chia pudding with summer fruits #ketofriendly #nodairy #vegan

Before I started keto diet, my all time favourite breakfast was oats with summer fruits, nuts and honey. I was having this for my breakfast everyday and never got bored. Even now my mouth’s watering just thinking about my morning porridge. Although you never know, after months of keto some food seems to taste different (worse) than before.

By the way, do you have any food items that you really liked before keto, and now you think they are so-so? I have this with potatoes – I really enjoyed their taste before keto, now boiled potatoes seems bland and tasteless, baked ones though are still great. I haven’t tried oats yet, I still avoid gluten and try to keep my carbs pretty low – seems like it serves me best. On the other side, I’m a bit afraid that I might not like my porridge like used to.

So because of this situation I had to find some kind of replacement for my morning oats. Although I swapped mornings with nights, and usually make chia pudding for supper or eat it as a treat, for example when we watch movies. It’s not the same, but does the job 😉

For last few years chia seeds become very popular as a “healthy food”, but they are not new at all. They has been known for over 5.500 years as main component of diet of Mayas and Aztecs. Chia grows is in an area from western Mexico to northern Guatemala, that’s why it’s well known in US, what’s interesting EU countries the marketing of chia seeds as new food ingredients has been permitted only since 13 October 2009.

Chia seeds contain 16-26% of protein, 31-34% of fat, 37-45% of carbohydrates in total. Chia seeds contain quite a lot of carbs, but most of them (23-41%) it’s fiber. Twice as much fibre as bran, 4-5 times more than almonds, soy, quinoa or amaranth. Apart from that, they are a source of minerals (calcium, phosphorus, potassium and magnesium), vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, folic acid, ascorbic acid and vitamin A) and antioxidant compounds. Apart from that, they contain 6 times more calcium, 11 times more phosphorus and 4 times more potassium than cow’s milk. Most of the fats are in the form of polyunsaturated fatty acids, such as ω-3 alpha-linolenic acid and ω-6 alpha-linoleic acid. They also contain more proteins than rice, maize, barley or oats seeds. They may play an important role in preventing and treating diseases of the digestive and circulatory systems, diabetes, colorectal cancer, kidney stones, haemorrhoids and metabolic disorders.*

So seems like, this inconspicuous seed might be fairly good source of nutrients, and bring you some health benefits. It’s not going to heal your body magically, but together with other nutritional foods will keep you stronger and in better shape.

Definitely it’s a better treat, than crisps. And it’s almost as easy to make as grabbing bag of crisps 😉 You just need 3 ingredients.

 

chia pudding with summer fruits #ketofriendly #nodairy #vegan

INGREDIENTS (for one portion)

  • 5-6 tsp chia seeds
  • 350 ml almond or coconut milk (or cow milk if you choose)
  • 1/2 cup forest fruits (my favourite: blueberries, raspberries or cherries, oh and blackcurrants) – usually I use frozen ones
  • optionally: 1 tsp coconut oil

DIRECTIONS

In a small pot heat the milk, add 5-6 tsp of chia seeds and stir thoroughly, so the seeds won’t stick to each other. Bring to boil and cook for 5-10 minutes, until it get thickened. I also add 1 teaspoon of coconut oil to top up the fats. At the end add most of the fruits, leaving a few for decoration. Stir so the flavour from the fruits will go through your pudding. Prepare small bowl or a jar and pour your pudding in. Decorate with remaining fruits and enjoy!

* “Chia seeds (Salvia hispanica): health promoting properties and therapeutic applications – a review“, Katarzyna Marcinek, Zbigniew Krejpcio, Poznan University of Life Sciences, Department of Human Nutrition and Hygiene, Poznan, Poland

wild blueberry cheesecake #ketofriendly

Looking for some inspiration I decided to go through my old recipes and see if I can find something ketofriendly. And I found this purple guy here. It reminds me this hot summer day I’ve made it. I remember this creamy, almost velvety texture and deep blueberry flavour melting in my mouth while sitting in my friend’s garden.

