microbiome probiotics

Porridge using soaked oats

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Jar of oats

Ingredients:

 

  • 1 cup oats, rolled or cracked – NOT the quick cooking kind, but the ‘old fashioned’ whole oats (organic is best)
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 Tblespns plain whole milk yogurt, whey, kefir or buttermilk
  • 1 cup water

OPtional Extra’s;

  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 Tblespns ground nuts & seeds such as; Brazil, almonds, walnuts, pepita’s, sunflower seeds & flax seeds.(Don’t use these if diverticulitis is an issue)
  • Adding psyllium husks, chia seeds and slippery elm will increase the fibre content. (Don’t use chia seeds if diverticulitis is an issue)
  • Coconut sugar, rapadura sugar, raw honey or real maple syrup (not maple flavouring) to sweeten.
  • Touch of butter, ghee, cream or milk, optional, but especially good for the kids
  • Other nice optional additions include; grated apple, chopped dried fruit such as; sulphur-free apricots, figs, sultanas or cranberries.

healthy breakfast ingredients

Preparation:

 

Mix the oats with warm water and whey or yogurt, cover and leave out (preferably not in the fridge unless the nights are hot) for at least 7 hours or overnight. In the morning, bring an additional cup of water to a boil with the sea salt. Add the soaked oats, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for several minutes. Remove from heat, stir in optional flax seeds and other fibre and let stand for a few minutes. Serve with the ghee, butter or cream and sugar, honey or real maple syrup.

 

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Bone Broth GAPS and Paleo friendly

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Meat stew

BONE BROTH

Ingredients

  • 2 kg of bones – (beef and lamb knuckle bones or marrow bones, chicken necks, whole or carcass from a roast. You can have different bones together or separate, depending on the flavour of stock you’re after)
  • 8 litres of filtered water
  • 1 x whole bulb of garlic; cloves, separated, peeled and crushed
  • 3 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar (organic, unfiltered)
  • 2 x carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 2 x celery stalks, coarsely chopped
  • 2 x onions, halved and peeled
  • 1 x can whole, peeled or diced tomatoes (optional)
  • 2 x bay leaves
  • 1 x bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • ½ bunch fresh or dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Place all ingredients in a large crockpot or slow cooker and set the heat to high.
  2. Bring the stock to a boil, then reduce the heat setting to low.
  3. Allow the stock to cook for a minimum of 4 hours and up to 24-48 hours or more, (depending on the size of the bones, chicken will need less, lamb and beef can cook for longer). The longer the bones brew the better! Remember to keep topping up the water you as you don’t want it to boil dry.
  4. Turn off the cooker and allow the stock to cool slightly.
  5. Strain the stock through a fine mesh metal strainer and throw away all the debris (I often keep the chunks of meat if they’re easily removed, and add them into a soup)
  6. Place the cooled stock into glass jars for storage in the fridge (for up to a few days) or pour into freezer-safe containers for later use. I also freeze some in ice-cube trays so that I can add a couple of cubes to cooking as needed.

When the broth is fully cooled, look for a gelatinous consistency. That means your broth is gelatin-rich!  Sometimes the gelatin breaks down if the cooking is longer or hotter and your broth won’t appear gelatinous, but it is still full of gelatin and other wonderful minerals. I don’t skim off any of the fat, I heat my broth and drink it warm.  If you like, you can skim off any fat that has risen to the top and solidified – this is lard – don’t throw it away use it in your savoury cooking in place of cooking oil. It has been proven not to form cancer causing aldehydes when heated, whereas vegetable oils such as sunflower, safflower, canola and to a degree, olive oils do.

Image courtesy of rakratchada torsap at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Fish Bone Broth

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Fish bones

Prep Time: 15 minutes • Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1-2 non-oily fish carcasses from cod, sole, haddock, hake, etc.
  • 1 Tbs. ghee or butter (use coconut oil for dairy free option)
  • Vegetables: 1 onion or leek, 1-2 carrots, 1-2 celery stalks diced finely
  • 1 cup dry white wine, optional
  • Herbs, optional – 3-4 sprigs thyme, 2 bay leaves, ½ -1 tsp. peppercorns
  • Cold, filtered water, to cover
For extra gelatin (optional)
  • 1-2 fish heads, gills removed
Instructions
  1. Simmer veggies in Ghee, butter or oil over medium heat for about 5-10 minutes. Place fish carcasses, fish heads (if using), herbs and peppercorns over veggies, cover and simmer 5-10 more minutes. This will stimulate the fish to release their flavours before adding the water.
  2. Add wine (if using) and water to cover the carcasses and bring to a simmer and skim scum that forms on the surface. The scum won’t hurt you! It’s just some impurities that get released. This happens in all types of bone broths.
  3. Simmer gently 45-60 minutes.
  4. Strain broth from carcasses and veggies.
  5. Store in the fridge for up to 5 days. Freeze, whatever you won’t use in that time, and use within 3 months

