Recipe: DUCK EGGS & BACON WRAPPED ASPARAGUS (gluten & grain-free)

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If you can tolerate eggs they really are a marvelous whole food that can be part of any meal of the day. Eggs are considered to be the most complete protein source in a single food – their amino acid complex is perfectly proportioned! They offer a fabulous source of carotene, vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin D and niacin. And of course they are an excellent source of minerals, offering the easiest form of iron (‘heme’) to absorb and of course calcium, phosphorus and trace minerals.

Do not get caught up in the high cholesterol drama – this is an absolute myth.

“First and foremost cholesterol is a vital component of every cell membrane on Earth. In other words, there is no life on Earth that can live without cholesterol. That will automatically tell you that, in of itself, it cannot be evil. In fact it is one of our best friends. We would not be here without it. No wonder lowering cholesterol too much increases one’s risk of dying. Cholesterol also is a precursor to all of the steroid hormones. You cannot make estrogen, testosterone, cortisone, and a host of other vital hormones without cholesterol.” – Dr Ron Rosedale, leading anti-aging doctor in the United States. Read more here.

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It is so important that you buy organic free range eggs. It is absolutely worth the little bit extra you pay, as not only are you ensuring better health for yourself, but you are also powerfully voting against the cruelty of mass produced, chemical laden caged chickens.

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Ingredients

2 organic duck eggs (or organic chicken eggs)

4 rashers of organic bacon (make sure there are NO nitrates on the ingredient list)

8 asparagus tips (hard end snapped off if not using tips)

Salt

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Directions

Put the grill on a high setting. Cut each bacon rasher in half and wrap each piece around an asparagus tip. Place them under grill for 15 mins or until bacon is crispy. Boil a pan of salted water and then turn down heat, simmer the duck eggs for 7 mins.

Serve and enjoy!

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Recipe: PIZZA BASE (gluten, grain & dairy free)

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We can eat pizza and be nourished!!! A far cry from the heavily processed sugar laden white flour, gut fermenting quick yeast and artery clogging hydrogenated plant oils, this pizza base is made with 100% natural unadulterated ingredients. Packed full of essential nutrients, fats and proteins and it hasn’t even bet dressed yet!

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Ingredients
1 medium sized head of cauliflower (3 cups once chopped up in the food processor)
2 TBSP almond flour
1 TBSP coconut oil
1 egg
1/4 TSP salt
1/2 TSP dried basil
1/2 TSP dried oregano

Preparation
Preheat the oven to 230 deg celsius
Cut one big square of non-stick baking paper or greased baking paper
Place a baking tray or pizza stone in the oven
Wash and throughly dry the cauliflower

Directions
Discard most of the cauliflower stem and pulse the florets in a food processor until you get a powdery snow like quality.

Transfer the cauliflower snow to a covered pot and cook on a medium heat for around 5 minutes. Dump cooked cauliflower onto a clean tea towel and allow to cool.

Once cool enough to handle wrap the snow up in the tea towel and ring the water out of it, squeezing out as much water as possible!

In a bowl place the cauliflower and mix in the spices, almond flour, coconut oil and egg. Use your hands to ensure best mixing.

Place the mixture on the baking paper and press it firmly and tightly into a crust shape before transferring it onto the hot pizza stone or baking tray.

BAKE FOR ABOUT 12 MINUTES, or until it starts to turn golden brown and the edges crisp up

Top with your favourite toppings, serve and devour!

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Tips to tweak

Vegan base – substitute eggs for chia mixture: 1/4 cup of chia seeds +  3/4 cup of water, stirred well and refrigerated for 15 mins before use.

