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Lemon and Blueberry Ice Cream

Written by lee on . Posted in Autumn, Blog, Blog Lunch, Blog Snacks, Breakfast, Dairy Free, Dessert, Desserts, Desserts, Gluten Free, gut healing, gut health, Heal Your Gut, Heal Your Gut Powder, Heal Your Gut Powder, micro flora, microbiome, Nutrient Rich, Recipe Book, Seasonal, Snacks, Spring, Sugar Free, Summer, supercharged food, Supercharged Food Menu, Vegetarian, Videos, Wheat Free, Yeast Free

lemon-and-blueberry-icecream

The world is a sweeter place with ice cream in it. I must admit I find it very hard to say no to a bowl of that kind of deliciousness when I’m offered it, but a little scratch beneath the surface of what we currently accept as ice cream has turned the traditional version of this gorgeous treat into a colossal turn-off.

Ice cream originated back as far as the second century B.C, with speculation that Alexander the Great enjoyed snow and ice flavoured with honey and nectar. The bible speaks of King Solomon being a fan of iced drinks during harvesting. During the Roman Empire, Nero Claudius Caesar (A.D. 54-86) would send runners into the mountains to collect snow, which he would enjoy flavoured with fruits.

Historians estimate that the recipe evolved into the ice cream we understand today sometime in the 16th century. The Brits and the Italians seem to have discovered ice cream at around the same time. "Cream Ice," as it was called, would appear regularly at the table of Charles I during the 17th century, but it wasn't until 1660 that ice cream was made available to the general public, when the Sicilian Procopio introduced a recipe blending milk, cream, butter and eggs at Café Procope, the first café in Paris.

Until 1800, ice cream was a rare and exotic dessert only accessed by the elite classes. Around 1800, insulated ice houses were invented and the ice cream industry emerged in America where it was enjoyed by the masses and increased because of technological innovations, including steam power, mechanical refrigeration, the homogenizer, electric power and motors, packing machines, and new freezing processes and equipment.

After WW2, ice cream became a national symbol for the Americans, and the end to the war was celebrated with ice creams all around. As food technology increased and the supermarket emerged, more pre-packaged ice cream was sold through supermarkets after the 1970’s, and traditional ice cream parlours started to disappear.

These days, rather than the traditional use of cream, whole milk, sugar and egg yolks; ice cream has an ingredients list from another planet. Last time I checked in supermarket freezer section, here are some of the additives I discovered:

A popular vanilla ice cream ingredients label:

Reconstituted Low Fat Milk (56%), Glucose Syrup (Wheat), Sugar, Water, Milk Solids, Cream, Maltodextrin, Vegetable Origin Emulsifiers [477, 471 (Soy)], Vegetable Gum (412), Flavours, Colour (160b).

And a “raspberry” flavoured ice cream creation contained:

Reconstituted Low Fat Milk (53%), Glucose Syrup (Wheat), Water, Sugar, Milk Solids, Cream, Maltodextrin, Raspberry Juice (0.8%), Vegetable Origin Emulsifiers [477, 471 (Soy)], Vegetable Gums (412, 415, 440), Food Acids (330, 334, 331, 327, 260), Flavours, Colours (163, 120, 160b).

Is it just me or is there something seriously wrong with this picture? What have we done to this beloved sweet treat? With fandangle marketing suggesting green fields with cows, and “traditional” “pure” farm motifs, a quick look at an ingredients list on the current top selling supermarket ice creams show that they’re nothing more than a mix of trimmed, skimmed and adulterated ingredients and numbers formed in a chemical laboratory, not a kitchen!

With many people in the modern age struggling with wheat and even dairy intolerances, I’ve made it a bit of a mission to formulate a super speedy but delicious ice cream substitute that’s made from wholesome ingredients, and this is the next best thing to real ice cream prepared the traditional way with cream and full cream milk.

This is a family friendly ice cream recipe that all ages will adore, and is full of antioxidant rich blueberries, gut flora loving coconut milk and delectable creamy avocado which is high in lovely monounsaturated fats that will make your hair shine and your skin glow. It’s also free from sugar, making it a completely guilt free treat at the end of the night that won’t have any negative effects on your blood sugars, or cause any digestive troubles. You’ll just love its creamy sweetness, and trips to the supermarket for a quick sweet-tooth fix will be a thing of the past with this baby up your sleeve!

Here's a little video about how to make it and the recipe is below.

                             

Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 TBS Heal Your Gut Powder (optional)
  • 155 g (51/2 oz/1 cup) frozen blueberries

  • 60 ml (2 fl oz/ 1/4 cup) coconut milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon alcohol-free vanilla extract

  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 
1/2 medium avocado, pitted and peeled

Method

Purée all the ingredients in a blender until smooth and creamy. Serve immediately. 

Enjoy! 

