges and bring to the boil, reusing heat and simmering for about an hour. You might need to add a little extra water.  Add salt and black pepper at the very end, with coriander if desired. 

Serves 8

Recipe inspired by: http://www.elephantjournal.com/2013/05/my-favorite-kitchari-recipe/

Enjoy!! 

Almond & Pepita Not-tella 

  

As an adult, I’ve learned to master self-control in just about every area of my life. 

I can successfully avoid almost every temptation that will not serve me. I’ve learned how to tame my impulsive urges, sacrificing instant pleasure for lasting bliss.

But there is one chocolatey jar of evil, hazelnut divinity whose presence I cannot be trusted in. I have been known to devour tablespoons full of this delicious Italian condiment in a possessed-like state only to induce a severe sugar coma and the inevitable remorse that comes from consuming vegetable oil, low grade ingredients and a tonne of sugar. 

Although it has been quite some time since my last Nutella relapse, I thought I’d create an action plan to prevent future Ferrero attacks – introducing “Not-tella”.

Not only is it unsweetened and free from carcinogenic oils and crappy milk solids, it is full of omega fats and minerals that make it healthy for you – the simple fact that it is sugar free means you won’t keep wanting to eat more, unlike its seductive supermarket counterpart.

I have made this with almonds and pepitas as I didn’t have any hazelnuts, but with the success of this recipe I’ll be attempting a more authentic hazelnut Not-tella very soon!!
Enjoy!

What you need:

  • 700g roasted almonds (preferably activated)
  • 350g roasted pepitas 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 cup raw cacao

What you do:



All ingredients except coconut oil into your food processor on high speed for 10-15 minutes until natural oils are released and a butter is formed. At this stage you can add coconut oil, process a further 5 minutes, scraping down sides occasionally. 
   
   
Jar and store in cupboard or refrigerator. 

Mine has kept 3 weeks and is still going strong 👌

Raspberries & Cream

  

This recipe is inspired by the beautiful Merrymaker Sister’s creation: 
http://www.themerrymakersisters.com/healthy-raspberry-cream-paleo-lollies/
…and my undying love for an Allen’s Strawberries & Cream which do not feature nearly enough in their party favourites 😒

An old favourite re-discovered, de-sugared and re-constructed with love and health. 

Enjoy!!
  

What you need:

  • 1 cup puréed raspberries 
  • 2 sheets (30g) biodynamic gelatine (soaked in cold water for 5mins and excess water squeezed out)
  • 1/2 can coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

What you do:
Gently heat puréed raspberries in saucepan over low heat, add 1 sheet of gelatine and stir until dissolved (5 mins).

Pour raspberry mix into moulds or however you’d like to shape your treats. Freeze temporarily. 

  

Heat the coconut milk in a saucepan over low heat, dissolving the rest of the gelatine, add honey and vanilla stirring until smooth. Pour onto raspberry moulds and refrigerate until set. 

  
Makes about 15
You could try this with any frozen berry or fruit