Fluffier base – add more eggs

Crunchier base – add extra almond flour and coconut oil and increase cooking time

Cheesy base – add 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese and 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese

Healthy topping ideas

Sliced up and fried/grilled: courgette / carrot / mushroom / tomatoes / peppers / garlic / onion / bacon (nitrate-free) / salami (nitrate free) / salmon (wild)/ chicken (organic)

Placed raw on top: avocado / baby spinach / coriander / rocket / mayo / sour cream / olives / sun-dried tomato / capers

Grilled on top: raw cheese / nuts / seeds

Recipe: SQUASH, COURGETTE & CORIANDER MASH (gluten, dairy & grain-free, vegan)

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This mash is super delicious and a great healthy way to bring substance to your meals – perfect for breakfast lunch or dinner! You can serve with eggs, fish, meat or have it alone as a soup. Low glycemic index, low sugar, high fibre, real live ingredients and with the wonders of turmeric = perfect mash!

Ingredients (makes enough for 3-4 servings):

1 butternut squash

3 large or 5 small courgettes

1 big bunch of coriander/cilantro

1/2 – 1 tsp turmeric

Preparation:

Roast the whole squash (no need to peel) in the oven on 180deg for 40-60 minutes

Pan fry 3 grated courgettes in 1 TBSP coconut oil, half of the turmeric, salt and pepper – fry on a high heat for 3-5 mins covering with a lid, then turn the heat down and fry without a lid for another 10 mins – stir occasionally so it gets nice and sticky.

Peel and de-seed the cooked squash and using a hand blender blend it together with the courgette, coriander, remaining turmeric, salt and pepper

Serve and enjoy!

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The wonders of turmeric and its super ingredient curcumin!

  • aids memory function – is used to treat and prevent Alzheimer’s disease
  • aids the immune system – is used to disrupt cancer causing cells
  • relieves joint inflammation – is used to help arthritis
  • speeds up wound recovery and post work-out muscle soreness
  • aids digestion
  • promotes healthy glowing skin
  • incredible antioxidant properties – surpassing vit E and C

Recipe: SQUASH FRIES (vegan, gluten, grain & dairy-free)

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These homemade fries are not only delicious, but using butternut squash as opposed to sweet potato or potato brings a host of additional health benefits —  squash is loaded with vitamin C & A, and has a much smaller impact on your blood sugar. Baking the squash in stable fats means the already low starches and sugars are taken slowly into the bloodstream. Heating unstable vegetable oils – the absolute worst being corn, soy, safflower, sunflower and canola – will only cause havoc on your system, and increase the  likelihood of having fat stored on your body. And remember while olive oil is a brilliant vegetable oil is must also avoid being heated at high temperatures – stick with the suggestions I’ve listed below!

Ingredients:

1 butternut squash
1 TBSP melted coconut oil / butter / ghee / lard / goose fat
Pinch of salt

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 175 deg

Peel the squash then cut into thin strips, or you can go for wedges if you prefer! Smother in coconut oil (or your choice of fat) then bake for about 30-45 mins – flipping half way thru. Add salt / cayenne pepper / salsa / guacamole. Enjoy!

Recipe: BAKED AVOCADO EGG NESTS (grain & gluten-free, vegetarian)

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These are so unbelievably delicious and nutritious – a quick and simple snack for any time of day!
Ingredients (serves one)
1 avocado
2 eggs
2 cherry tomatoes
1/2 courgette
1/2 carrot
sprig of parsley
Preparation
Cut avocado in half and remove the stone. Break 1 egg carefully into each of the halves. Add salt and pepper. Bake at 165 deg for about 15-20 mins. Take out and serve with sliced cherry tomatoes, grated courgette and carrot – raw or fry on low for 10 minutes with 1 TBSP of coconut oil.
Alternatively you could dress with bacon/salad/salsa/cheese.
Avocados are incredibly nutritious and packed full of the following nutrients and vitamins:
  • Fiber – helps mute blood sugar swings so excellent if you’re craving sugar or suffer from diabetes
  • Potassium – more than twice the amount found in a banana! Helps to lower blood pressure and carry oxygen to the brain – so excellent for headaches
  • Monounsaturated fat – easily used up and burned for energy – they WILL NOT make you gain weight!
  • Vitamin E – awesome antioxidant
  • B-vitamins – play many important roles in cell metabolism and regeneration
  • Folic acid – helps produce healthy red blood cells and also helps rapid cell division and growth – excellent in infancy and pregnancy