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Homemade Kombucha

Written by lee on . Posted in Autumn, Blog, Candida Friendly, Dairy Free, Digestion, Drinks, drinks, gut healing, gut health, Heal Your Gut, healthy gut. digestive health, micro flora, microbiome, Nutrient Rich, Organic, Seasonal, Snacks, Spring, Sugar Free, Summer, Supercharged Food Menu, Vegetarian, Winter

kombucha

Fermented foods are a beautiful way to increase gut health when your gut is strong and ready.

If you’re familiar with my four week online Heal Your Gut program, (the next round kicks off soon), you'll know that after giving your digestive system a rest and healing the gut lining, when your gut is feeling stronger you can start adding fermented foods to your diet to boost beneficial gut flora. Go gently and see how your gut reacts – try small amounts each day and see how you feel.

Kombucha is one of the most enjoyable and delicious ways to introduce the world of cultured foods into your life, as it basically replaces the need for soft drink, providing a mildly sweet, slightly sour and naturally fizzy beverage that is enjoyed by adults and kids alike.

Kombucha begins life as an ordinary sugary tea, but the addition of a SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) transforms it into a fermented drink. The SCOBY bacteria and yeast eat most of the sugar, yielding a drink full of natural probiotics that will dance around happily in your intestines. A small amount enjoyed daily has many gut-healing properties.

Aside from colonising the gut with probiotic bacteria that are wonderful for your immune system, this delicious fermeted tea holds an impressive collection of health promoting properties that have been enjoyed in Russia, Japan, Poland, Bulgaria, Germany, Manchuria and Indonesia for generations. According to the Weston A Price Foundation:

Kombucha is rich in B vitamins and a substance called glucuronic acid which binds up environmental and metabolic toxins so that they can be excreted through the kidneys. Glucuronic acid is a natural acid that is produced by the liver. Kombucha simply supplies the body with more and boosts the natural detoxification process.

Glucuronic acid is also the building block of a group of important polysaccharides that include hyaluronic acid (a basic component of connective tissue), chondroitin sulfate (a basic component of cartilage) and mucoitinsulfuric acid (a building block of the stomach lining and the vitreous humor of the eye).

Kombucha has also been linked to a myriad of other benefits such as improved digestion, fighting candida (harmful yeast) overgrowth, mental clarity, and mood stability. It truly is a tonic rather than simply a yummy beverage.

Don’t be afraid of the fermenting process which can seem like a complex lab operation rather than a kitchen recipe. Honestly, you just have to take the plunge and enter into the world of fermentation to realise that with some basic knowledge of the way bacteria feed on a constant supply of sugars, the process of keeping your culture alive and enjoying it’s wonderful and delicious creations is actually a very straightforward, common sense process that will become part of your daily rhythm.

Once you get the hang of making it, you can flavour it up with ginger and turmeric or even berries. Purchase a SCOBY online or, if you’re very lucky, a friend might give you one. You can buy kombucha online or at a health food store, although once you’ve made your first batch, you won’t need to buy it any more.

You’ll also need a breathable cloth such as muslin (I use a nut bag), a rubber band, and one sterilised wide-mouthed, 1 litre (35 fl oz/4 cup) capacity glass jar with a lid (Mason jar).

Homemade Kombucha

Ingredients:

  • 1 litre (35 fl oz/4 cups) filtered water
  • 2 organic black tea bags
  • 55 g (2 oz/ 1/4 cup) organic sugar
  • 1 SCOBY (see above)
  • 100 ml (3 1/2 fl oz) homemade or store-bought kombucha (see above)

Method:

Put the water in a medium saucepan over medium heat and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat, add the tea bags, and steep for 20 minutes. Remove the tea bags, add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Set aside to cool.

Pour the tea into the sterilised jar, then add the SCOBY and the kombucha. Cover with muslin, secure with a rubber band and write the date on the jar.

Store undisturbed in a cool, dark, dry place for 7 days, then test it to see if it’s ready. It should be fizzy and slightly sour/vinegary. If it’s still sweet, let it ferment for a day or so longer (usually up to 10 days).

Once the kombucha is ready, carefully remove the SCOBY using a clean long-handled spoon and place it on a plate with a little of the liquid to stop it drying out (then use it to make another batch straight away). Pour out 100 ml (3 1/2 fl oz) of the kombucha and keep aside to make another batch, then pour the remaining liquid into a jug through a sieve and then into a clean glass bottle with a lid. Secure the lid tightly and make a note on the bottle of the date. The kombucha will keep in the fridge for 2–4 weeks.

Yum! 

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Watercress Leek and Coconut Soup for Good Gut Health

Written by lee on . Posted in Autumn, Blog, Blog Dinner, Blog Lunch, Candida Friendly, gut healing, gut health, Heal Your Gut, healthy gut. digestive health, micro flora, microbiome, Nutrient Rich, Organic, Seasonal, Spring, Sugar Free, Summer, Wheat Free, Winter, Yeast Free

watercress and coconut soup

Hello microbes.