 

Notes:

Non-oily fish is necessary because the fish oils in fatty fish such as salmon become rancid in cooking.

The cartilage in fish bones breaks down to gelatin very quickly, so it’s best to cook broth on the stove top.

Make sure you use the carcasses from non-oily whitefish such as cod, sole, snapper, haddock and hake. Any non-oily fish works fine. Avoid oily fish like salmon, tuna, herring and swordfish (though their flesh works great in chowders and other fish-based soups).

Also, if possible, try to get some fish heads in addition to the carcasses. Generally speaking, you probably won’t get much gelatin from just fish carcasses.

Finally, as opposed to other types of bone broths, be sure to dice the veggies finely. This allows them to release their flavours more efficiently with the shorter cooking time.

Image courtesy of olovedog at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The wonderful benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

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iPhone 5 up to 1.4.15 017

I love Apple Cider Vinegar. It is one of nature’s gifts that has been giving it’s health benefits to people for centuries.

The Egyptian have been using it since 3000 B.C, even Cleopatra is said to have dissolved a pearl in vinegar and then drunk it! The Greeks and Romans (including Caesar’s army) drank it for it’s health properties.

Some of it’s many benefits include;

  • Balances blood sugar levels, which is great news for those or at risk of, or who suffer  from diabetes, metabolic syndrome, PCOS and Insulin resistance
  • Reduces heartburn
  • Improves stomach acid production (which naturally declines with age)
  • Helps reduce joint inflammation and pain
apple
  • It’s naturally rich in potassium, which is a key mineral for muscle growth, nervous system, and heart health.
  • The acetic acid may help reduce blood pressure and there is some evidence of it reducing LDL’s (the bad cholesterol)
  • A.C.V may encourage weight loss.
  • It is a potent microbial which helps to balance the microbiome in the gut
  • It may even protect against some forms of cancer
  • Effective treatment for asthma and possibly for other auto-immune conditions
  • Taken internally and applied diluted as a douche, may help with the unpleasant symptoms of candida

Apple Cider Vinegar also contains enzymes, pectin, B vitamins and folic acid. It stimulates acid production in the stomach and enzyme production in the gut that helps breakdown and therefore helps the gut to absorb nutrients more effectively. Because of it’s benefits to gut bacteria, it can support bowel regularity and increases the removal of toxins.

It also contains acetate which is the molecule our own beneficial bacteria, in the gut, manufacture. Acetate is thought to be responsible for helping the immune system to stop over-reacting to perceived foreign invaders or even our own tissues (as in asthma, hayfever and Rheumatoid arthritis).

How to take Apple Cider Vinegar

As A.C.V is an acid, it needs to be diluted in water. I usually recommend starting with 1 teaspoon of ACV in a small shot glass of water, twice a day, half an hour before meals (to help with digestion). Once you are used to the flavour, you can slowly increase it to 1 tablespoon twice a day.

Probiotics and Prebiotics

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Prebiotic and probiotic foods

This is a great list of prebiotic-rich food and probiotic-rich food. Prebiotics are mostly soluble fibre that feed the probiotics that are already inhabiting your gut. Probiotics actually introduce probiotic strains, some of which may be non-existent or in short supply.

An interesting fact about prebiotics is they actually enhance the absorption of calcium and therefore improve bone density!

Prebiotic foods not on the list above include; dandelion greens, chicory (a coffee substitute) and bananas. Raw food are higher in prebiotics than cooked.

The trouble with prebiotics is they can exacerbate problems for anyone with SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) as they will feed the wrong type of bacteria as well as the good and that will not be comfortable! Also anyone following a FODMAP diet for IBS or other symptoms, may react with more symptoms using prebiotic foods.