Eggs are also truly nutritious and bursting with goodness:

  • Protein – boosts energy and aids muscle building
  • All 9 essential amino acids – the building blocks for protein that can only be got through diet
  • Choline – particularly important for fetal brain development as well as overall brain function and health
  • Vitamin D
  • Selenium – essential for a healthy immune system
  • Cholesterol – essential to every cell in our body! do not fear it! It helps produce cell membranes, hormones, vitamin D and bile acids that help you to digest fat. Cholesterol also helps in the formation of memories and is vital for your neurological function.

HEAL & SEAL ME: MEAT BROTH AND STOCK

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It might not sound massively appealing, but bone broth and meat stock really are where it’s at. Broths are yet another very nourishing tradition that are being revived and brought back to our kitchens. They’re undeniably one of the most healing things you can feed yourself and your loved ones, and so inexpensive and easy to make, it’s time to drink it up!

How I got onto broth

Having scarcely eaten meat in the last 10 years, it felt very odd, but gradually very right, to start reintroducing it slowly back into my diet. Tired of suffering from minor but persistent hormonal disturbances and other related issues, I finally took courage and reduced my beloved carbs and swapped them for more animal fats and proteins. It has been a year since this change and I can’t say enough just how much better I feel (and how amazingly little I miss grains/carbs). Clients and friends who follow a similar program have also experienced wonderful healing. Of course, not everyone believes in eating animal products which I absolutely respect. However, if you do eat meat products, I urge you to give this a try.

My research

I attribute a lot of my understanding and healing to the work of Dr Natasha Campbell McBride and her GAPS protocol. She is an incredible doctor who continues to cure thousands of children from a multitude of ailments such as autism, dyspraxia, dyslexia, allergies, A.D.D, and depression. This protocol is not exclusive to children, with people of all ages healing the likes of rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, auto-immune diseases such as Chron’s and Hashimoto’s, OCD, chronic fatigue and asthma. To briefly fill you in, the GAPS protocol follows the idea that all diseases (physical, mental and emotional) begin in the gut. Thankfully this understanding is becoming more and more mainstream. The gut serves as your second brain, it produces more serotonin (the feel-good neurotransmitter) than your brain and contains ten times more bacteria than there are cells in your body! So yes, we are in fact 90% bacteria. When you heal and seal your gut lining by balancing the bacteria in your gut you can heal your whole system. Bone broth and meat stock is hailed by Dr McBride and many other medical practitioners as providing your body with the necessary building blocks to provide wonderful healing.

So what is broth and meat stock?

They are mineral, amino acid, and vitamin rich clear soups. Broth is made by boiling raw or cooked bones of healthy animals, and meat stock is made by boiling the raw meat of healthy animals on a bone. Bones are so rich in nutrition as they are where the likes of iron rich red blood cells, immune support white blood cells and elastic collagen are produced. When you boil the bones these wonderful properties, undisturbed by heat, are drawn out.

Instantly recognised and effortlessly absorbed by our bodies these broths are bursting with the following benefits:

  • Calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, sulfur, sodium and potassium – all essential for the daily functioning of our body and gut and also act as electrolytes – could broth be the new sports drink?!
  • Proteinaceous gelatin – aids digestion by attracting digestive juices. Brilliant for intestinal disorders and allows the body to fully utilize proteins that are taken in. Particularly useful for anemia, diabetes and muscular dystrophy.
  • Cartilage – incredibly healing in treating cancer and bone disorders.
  • Collagen, hyaluronic acid, chondrition sulfate – all support connective tissue elasticity such as joints, tendons, ligaments, skin, mucus membranes and bone. Very healing for rheumatoid arthritis and joint pain…..and yes helping with wrinkles, stretch marks and cellulite too!

RECIPES!

