Recipe: how to deconstruct a falafel

Who likes falafels? I do!

These deconstructed ones are much easier and quicker to make than the original ones and don’t need to be deep fried or oven baked.

Your beneficial gut microbes will love the chickpeas, onion, garlic and cumin – this recipe has lots of fiber!

There’s also a good amount of protein, it’s high in vitamin A and folate and it provides a third of your daily zinc requirement. Good to know in these times…

Oh, and this meal is great when your on a candida diet. What’s not to like about that!

You can use chickpeas from a tin but the tin lining contains BPA (read more about that here).

Using dried chickpeas takes a bit more time but is a lot cheaper and bypasses the whole BPA thing. In this hummus recipe I explain how to do it.

You can download and print this recipe here.

Are you going to give this recipe a try? Let us know in the comments!

I love compost. I love soil. I love gut bacteria!

I love compost and I love soil. I love growing gut bacteria!

Three years ago I started to make a lot of compost. I now compost food waste for many people plus my own garden waste in my nine hotbins. I also have several normal compost cones.

Many different things go in there. Garden waste, cooked food, leaves, a bit of soil, peelings, the leftovers from Gut Feeling’s kombucha process…

The bacteria love this diversity, eat the food waste and change what once was waste into something very valuable that feeds the soil in my garden. I use the no-dig methode and leave compost as a mulch on top of the soil. Over time the soil grows healthier and healthier and the vegetables thrive!

It’s the same with the gut.

When we compare our health to a tree, the symptoms and diagnosis are the branches. What mainstream medicine mostly does is try to make the branches work again. But when the roots of the tree aren’t healthy and the soil is poor, this is not going to work… So the soil where the roots grow is where we need to focus our attention! And that’s what we do in functional nutrition!

The ‘soil’ life in your gut is created by the bacteria in your intestines, the microbiome. They eat what you eat and when they love the diversity of the things you eat they love they thrive and produce health!

When we compare our health to a tree, the symptoms and diagnosis are the branches.

Let’s compare the population in your gut to a city. There are different nationalities and cultural groups in a city.

If you only feed one group their favourite foods, that population will grow. But other groups will grumble and move away.

A fun challenge: bring in more diversity!

So your gut bacteria want you to eat a wide variety of vegetables and fruits. Now how can you do that? Here’s a fun challenge:

Go to the shop and add two vegetables or fruits to your trolley that you haven’t tried before or in a long time. Find a way to prepare them – raw, cookeed, stirfried, peeled, unpeeled, steamed… Then explore how you like them best. Did you find a way to prepare them that you like? Then add them to your regulars and choose two new ones.

Are you in? Which ones are you going to try? Let me know in the comments!

How to make kefir with nut milk

I’ve always loved making kefir and yoghurt with cow’s milk and really missed it when I decided to go dairy free. I missed the taste as well as the tons of beneficial bacteria that help my gut flora. So I wanted to learn how to make kefir with nut milk.

No idea what kefir is? Have a look here.

A messy experiment…

So I started making kefir from plant based milks and I must say it was a bit of a messy experiment. I tried different kinds of coconut, using canned coconut milk until I discovered it had BPA (a hormone disrupting chemical in plastic) in the lining of the can. I then tried creamed coconut, that comes in a block, that you dissolve in hot water.

The problem for me with making kefir from coconut is that there’s quite a lot of (good) fat that’s solid at room temperature and that makes it hard to strain out the kefir grains once the kefir is ready.

Cashews make it easier!

But now I’ve found an easy way to make nut milk kefir with cashews!

I soak 1 cup of raw cashews in water for about four hours, together with two dates. These don’t have to be expensive medjool dates, any organic dates will do.

Kefoir grains can be used with nut milk
This is what my kefir grains look like

I then rinse them and add three cups of filtered water to the soaked nuts and dates. Next step is to whizz them up in my nutribullet for about two minutes. That’s all: my cashew nut milk is ready.

Next step: I put a heaped teaspoon of kefir grains in a jam jar and add the nut milk and leave it on my kitchen counter for 24 hours. I store the rest of the nut milk in the fridge for later use. It keeps for about three days.

It’s then easy to strain our the kefir grains through a plastic sieve, pop the grains into a clean jar and add the nut milk I kept in the fridge.

I like it for breakfast with a grated apple, some nuts, ground linseed and cacao nibs.

Enjoy!