Green sauce – easy to make and full of goodness

It’s the beginning of July now and the greens outside in my garden are thriving! At the moment I have an abundance of coriander, parsley and spring onions and I made them into a green sauce today.

There is a lot of goodness in this sauce. Parsley is very high in vitamin A and C and contains more iron than any other leafy green. It’s a diuretic (it removes excess water from the body), helps with cramping (period cramps!) and supports digestion.

Coriander also contains plentiful vitamin A, B and C and is packed with anti-oxidants. It is a strong antimicrobial and a digestive aid – great for those with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)! The most remarkable property is that it helps to move heavy metals out of the body.

Of course spring onion and garlic are very powerful antimicrobials and are also used a lot for lowering blood pressure.

You can use this sauce to cheer up any meal. I often use it on my salad. On new potatoes is also very delish. Just tried it on an oatcake with tahini, yum!

You can use the herbs you have and make a mixture: rocket, dill, young dandelion leaves, marjoram, lemon balm… You can make it with a blender or small food processor but also by just chopping finely and then mixing by hand.

Recipe:

  • 1 bunch of parsley (30 gr)
  • 1 bunch of coriander (30 gr) (or another bunch of parsley!)
  • 2 gloves of garlic (or more if you like)
  • 2 spring onions
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup of your best quality olive oil
  • 2 tbsp of lemon or lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • pepper to taste
  • optional: add 1/4 tsp of chilli flakes and you’ve made chimichurri!

Chop greens, spring onion and mince garlic. Add the other ingredients and mix well.

Or: add everything to a blender and blend until smooth. That’s what I did. Enjoy!

10 minute gut healing jam

It’s summer! Well, sort of here in Scotland… But the berries are now coming 🙂

I used to make tons of jam from the berries in my garden. I had a recipe that used only half the sugar. But that’s still a lot of sugar. So I stopped doing that.

Now I make small batches with any kind of fruit available and use chia seeds to thicken it into a delicious jam. And this jam actually helps to keep your gut functioning well.

Berries are just great. They are loaded with anti-oxidants, have a good amount of plant nutrients, minerals and fiber and they help fight inflammation. Plus: the beneficial bacteria in your gut thrive on them.

Chia seeds also pack a nutritional punch. Almost all their carbs are fiber, they have a decent amount of protein ánd are high in Omega 3 fatty acids. I have not tried this yet but I think you could use the cheaper linseeds as well. They are just as amazing. I do think you need to use them freshly ground, so not whole.

Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of berries, any kind. They can be fresh or frozen
  • 2 tbps of chia seeds
  • 1-2 tbsp of unrefined sweetener (maple syrup or raw honey work well)
  • 1 tbsp of freshly squeezed lemon (optional, depending on the tartness of the fruit)

How to do it:

  1. Heat fruit in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the fruit is heated through and begins to break down and bubble. 
  2. Use a spoon or potato masher to mash the fruit to your desired consistency.
  3. Stir in the chia seeds and lemon juice. 
  4. Now add your sweetener to taste – but in moderation. Start with 1 tablespoon.
  5. Remove from heat and let cool for a bit. The jam will get thicker!
  6. Give the jam another good stir.  Then serve or transfer to a jar
  7. It keeps for up to 1 week in the fridge or , up to 3 months in the freezer.

Nettle soup recipe!

I’ll be going out today to pick a basket full of nettles and make another pot of nettle soup.

Nettles are one of the most useful plants. The young tops are delicious and nutritious, a natural mineral and vitamin supplement. Just what we need in spring!

Nettle tops are best in spring, but if you cut them back repeatedly they will give you fresh shoots throughout the summer.

I use gloves to pick just the top 2 inches, so the plant can easily regrow. You could also use a pair of scissors to snip and then lift them with the into you bag or basket – no gloves needed!

Then you go home, wash the nettles and make the soup. Here’s my trusted recipe:

Nettle soup

Serves 2

Ingredients:

1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion or half a big one
1 leek
¼ cup of oats, can be gluten free
½ litre of vegetable stock (½ a litre boiling water and 2 tsp stock powder)
75 gr nettle tops
freshly ground pepper
freshly ground nutmeg
good quality salt to taste

How?
  1. Chop the onion and leek finely
  2. Heat the oil or butter over medium heat
  3. Add the onion and leek and stir until they start to glaze
  4. Add the vegetable stock and cook for another 7 – 10 minutes
  5. Add the nettles and the oats and simmer gently for 5 more minutes
  6. Use a hand held blender to wizzzz it all up
  7. Season to taste with salt, pepper and nutmeg
  8. Serve and enjoy!
 Variations:
  • Add a chopped up carrot
  • Use diced potatoes or leftover rice instead of oats. They all  work well as a thickener
  • Add some cream, butter or coconut yoghurt
  • Garnish with chopped chives or wild garlic

What is functional nutrition?

Functional nutrition wants to restore the well-functioning of the body through food, lifestyle and supplement interventions. Sounds common sense, right? So how do I do that?

Root cause

To start with I want to find the root cause(s) of your health conditions rather than simply treating symptoms. An example. When you have gas and bloating you could take a pill from the chemist to be less bothered by your symptoms. But that doesn’t do anything about why you’re having them. Are you not chewing? Are you eating on the go? Do you have an imbalance in gut bacteria? Are you eating foods you’re sensitive to? By finding out what is causing your gas and bloating we can address things at the root.

What works for you?