I was actually going to say hello humans but considering we’re only ten percent human, as ninety percent of our body’s cells are non-human microbial cells, the human element to us all, is well, not so much.

There’s no doubt that eating a healthy diet can influence and feed our good microbes and as digestive worries are becoming more central to many health concerns and symptoms, eating delicious food to keep your gut happy is the key to less discomfort, a flatter belly, more energy and less internal disruption.

Did you know that cultivating a new gut microbiota, can be achieved in a short amount of time with the right food and drinks? Eating certain foods which help your good gut bugs to flourish will change the balance in your gut and help you to absorb nutrients from your meals more effectively.

By the way if you’re not keen on sport please keep scrolling…I am just about to make my very first sporting analogy.

So if you’re still reading, and you were to compare your gut to a rugby match and the microbiome are the two opposing teams, imagine your good and bad gut bacteria team players all having their own unique job to do and positioning within your intestines.

Now think about what the players are doing. Perhaps they’re a forward or a halfback; maybe they’re needed to attack, defend, stay back or are ready to go in for a tackle.

When it comes to being a good gut player, good bacteria are the heroes on the field. They act as halfbacks in our intestinal tracts, calling the shots and controlling the tempo of the game. Good gut bacteria rally together to help your body digest and absorb your food more effectively and unite against opposing forces. The good gut bacteria team as a whole can help boost your entire immune system and send messages to your brain to help regulate metabolism.

Not that we have the sporting talk out of the way, I’d love to introduce you to my good-gut microbe boosting and flavoursome watercress soup from my new book Heal Your Gut. It features two ingredients which turbo charge the anti-microbial action in the gut and are heavily loaded with beneficial fibre, in particular inulin, a fibre source that feeds the good guys inhabiting our digestive system.

This recipe screams springtime slurping, and strikes the perfect balance between being refreshing and light, yet creamy and decadent enough to leave you feeling fully satisfied. It features a combination of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and healthy fats, and fortunately doesn’t taste like you’re mowing into a freshly cut lawn.

A dark, leafy green grown in natural spring water, watercress is the star ingredient in this dish. Gone are the days where watercress was used solely as a plate garnish.

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5 Ways to Spring Clean and Heal Your Gut

Written by lee on . Posted in anti-inflammatory, Blog, Blog Lunch, Candida Friendly, Heal Your Gut, Heal Your Gut Blog, microbiome, Nutrient Rich, Organic, Seasonal, Spring, Sugar Free, Summer, Winter

happy girlIf the words internal spring clean have you anticipating a week of ingesting bottles of cayenne pepper, lemon and maple syrup and it gives you the dreads then read on.
There are less gentler expungement methods of releasing the sluggishness of winter and enjoying an internal spring clean than dramatic master cleanses.  You don’t need to live off roughage and rabbit food or partake in faddish five day juice detoxes and down slippery elm to enjoy the benefits of healing your gut simply and in your own time.
Here are five simple and effective ways to gently give your gut a good seasonal clean and alleviate gastrointestinal anguish.
Maintain a healthy balance of gut flora
A healthy gut flora balance should include approximately eighty five percent good bacteria to around fifteen percent bad bacteria. However the modern diet that is high in sugar, carbohydrates, preservatives and additives is the perfect breeding ground for promoting an overgrowth of bad bacteria that will kill off your healthy gut flora very quickly.
Other causes of this imbalance include the intake of modern medicines such as antibiotics, or drinking tap water; which contains chemicals such as fluoride and chlorine. If you suffer from acne, low energy, digestive problems, or low immunity; chances are that you have an imbalance in your gut flora that needs to be rectified.
Cutting down on sugar, increasing your intake of dietary fibre, anti-inflammatory healthy fats such as extra virgin olive oil, flaxseed oil, cold pressed extra virgin coconut oil and avocadoes, and increasing antioxidant rich foods will help to eliminate bad bacteria. Probiotic and fibre rich foods and an abundance of fresh vegetables including leafy greens will sweep out bad bacteria from your system and have an alkalizing effect on the magical universe within, promoting a healthy gut flora balance.
Rest your tummy twice a week
It’s not difficult to plant your gut in repair mode pronto.  Giving the digestive system a rest a couple of times a week is not rocket science and it will help to fast track your gut lining rebuilding.  Evidence is stacking up towards the benefits of intermittent fasting.
I don’t agree that you need to “fad fast” with no food at all to promote great gut healing.  On your fasting days you can consume a delicious array of health promoting soups that not only fill you up but provide you with beneficial vitamins and minerals.  It’s important not to fast in an extreme way whereby you fall into the trap of not eating at all and then having free reign the following day to gorge out on too much food.  It will become a counterproductive mind trip and will set you up for failure.

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