Saturday, 29 August 2015

Heal Your Gut with Supercharged Food

There has been much research into the mind-gut-hormones connection and the science is compelling and convincing. What, when and how you eat directly affects your hormones and your immune system. Constantly getting infections? Feeling lethargic? Rashes and allergic-type reactions?
There are so many ways that poor diet can manifest in your body. This doesn't just mean eating bags full of jelly snakes during the afternoon slump. This means restricting food groups, severe calorie restriction, binge eating, eating processed and packaged food as replacements for whole foods (vegetables, fruit, legumes, grains).

I am not perfect, just as you (probably) are not perfect. I don't allow myself to read the "latest celebrity diet tricks" in magazines. I don't subscribe to any particular dietary regimen, although I respect ELEMENTS of some! I am not paleo, or vegan, or pescatarian...
There are weeks I will not eat meat at all, or times when that's exactly what my body craves. One thing I can definitely say I'm guilty of is overdoing the caffeine. I know it is behind my poor sleep and ability to get anxious in a heartbeat! So I will aim to reduce my caffeine and heal my gut. What will you do in the aims of healing your gut?

I've got Lee Holmes' (Supercharged Food) Heal Your Gut for inspiration, information and recipes galore. It's not only super informative and well-researched, but gorgeous to look at. Definitely one for the kitchen AND the coffee table.

The book is designed to assist in restoring gut health with 90 anti-inflammatory recipes to heal and nourish. These include warming drinks with ingredients such as turmeric, chamomile and ginger, sustaining vegetable and meat broths & soups and deliciously delicate desserts like baked blueberry custard.
Heal Your Gut: Supercharged Food by Lee Holmes (Murdoch Books)

Just because I love your guts, I'm going to share some recipes with you. Enjoy.

CUMIN DIGESTIVE AID (JEERA VELLAM)

SERVES 4
Jeera is Hindi for ‘cumin’ and vellam in this context means ‘water’. Cumin is 
a powerful digestive aid and a detoxifier for the kidneys and bladder. Drink this shot after eating to improve digestion.
250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) filtered water
1 heaped teaspoon cumin seeds
2.5 cm (1 inch) piece of ginger, peeled and cut into thin sticks
Put all the ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 2 minutes.
Remove from the heat and set aside for 2 minutes before straining. Cool to room temperature and divide between four glasses to serve.

Garden-fresh Asparagus Soup
serves 4
I just love the healthy snap of a bright-green new-season asparagus stalk. Enjoy their uniquely grassy, sweet flavour and their healthy-bacteria-boosting proteins in this fresh and uplifting soup.
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve
2 spring onions (scallions), finely chopped, plus extra,
curled in cold water, to serve
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/4  teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 medium turnips, peeled and diced
750 ml (26 fl oz/3 cups) vegetable stock (see page 151)
270 ml (91/2 fl oz) tin additive-free coconut milk
175 g (6 oz/1 bunch) asparagus, cut into 1.5 cm (5/8 inch) pieces
1/2 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
Melt the butter with the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the spring onion and cook, stirring frequently, until soft. Add the curry powder, ginger, turmeric, lemon zest, juice and turnip and cook, stirring frequently,
for 5 minutes.
Add the stock, coconut milk and asparagus, and simmer, partially covered,
for 15 minutes or until the turnip is tender, then add the salt.

Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly, then purée the mixture in batches in a food processor or blender until smooth. Reheat gently if necessary, then drizzle with olive oil, grind over black pepper and garnish
with curled spring onion.
Almond Milk Jelly Cup
makes 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup)

Gelatine is a good source of protein and contains eighteen protein-building amino acids. It’s a great ingredient to include in your gut-healing arsenal, as it seals the digestive tract to help boost nutrient absorption.
250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) almond milk (see page 123)
2 teaspoons powdered gelatine
1/4  teaspoon vanilla powder
1/2 teaspoon powdered stevia
Put half the almond milk and the gelatine in a small saucepan over low heat. Whisk briskly until the gelatine is dissolved. Remove from the heat and add the remaining almond milk along with the vanilla and stevia, and whisk to combine.

Pour into one or two glasses or jelly moulds and refrigerate until set. The jelly can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 1–2 weeks.

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