This beautiful, deep purple colour comes from wild blueberries. Wild blueberries are generally much smaller in size than cultivated. They also vary in color from different shades of blue to almost black. And the taste…if you have never tried wild blueberry, you should definitely do it. That’s the taste of summer and my childhood, when my grandma was making blueberry dumplings with loads of cream on top. You had to watch yourself eating them, because dumpling could splash blueberry juice all around your clothes. After eating a plate of grandma’s dumplings everything was purple, your mouth, tongue, lips and hands, everything was blueberry…

What’s the difference between cultivated and wild blueberries? They both are great and full of nutrients, but seems like wild ones have higher quantities of minerals such as calcium, manganese, magnesium and zinc. Although cultivated have more iron. Blueberries are known from the great source of polyphenols, but the wild blueberries again have more than cultivated ones. That makes them extremely beneficial for cardiovascular health. Studies also show that they are protective against DNA damage, and can make a significant improvements in memory problems. They are great source of vitamin C and K1, and fiber, helping to grow healthy gut bacteria.

So actually, I could say that this cake is kind of a treatment 🙂

 

wild blueberry cheesecake

INGREDIENTS (26cm round cake tin):

· 500 g wild blueberries (fresh or frozen)
· 200 ml whipping cream
· 1 kg cream cheese
· 6 tsp gelatine
· xylitol or other sweetener of choice, to taste

DIRECTIONS

If you use fresh blueberries just rinse them under cold water and leave to drain. If you use frozen ones, defrost them first.

Blend them using hand blender, then put aside couple of spoons – we will use it as a topping. Mix the rest with cream again using hand blender. Then add cream cheese and sweetener and mix with hand mixer until combine.

Dissolve gelatine in a couple spoons of hot water (or according to directions on gelatine). Add 2-3 teaspoons to blueberries that you’ve set aside, and stir. Pour the rest slowly to your cheesecake and keep on mixing, so gelatine can dissolve properly. Put it to the fridge for a whole, so it will set a bit.

You can put some cling film or aluminium foil into your cake tin, to make sure that it’s not going to leak (or you can use silicon form, it will leak-proof for sure). Cheesecake should by slightly set, but still runny enough to easily transfer to the tin. So just pour it in and eaven the surface with spatula. And now it goes back to the fridge. After about an hour or two, spread on top the remaining blueberries and put it back to the fridge. The best would be for 6-8 hours if you manage to wait so long. (That’s why the best idea is to make it in the evening, and leave in the fridge for a night)

Properly set will be easy to slice in portions. There’s nothing left than just enjoy the treatment 🙂

 

quick and easy prawns and courgette skillet #ketofriendly

That’s 100% keto approved easy meal, that you can prepare in less than 30 minutes. It’s great for these days, when you don’t have time, or just don’t feel the vibe to spend time in the kitchen.

prawn and courgette skillet

 

It’s good to use variety of herbs when you cook your meals, especially the one with slightly bitter character like thyme, basil, oregano etc. All these herbs that have essential oil are good for digestion, that’s why be generous when adding them while cooking. Our grandmas knew how important herbs are, and they had a knowledge where to find them and how to prepare them to help in different health issues. To be honest I don’t know anyone who would have this kind of knowledge and go to the forest or meadow to pick up herbs. Fortunately we have books and internet that can help us to find this knowledge and use it. You can also find some treasures in your spice cupboard.

For example you can make thyme tea, and drink it to boost digestion – personally I love the taste. It also helps when you feel sore throat (even better if you mix it with sage). Oregano tea is also very tasty. I remember jar of oregano that was given to me by my work colleague. That was oregano grown in his garden, he dried not only oregano leaves but also flowers – that was the most delicious oregano I’ve ever eat (and drink).

Furthermore oregano oil is widely used as antiseptic, antibacterial and antioxidant purpose. Researches showed that oregano has 42 times more antioxidants than apples, 12 times more than oranges and 4 time more antioxidants than blueberries. Thanks that it can help to fight Alzheimer and other neurodegenerative diseases.

Isn’t it awesome? Oregano. For free (almost). You can grow it in your garden or windowsill.

Sorry, I slightly departure from the main subject, but I got excited about oregano.