Lamb, pork, beef or game

  • STEP 1: Put the joints and bones (with or without meat) into a large pot, fill it up with water, add pepper and good quality salt.
  • STEP 2: Heat up to boiling point. Cover the pot and reduce the heat to a minimum. Simmer for at least 3 hours.
  • STEP 3: Turn off the heat, take out the bones (and meat) and pour stock through a sieve.

Chicken broth

  • STEP 1: Put a whole or half chicken (with or without meat) into a large pot, fill it up with water and add salt.
  • STEP 2: Simmer for 1.5 – 2 hours.
  • STEP 3: Take the bones (and meat) out and pour stock through a sieve.

Chicken broth/stock is particularly good for flu, colds and asthma as chicken contains a natural amino acid called cysteine, which thins the mucus in your lungs making it less sticky and easy to expel.

Fish broth

  • STEP 1: Add fish bones, fins, skins and heads (no meat) to a large pot with water and add pepper.
  • STEP 2:  Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to a minimum. Simmer for 1-1.5 hours.
  • STEP 3:  Add salt to taste. Take the fish out and sieve the stock.

Great for virility! Rich in iodine supplies, thyroid hormone and other substances that nourish the thyroid gland. Increases energy and restores mental abilities.

Other handy tips:

  • Ask your local butcher and ask for all the discarded bones and joints – they may even give them away to you!
  • Alternate between different meats to provide a whole spectrum of nourishment
  • The longer you cook the bones the more goodness will be drawn out and thus the more nourishing the broth will be.
  • The test to see if your broth contains enough gelatin is when you chill it – it should thicken even to the point of jelling completely.
  • You drink it plain as a digestive, or add it to soups, stews, gravy, sauces, stir-fries…
  • Stock can be made in bulk and stored until needed  – great to pour into ice cube trays and throw into meals adhock – especially if you’re trying to disguise it for the kids!
  • Keeps for 5 days in fridge and 3 months in freezer
  • One cup a day would be marvellous!

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Recipe: BANANA LOAF (gluten & grain-free)

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This is a definite favourite of mine: perfect to have a slice with a green juice for a quick, on-the-go breakfast, or as an afternoon treat with a cup of tea. Great treat for kids too, as it’s naturally sweetened, and rich in healthy fats and proteins.

Ingredients:

2 organic eggs
2-3 ripe bananas
1/3 – 1/2 cup of butter or coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup of almond flour or 1/2 cup of coconut flour (or a mixture of both. Add a little more if the mixture looks too wet)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 pinch of Himalayan salt

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 165C
Blend the wet ingredients for a minute or so until they appear airy and fluffy
Add the dry ingredients, being careful not to over-mix
Pour the mixture into a lined tin
Bake for 20-30 minutes

Variations

Try adding cinnamon / chocolate chips / raisins / sultanas / cranberries for a tasty variation!

This recipe can also be used to make mini-muffins

DELICIOUSLY HEALTHY SALAD (vegan, gluten, dairy & grain-free)

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Ingredients:

4 stalks of celery

1/2 red pepper

1/2 yellow pepper

1 handful of baby spinach

1 handful of sun-dried tomatoes

1/2 cup sauerkraut

1/4 cup nori or toasted sunflower seeds/pumpkin seeds

1 TBSP capers and/or a handful of olives

1 mashed avocado

1 TBSP freshly squeezed lemon juice

pinch of cayenne pepper

Preparation:

Toast the nori or sunflower seeds in a pan on low heat for 2 – 3 minutes

Thinly slice celery, peppers, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, sauerkraut. Stir in capers/olives, mashed avocado, lemon juice, cayenne pepper. Sprinkle with nori or seeds to finish.

Variations:

Vegan/vegetarian more filling option –  add roast sweet potato, beetroot and butternut squash (cut into small cubes with 2 TBSP of coconut oil, 1tsp pink Himalayan salt/sea salt, bake at 180 deg for 40-60 minutes)

Paleo more filling option – add roast vegetables as above and/or fried salmon steak (fry salmon in a pan on medium heat with lid, cook for around 10 minutes. Add salt and fresh lemon juice).