Love Your Gut Blog
Monday, May 20th, 2013
Recent press attention has once again highlighted the issues associated with excessive consumptions of salt. A significant amount of the salt that is consumed in the diet is hidden in processed foods.
One of the best ways to reduce salt content is to stick to a diet which is as natural as possible. The benefits of this can be further reaching too, with increased nutrients, more fibre, less saturated fats often benefits of a more natural diet.
See below for some healthy recipes to help you avoid jumping to those salt laden foods during lunch time.
Mix 100g cooked couscous with a can of chickpeas, a can of brown lentils, a small can of chopped tomatoes, 1 roasted courgette, 1 roasted aubergine, 2 roasted onions, a handful of chopped parsley leaves, the juice of 1 lemon and a drizzle of olive oil.
Mix 100g of cooked Quinoa with 1 chopped red pepper, 2 chopped tomatoes, 6 olives, 2 chopped spring onions, a handful of chopped basil leaves the juice of 1 lime and a sprinkling of mixed seeds.
Monday, May 13th, 2013
This week we are showing our support and raising awareness of Coeliac Awareness Week.
Coeliac disease is a common digestive health issue, causing inflammation and damage to the small intestine. It is an autoimmune disease in which individuals have an adverse reaction to gluten
Gluten is a protein found in wheat (e.g. spelt, couscous, bran), rye, barley and oats. Those who have coeliac disease should avoid sources of gluten such as bread, pasta, breakfast cereals, flour, cakes and biscuits.
At first cooking and eating gluten-free foods can often seem overwhelming and frustrating, however, there are a range of naturally gluten-free foods (including; rice, potatoes, corn, pulses, meat, fish, fruit & vegetables) and gluten-free substitute foods (pasta, breads, biscuits) which are available in the shops.
To celebrate Coeliac Awareness Week try this delicious bread and butter gluten-free pudding:
Gluten-free Apricot and Almond Bread & Butter Pudding
Cook for 35-40 minutes
8 slices of gluten-free sliced white bread, crusts left on
75g (3oz) salted butter, softened
200ml (7fl oz.) whole milk
100ml (3½fl oz.) double cream
4 tbsp. apricot jam
1 tbsp. Demerara sugar
1 tbsp. flaked almonds
- Preheat the oven to gas 4, 180°C, fan 160°C and grease an 18cm (7in) by 23cm (9in) baking dish.
- Generously butter the bread on both sides, then form into sandwiches and cut into triangle quarters. Arrange these quarters neatly in the dish so that they are overlapping each other.
- Whisk the milk, cream, eggs and apricot jam together thoroughly. Pour the mixture over the buttered bread and scatter with the Demerara sugar. Place in the oven for 30 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and scatter over the flaked almonds before baking the pudding for a further 5 to 10 minutes, or until the topping is golden brown.
For further information and support on Coeliac disease visit http://www.coeliac.org.uk/
Monday, April 15th, 2013
This week, Margaret Thatcher’s funeral procession will make its way through the streets of London. Despite the strong political divide that surrounds her 11½ years as Prime Minister, the love she had for politics and her husband Dennis can never be debated.
Baroness Thatcher, without fail, would wake up and cook Dennis his breakfast every single morning. This got us thinking here at Love Your Gut, in memory of Margaret; let’s prepare breakfast that will help you to Love Your Gut!
When preparing your breakfast, remember that fibre is an important part of a healthy diet. It keeps everything moving through your digestive system and helps achieve optimal bowel movements. Try to choose wholegrain or brown bread if you enjoy toast in the morning.
To start you day with a high fibre boost choose porridge or a whole grain cereal. To make your porridge/cereal tastier try sprinkling some blueberries or sliced banana (our favourite!) over the top, this will also help to achieve your 5 A DAY!
Keeping hydrated is also an important dietary factor to ensure a healthy gut, so wash your breakfast down with a glass (250ml) of water to ensure your body remains hydrated, you could also try herbal teas or diluted fruit juice.
Here are a few options to try out;
- 40g Porridge made with 250ml semi-skimmed milk. Topped with ½ chopped banana and a handful of blueberries
- 45g Muesli made with 100g natural yogurt and add some prunes or raisins.
- 1 wholegrain bagel topped with cream cheese and strawberries
- 2 poached eggs served on a slice of whole grain toast (and a thin spread of butter)
Monday, March 25th, 2013
Easter brings the family together for a well-earned break. Make this Easter the tastiest one yet – not forgetting the important Easter eggs!
What are you doing this Easter weekend?
Why not try our recipes below for a delicious Easter feast!