So going back to our prawn and courgette skillet, do not be afraid to add a lot of herbs 🙂 And enjoy!

prawn and courgette

quick and easy prawns and courgette skillet

INGREDIENTS

  • 180 g cooked and peeled king prawns (I used frozen ones)
  • 2-3 courgettes (depending of size)
  • 1 brown onion
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil or clarified butter
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp coarse pepper
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp basil
  • natural rock salt to taste
  • chili flakes

DIRECTIONS

I will be honest. I always forget to take stuff out from the freezer. But that’s what you should do first – defrost the prawns. But as usual, I forgot this time as well, so I always put them on a clear frying pan and defrost them fast on a small heat. Then I drain the excess liquid, and then put them back on the skillet adding coconut oil or clarified butter.

While prawns are on there way, chop onion, courgette in half slices and bell pepper in strips. You can roughly chop the garlic or use garlic grinder. First put onions on the skillet and fry them for 2-3 minutes with prawns. Then add garlic, bell pepper and courgette. Sprinkle everything with some natural salt and add remaining herbs.

Fry on a fairly high heat, so veggies will be soft, but not soggy and mushy. After few minutes on the skillet, they should be done but, like spaghetti – al dente.

And that’s done, your meal is ready. Check only if it needs some more salt or maybe some more basil. If you’re a fan of chili flakes sprinkle it all over and stir for extra 2 minutes.

Enjoy!

keto prawn and courgette

 

juicy chicken with 40 cloves of garlic #ketofriendly

Did you know that garlic is characteristic for France? Widely used in French cuisine, can buy smoked, fresh, green, violet, pink, giant and all sorts of garlic at most markets throughout France. They even have garlic mayonnaise! That must be delicious! Personally I’m a big fan of garlic especially the way it’s prepared in this dish. Slowly roasted unpeeled garlic cloves gets caramelized, and they loose most of its sharp, and for some people unpleasant, taste. They get rich, deep, mellow flavour and almost velvety texture. If you have never tried to prepare garlic this way, I urge you to do it. Juicy chicken with golden skin in this case is like a side dish, because garlic is a star 😉

There’s no need to talk a lot about helth benefits that comes from garlic. It’s well known natural antibiotic, it imroves cholesterol levels, lowers blood pressure. According to study published in “Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapygarlic is 100 times more effective than two popular antibiotics in fighting the Campylobacter bacterium, which is one of the most common causes of intestinal infections.

So if you feel so-so, instead of going to the pharmacy, buy a chicken and bunch of garlic to prepare this recipe.

 

juicy chicken with 40 cloves of garlic

INGREDIENTS

• whole chicken (my was about 2 kg)
• 40 cloves of garlic (it’s about 3 bulbs)
• 2 tsp natural rock salt
• 1 tsp coarse pepper
• 60 g clarified butter or coconut oil

DIRECTIONS

Dry chicken with paper towel. Remove the rump and neck (or leave if you like).

Divide garlic bulbs, but leave the cloves unpeeled – garlic will beautifully bake in peels. Melt the butter in a small pot and add salt and pepper, mix to dissolve the salt. Put some cloves of garlic on the bottom of heat-resistant dish, then place the chicken. Grease it with butter inside and outside. Then stuff the chicken with the rest of garlic cloves and tie the legs. Pour 1 glass of water (about 250 ml) and cover dish with lid.

Preheated the oven (180ºC with fan and about 200ºC without fan) and roast chicken first with the lid, and then take off the lid and roast until chicken will be golden-brown. From time to time check if there’s enough water, add some if needed. Roast for about 1 hour for every kilogram of chicken. It took me about 2 hours and 20 minutes, but first 100 minutes I’ve left the lid on, and next 40 minutes uncovered, but I’ve reduced temperature to 160ºC with fan (170-180ºC without fan). Everything depends of the oven.

Chicken should be juicy and tender, it’s always better to a little bit overcook than wrestle with hard meat. You can bake chicken in the oven in high temperatures, but always remember to bake under cover, not to dry the meat. Remove the lid just to make the skin crispy and brown.

Serve with green leaves salad, coleslaw will be great as well. Leftovers of garlic you can use on the next day and spread it on toast (if you eat bread) or on keto alternatives. Enjoy!