The question is: how to find those root causes and see where we need to work. That’s where the systems I work with come in handy. I look extensively at your  history: your health and important events in your life. This allows me to get to know you well. And that’s necessary, because your body is different from my body. So your diet will need to be different from my diet. This is why I don’t work with one diet or protocol – it just often doesn’t work!

By mapping your symptoms I can see where we have some work to do: do we need to focus on gut health (always!), improve your immune system, support your liver, bring balance to your hormones, reduce the amount of toxins you’re exposed to?

Education empowers

Education is  very important part of functional nutrition. To start with I help you to master the skill of listening to your own body. Only when you learn to pick up the subtle – or sometimes not so subtle… – messages from your body, you can start to work out what works for you and what doesn’t. So you can take back control of your health and feel at home in your body.

By  educating you I also want to help you to understand how your body works, why you have your symptoms and why certain foods and practices are helpful or not. It helps to know why you need to change your diet and habits, it makes it easier to do. And something else:  when you know what works for you, you no longer get confused by the information about food you’re bombarded with in the media: is yoghurt healthy,  should you be eating raw, cooked, meat or eggs or be vegan? It all depends on your body and digestion.

When you know more about your diagnosis, your body and how to take care of yourself, you’ll be a more empowered partner in the conversation with your doctor or practitioner. You will know better which choices to make and your doctor will appreciate working with you because you genuinely take care of yourself.

I’m not a functional doctor, so my role is never to diagnose, treat, or prescribe. That’s outside my scope of practice. But I’m happy to work together with your doctor or other practitioners, like acupuncturists, psychotherapists, osteopaths, energy healers etc. Especially when you are dealing with a chronic issue it’s often not just about diet and lifestyle. There can be many root causes and they all need to be addressed.

Want to know more?

Are you curious about what I can do for you? Let’s talk on the phone then and explore if we are a good match. I see clients in person in Findhorn, Scotland but also work with people via Skype. So living somewhere else in the UK or even in Europe is not a problem at all.

Just send me a message via my contact form below so we can schedule your free 15 minute phone conversation.

A nice day for a warming lentil soup

Today is a really dark and rainy day. Perfect one for a warming and nourishing lentil soup!

 

I created this recipe for a class I was doing about spices; that’s why there are quite a few of them in this soup. Often people put in a pinch here and a dash there. But if you want to have the benefit of them, teaspoons work better.

Still this soup is not spicy and the spices aren’t overpowering. Here’s the recipe:

Serves 4

Ingredients
2 tablespoons – ¼ cup of olive oil
1 medium onion
2 medium carrots
2 garlic cloves
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons coriander
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon fennel
1 bay leaf
1 cinnamon quill
1 inch of freshly grated ginger
½ a cup of tomato passata or ½ a can of chopped tomato
1 cup red lentils
1 litre vegetable bouillon (4 teaspoons of bouillon powder) or chicken broth
salt to taste
lemon juice to taste
optional: fresh chopped greens on top

How to do it:

  • Chop onion, garlic and carrot. Grate ginger
  • Saute onion, garlic and ginger in olive oil.
  • Add carrots
  • Then add the spices and saute for two more minutes
  • Add the bouillon powder and then the water
  • Rinse the lentils under cold water and add them. Stir and let come to a boil.
  • Lower heat, let it simmer very gently for 20 minutes. Stir regularly
  • Add tomatoes, stir and taste. Does it need more salt? Acidity (tomato or lemon)? Depth (a bit more oil or some ghee? Or nutritional yeast)?

Serve and enjoy!

 

 

A basic hummus recipe: easy, delicious and versatile

Hummus is such a versatile and easy to make dish! I make this hummus recipe nearly every week because it’s a great one to have in my fridge in case of a snack attack. Or when the lunch of dinner I made is a bit bland or low in protein and healthy fats. This one is great for blood sugar and hormone balance!

It’s lovely as a snack with carrot, cucumber or bell pepper cut in sticks. A great one to bring with you when traveling as well!

Dried chickpeas vs cans

I use dried chickpeas, as ‘they’ use hormone balance disrupting Bisphenol-A (BPA) for the lining of the cans. Even the organic ones. Yikes! And I can’t find any beans in glass near to me. Anyway, cooking your chickpeas is easy peasy and cheap.

I start with a cup of dried chickpeas and soak them overnight with two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. This makes them a lot easier to digest. In the morning I rinse them well and discard any dark ones. Then I gently cook them with some salt until they are firm and not mushy. It depends on their age how long it takes! If they are too firm, let them simmer for another half hour with the lid on.

This would give you enough to store some in the freezer so you’ll have enough for 3 or 4 batches of hummus!

 


Recipe

Serves 4
Ingredients:

  • 1 heaping cup of cooked chickpeas
  • 1 tbsp of fresh lemon juice. You can add more after tasting.
  • 1 big or two small garlic cloves
  • 1 level teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp of salt
  • ½ cup of tahini
  • 4 tbsp of water
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • optional: smoked paprika powder

You can use a small or big a food processor or a hand held blender for this. Don’t have any of these? No problem. You can also use a fork. Make sure you cut the garlic very finely or use garlic powder (1/4 tsp) to avoid having a big clump of raw garlic…

How to do it:

  1. Strain chickpeas
  2. Press or finely cut garlic
  3. Put chickpeas, salt, tahini, garlic, 1 tbsp of olive oil, 2 tbsp of water, cumin in food processor or container for blender.
  4. Blend and then taste! Make thinner with water and add salt, lemon, garlic or cumin to taste.
  5. Put in a bowl, drizzle the rest of the olive oil over it and shake some (smoked) paprika powder on for taste and beauty.