Fruity Gammon – ideal for a relaxed entertaining at Easter, as it requires the minimal preparation, is easy to serve and yet looks very impressive.
Preparation time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 100 minutes Serves: 6
- 1.5 kg Waitrose British Gammon Joint, unsmoked
- 500ml bottle of Waitrose Vintage English Cider
- 2 red skinned eating apples, quartered, cored and thickly sliced
- 2 ripe pear, peeled, quartered, cored and thickly sliced
- 75g pack Waitrose Semi-Dried Bing Cherries
- 3 tbsp. clear honey
- 25g Waitrose Slivered Almonds
- Place the gammon in a large saucepan and add the cider, reserving 3 tbsp. Cover and simmer for 1 hour then remove the gammon from the pan.
- Mix together the apples, pears and cherries with 2 tbsp. of the honey and the reserved cider. Arrange the fruit mixture in a roasting dish and add the gammon joint.
- Brush the gammon joint with the remaining honey and sprinkle with the almonds. Place in a preheated oven 180°C, gas mark 4 for 40-50 minutes, or until the gammon is thoroughly cooked. Turn the fruit occasionally. Loosely cover with foil if the joint becomes too brown.
- Allow to stand for 10 minutes before carving into slices. Serve the gammon and fruit with stir-fried green vegetables and boiled baby new potatoes.
Salmon with bacon and mushrooms – this is an alternative for those who are not meat lovers!
Preparation time: 10 Minutes Cooking time: 25 Minutes Serves: 4
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 x 150g salmon (or trout) fillets
- 1 x 250g pack smoked bacon lardons
- 1 large red onion, peeled and sliced
- 1 x 150g pack baby button mushrooms
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary
- A pinch of sugar
- Heat one tablespoon of the oil in a non-stick frying pan. Season the salmon and fry for 3 minutes skin-side up. Transfer to a plate.
- Fry the lardons for 4-5 minutes. Add the red onion, fry for 2 minutes, and then add the mushrooms, cook for 5 minutes more and stir in the lemon zest.
- Put the salmon on top of the onion mixture in the pan (or use an ovenproof dish) and grill on high for 2-3 minutes. Mix the vinegar, the rest of the oil and the rosemary with a pinch of sugar and season.
- Spoon over the salmon and serve with celeriac mash or crispy roast potatoes.
Finally not to forget the Easter treats – the classic Chocolate Nests!
- Wholegrain mini wheat
- Milk chocolate
- Speckled mini eggs
- Melt the milk chocolate and leave to cool
- Mix together crushed mini wheat and melted milk chocolate then spoon into a muffin tray.
- Chill until set and serve filled with mini chocolate eggs or chocolate-dipped grapes for some Easter fun.
With all the chocolate treats over the Easter break, why not make it healthier by enjoying a bowl of fruit salad along with the chocolate treats. Use the vibrant coloured fruits that are now in season; strawberries, raspberries, mango, pineapple, peaches, cantaloupe melon and watermelon – all very refreshing!
Happy Easter everybody!!!
Monday, February 18th, 2013
Busy day? Busy week? No time to think about what to eat? …Why not try the below recipe for a mouth-watering lunch/dinner?
Basil and Lemon Chickpeas with Mackerel
•3 tbsp. olive oil
• 1 bunch spring onion, sliced
• 1 large garlic clove, crushed
• Zest of 1 lemon and squeeze of juice
• 2 cans of 400g chickpeas, drained and rinsed
• 150ml vegetable stock
• 85g sun blush tomatoes, halved
• 4 mackerel fillets, with skin
• 1 large bunch of basil
1. Using a large shallow pan, heat 2 tbsp. of olive oil. Add the spring onions, garlic and lemon zest and cook for 2mins until the onions are tender but still green. Add the chickpeas and coat well in the onion mixture. Crush the contents in the pan lightly with a potato masher. Add the vegetable stock and tomatoes and simmer for 3-4mins, until the liquid is reduced. Set aside to cool.
2. Heat the remaining oil in a non-stick frying pan. Season the mackerel fillets on both sides and fry on each side for 3mins, starting with the skin side down.
3. Add the basil and lemon juice to the chickpea mixture and season to taste. Spoon the chickpea mixture on a serving plate and place mackerel fillet on top.
There you have it – a healthy, low GI meal!What’s great about this meal is that it is low GI so you will feel fuller for longer and you are consuming your one of three portions of oily fishes per week.
A healthy balanced diet contributes to a healthy digestive system – resulting in health benefits such as boosting energy levels and mood, feeling great inside and outside! Having an unhealthy digestive system may cause gastrointestinal problems such as bloating, constipation and diarrhoea.