 

how to boost immunity with sauerkraut juice

Nature already gave us all the solutions to keep us healthy, but we’ve discarded it for pills, tablets and other “medications”. That’s not our fault, we’ve been told that it’s better. But better for who? I’m not saying that all the medications are bad, because some of them are saving lives. But looks like instead of improving people’s health they just keep them (barely) alive. And I don’t want to start debating about pharmaceutical business, because I’m sure it’s already a common knowledge, that the most important for pharmaceutical business is their own business.

So we need to deal with our health problems by ourselves. And it’s not easy (taking a pill is much easier, but does it work better?) and takes time and knowledge. But it’s our health, our bodies and our life, if we’re not going to care about it who is going to?

We are used to being more reactive than proactive – means we usually start looking for help when it’s already really bad, and we need a quick fix (that’s why pharmaceutical business is going really good). We ignore small symptoms, forgetting that “prevention is better than the cure”.

Wouldn’t it be great to become independent from pills, drugs, vaccines? As I said, I believe that nature has already provide us with necessary compounds to keep us strong and healthy. So maybe if we try to come back to nature, and start to boost our immunity and make our bodies stronger, we stop being fated with big pharma.

You won’t find better time to start than now. In this uncertain time, when they scare us with the virus, like they forgot that everyday millions of people die with common flu, diabetes, strokes, cancer and other modern diseases.

So if you would like to start improving your health and boost your immunity, you can start with cabbage juice – one of the most underrated superfoods.

Here’s the recipe. If you would like to read some more information from the researches that has been done around this topic scroll down.

 

 

sauerkraut juice

INGREDIENTS

  • naturally grown white cabbage
  • filtered water (I use ozonated water)
  • natural rock salt or Himalayan salt

You’ll also need:

  • blender
  • few 1l glass jars with lids
  • large pot
  • wooden spoon

CABBAGE – the best is late season (winter) cabbage. Should be more white than green in color, quite hard, healthy, with no signs of mold or vermin. Green leaf cabbage with loose leaves, has low sugar content and won’t ferment properly. Try to find a good source of cabbage, preferably organic or from local farmers. I’ve tried to make sauerkraut from supermarket cabbage but didn’t work. I always buy from polish shop, few days ago I bout one from the local farmers shop, but didn’t try it yet.

WATER – I use ozonated water, you can use any kind of filtered water, free from chlorine, fluoride and other stuff, that can be found in tap water. Boiled water in room temperature will be fine as well.

SALT – also extremely important – don’t use supermarket salt with anti-caking agent (which is a synthetic mixture of sodium, aluminium and silicon oxides), it’s deprived of the essential trace minerals. Use natural rock salt or Himalayan salt instead. Salt will help to extract the juice from the cabbage and prevent from going bad.

PROPORTIONS – for about 1kg of cabbage, use about 20g of salt (about one tbsp). Because we’re making sauerkraut juice not a sauerkraut, we will be adding much more water, so I use my common sense and just add more or less salt.

JARS – glass jars are the most available for everyone and they are easy to store. Make sure they are perfectly clean, you can scald them out with boiling water. To make juice from one quite big cabbage (I would say about 2 – 2,5kg) I need 9 glass jars. Everything depends how liquidy you’ll make it. Don’t use any metal, aluminium or plastic containers, because acid from the sauerkraut will go in reaction with these materials.

DIRECTIONS

Shred the cabbage, bits don’t need to be very small, just to make it easier to blend. Now depending of how big is your pot, place part of shredded cabbage in the pot. Pour the water, so it covers all cabbage. Then blend it using hand blender. Because of blending process, you’ll get some foam on top. I take it off with a spoon if it’s quite a lot. Add rock salt and stir, as I said I do it using my common sense. Pour the mixture to the jars leaving about two inches room. Gases that will develop during fermentation will push the cabbage up. Leaving some room will prevent from spilling all over. Do the same with the rest of cabbage. Cover all the jars with lids and place in dark and warm temperature (room temperature is fine).

And now very important – for first 3-4 days you need to stir in every jar with a wooden spoon. It’s not a magic trick, it’s because if you won’t stir cabbage that’s going up above the surface of water will start to mold. So it’s so important to stir it everyday (you can do it twice a day, but usually once is OK), so the cabbage is constantly soaked in water. Expect distinctive smell that it will start to develop – it’s normal. Have a sniff, all the jars should have the same smell. If you feel that one of them is obviously stinky and smell different than the others it’s better to bin it. If you never ate sauerkraut, they all might smell stinky for you, but I mean this kind of stinky when something is off and moldy. And the second thing – mold. There should be no mold on top of the cabbage. If you see pinkish mold on top – you have to bin it. So for the first few days cabbage will be on top of the jar, and water on the bottom. When the sauerkraut will be ready, cabbage will be on the bottom and water on top. Depending of your storage temperature it will take a week up to ten days, maybe two weeks.

Now the taste, homemade sauerkraut juice is less sour than the sauerkraut bought in the shop. Longer you’ll keep it in warm temperature more sour it will get. So if you want to stop fermentation process just put it to the fridge.

Drink one cup everyday. Do not overdose, at the beginning when your body is not used to, you might get diarrhea. If you do, just take less. Start with 1-2 tablespoons a day. Than increase to one cup.

 

 

HOW COME SAUERKRAUT IS SO GOOD FOR US?

Fermented cabbage is not a modern invention, it actually have a long story in many cultures, starting from the Roman age. Although “sauerkraut” is a German word, the dish did not originate in Germany. Some claim that the Mongol Emperor Genghis Khan brought it to Europe. Others claim that it originally came from China (means not only the bad things come from China).

English name is borrowed from German language, the rest of central and eastern European countries has their own names. Anyway before frozen foods, refrigeration, and cheap transport, sauerkraut – like other preserved foods – provided a source of nutrients during the winter.

So looks like people used to ate a lot of fermented foods (not only cabbage), but it seems logic. Imagine the times, when hygiene wasn’t so obvious as now, I mean personal hygiene and all over hygiene. People had to have fairly good immune system to fight all this bacteria, mold, fungus and hell know what else. And fermented foods help them very well.

I will quote some of the modern conclusions from the researches that has been done in this topic.

“According to the Statista Statistic Portal, global probiotic sales are expected to jump from $25 billion in 2011 to $42 billion in 2016. This statistic shows that consumers are paying for these probiotics that are man-made in a lab and sold for a profit. There is nothing wrong with supplementation because there are many proven and effective probiotics, but the  option of using fermented foods may be more efficient. The argument for sauerkraut (and other fermented foods) is that the families of strains that naturally culture together in fermented sauerkraut are more beneficial than the isolated strains found in supplements. In other words, probiotic therapy is based on the belief that certain strains are vital for our health, which leads to people going out and buying these isolated supplements. In reality, some research shows the genetic fluidity of bacteria suggests that variety and diversity may be more beneficial than specific strains. In addition to the beneficial bacteria they produce, fermented foods also supply nutrition that no other sources can provide.*

Can the natural probiotics found in sauerkraut be as beneficial as other options? Here’s what they concluded:

“Initially, the research was going to compare store bought, shelf stable sauerkraut to homemade sauerkraut. After experimentation, it was concluded that store bought, shelf stable sauerkraut had little to no bacteria due to pasteurization and processing. An important note is that each trial was conducted on a different batch of sauerkraut. (…) The results conclude that homemade sauerkraut can supply an efficient amount of LAB to promote health benefits in small (2 tbsp.) and large (1 cup) serving sizes. Sauerkraut belongs to a rare category of foods which not only provide probiotics, but also nutrients of the cabbage in a more digestible state. The aim of the study was to culture and count strictly the LAB in sauerkraut, but it is expected that sauerkraut can be home to more microorganism species than which is currently known.*

  “Sauerkraut could possibly be one of most underrated superfoods. Sauerkraut is a name given to the end product of fermenting cabbage. One of the reasons sauerkraut is considered a superfood is because the fermentation makes all of the nutrients of the food more bioavailable than in its raw form. This means that all the vitamins, mineral, and phytonutrients that cabbage offers could become more bioavailable after fermentation. become more bioavailable after fermentation. For example, Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride states in her book “The amount of bioavailable vitamin C in sauerkraut is 20 times higher than in the same serving as raw cabbage”. In addition to increased bioavailability, what really sets sauerkraut apart from most foods is its probiotic content. The main reason sauerkraut is a wonderful food is because it is full of probiotics. Probiotics are defined as living organisms which upon ingestion in certain numbers confer health benefits upon the host. (…) human gut (and all of the bacteria involved) can have on human health. The microbiota plays a major role in health and disease in humans and it is sometimes referred to as our “forgotten organ”. Even more importantly, the gut microbiota interacts with the immune system by providing signals to promote the maturation of immune cells and the normal development of immune functions.” *

From some other studies: “Sauerkraut (homemade and shop-bought) has been shown, through culture-dependent techniques, to contain Bifidobacterium dentium, Enterococcus faecalis, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus delbrueckii, Staphylococcus epidermidis, Lactobacillus sakei, Lactobacillus curvatus, Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus brevis, Weissella confusa, Lactococcus lactis and Enterobacteriaceae.” **

“One of the most significant groups of probiotic organisms are the lactic acid bacteria (LAB) which were observed further in this study. Lactic Acid bacteria have established benefits such as the treatment of diarrhea, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, and infections such as urogenital, urinary and candida. LAB have also been shown to enhance immune system function to help prevent various illnesses and promote lactose digestion. Some studies even show that these bacteria could even prevent certain cancers. While nearly all research confines LAB to dairy products like yogurt, sauerkraut stands out as a vegetable that also produces LAB. Unlike yogurt, a starter culture is not needed for sauerkraut because the cabbages grown in healthy soil have all the bacteria they need to start fermentation. All that is added is salt which inhibits the growth of undesirable microorganisms but favors the growth of desired bacteria.”*

However,

“when it comes to sauerkraut, original studies dating back 1969 only found four strains of LAB. A more recent study done in 2009 (with technique and technology advances), concluded that 15 strains of LAB with high conjugated linoleic acid (CLA)-producing ability were isolated from sauerkraut. It should also be noted that within different stages of fermentation, there will be different organisms present. There is no definite identity or count on the LAB in sauerkraut.”*

And next one: “Certain lactic acid bacteria contained in sauerkraut generate conjugated linoleic acid for which there is evidence of anti-carcinogenic and anti-atherosclerotic activity in animals.**Anti-cancer effects of lactic acid bacteria: Several research studies confirm the ability of lactic acid bacte-ria to reduce the mutagenicity of intestinal contents by suppressing the levels of specific bacterial enzymes that promote the activation of procarcinogenic compounds (DALY et al. 1998). Lactobacilli have been periodically
associated with anti-carcinogenic, anti-mutagenic and anti-tumorigenic activities.” ***

“Sauerkraut is one of the few fermented foods for which there is a clinical trial in functional bowel disorders. A randomised double-blind trial compared the effects of sauerkraut containing viable lactic acid bacteria (LAB) on gastrointestinal symptoms and microbiota in 58 patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). (…) There was a significant reduction in IBS Severity Scoring System (IBS-SSS) score between baseline and end of trial in both study groups, however there was no difference in symptoms between the diet groups.”** “The nutritional impact of fermented foods on nutritional diseases can be direct or indirect. Food fermentations that increase the protein content or improve the balance of essential amino acids or their availability will have a direct curative effect. Similarly fermentations that increase the content or availability of vitamins such as thiamine, riboflavin, niacin or folic acid can have profound direct effects on the health of the consumers of such foods (STEINKRAUS 1997). It was shown that lactic acid fermentation increased the utilisation of iron from food by breakaway of inorganic iron from complex substances under the influence of vitamin C (SIEGENBERG 1991; V ENKATESH 1998). Fermentation may reduce the content of non-digestible material in plant foods such as cellulose, hemicellulose and polygalacturonic and glucuronic acids. Breakdown of these compounds may lead to the improved bioavailability of mineral and trace elements (KALANTZOPOULOS 1997). Fermented foods may reduce the serum cholesterol concentration by reducing the intestinal absorption of dietary and endogenous cholesterol or inhibiting cholesterol synthesis in liver (KALANTZOPOULOS 1997).”***

*”Functional Foods in Health and Disease” 2016; 6(8): 536-543. “Sauerkraut: A Probiotic Superfood” Ryan Orgeron, Angela Corbin, Brigett Scott. Submission Date: May 9, 2016; Acceptance Date: August 27, 2016; Publication Date: August 30, 2016

**”Fermented Foods: Definitions and Characteristics, Impact on the Gut Microbiota and Effects on Gastrointestinal Health and Disease” Eirini Dimidi, Selina Rose Cox, Megan Rossi and Kevin Whelan King’s College London, Department of Nutritional Sciences, London SE1 9NH, UK. Published: 5 August 2019

***”Lactic acid fermented vegetable juices” J. KAROVIČOVÁ, Z. KOHAJDOVÁ Slovak Technical University, Faculty of Chemical and Food Technology, Bratislava, Slovak Republic

If you’ve managed to get to the end, I’m very happy 🙂

If you’ll try to make your own sauerkraut juice I will be more than happy 🙂

I’m not an expert, but if you’d have any questions I will do my best to answer.

 

no egg raspberry tiramisu #lowcarb #glutenfree #ketofriendly

I could not resist to try prepare this dessert in keto option. Tiramisu has always been one of my favorite desserts, and this raspberry version is as delicious and traditional one. Traditional tiramisu is made with egg yolks, this version is much easier to make. I’ve tried to cut the carbs as much as I could, to make it as keto friendly as possible. I’ve skipped one layer of gluten free biscuits, and added a layer of cacao nibs instead. You can also crush some 95% cacao chocolate and use is as a layer. If you don’t mind the carbs so much, you can make two layers of gluten free biscuits.

Important thing – don’t fool yourself that it’s going to taste exactly the same as regular tiramisu made with sugar and amaretto. Because it won’t, but it’s definitely a better choice if you’re on diet, but you don’t want to restrict yourself from eating anything that’s considered as sweets. C’mon we’re only humans, and we should have a right to enjoy the things we like. So you don’t need to feel guilty if once for a week you’ll have keto appropriate tiramisu 😉 Because as Merry Berry said: Cakes are healthy too, you just eat a small slice.

So enjoy your portion of raspberry tiramisu like it’s the last portion you’ll ever eat. Taste each spoon with pleasure. Notice how cream is soften in your mouth. Spot the bitterness of cacao nibs, sweetness of raspberries with every chunk. A bit sharp taste of alcohol mixed with coffee, and when all these tastes are melting together in your mouth. Take your time, and don’t rush yourself.

I can guarantee you, that if you pay attention to the process of eating, you won’t need to eat a lot to feel full. Especially that with this amount of ingredients, you’ll get quite a big portion, so don’t forget to share with your family, or give some to your neighbor – I’m sure they will be happy with such a yummy gift 🙂

 

 

no egg raspberry tiramisu #lowcarb #glutenfree #ketofriendly

INGREDIENTS

· 250 g full fat mascarpone cheese
· 500 ml whipping cream
· sweetener of your choice: erythritol, stevia, xylitol or monk fruit
· 250 g raspberries
· any gluten free biscuits of your choice
· 100ml strong coffee (I’ve used 4 tsp of instant coffee)
· low carb alcohol like martini (9.8g carbs in 100ml) or no carbs whisky
· a little bit of cacao
· optional: handful of cacao nibs or crushed 95% cacao chocolate

DIRECTIONS

Prepare coffee first by dissolving 4 tsp of instant coffee in 100ml of hot water (you can also use espresso if you have a coffee machine). Let it to cool, then add alcohol of your choice. The amount is your choice – you can do 100ml of coffee and 50ml of alcohol, but feel free to add a bit more or a bit less. But be careful, so the alcohol won’t dominate gentle taste of tiramisu.

Whip the cream, at the end add sweetener of your choice, spoon by spoon up to the moment you feel it’s enough. On keto your levels of sugar taste are different than other people, at least I’ve noticed that even the low sugar sweets are very sweet for me.

When your whipped cream is ready add mascarpone and whip it again, until you get a smooth, creamy texture. Divide the mixture in two equal parts. Leave one half plain, add about 3 small handfuls of raspberries to the other half, and mix using hand mixer.

Dip your biscuits in coffee and alcohol mixture and place them on the bottom of the dish. Make a layer of cacao using a sieve, then spread the raspberry cream. Instead of another layer of biscuits I’ve put a layer of cacao nibs, but if you want you can skip the nibs and put another layer of soaked biscuits. Next is the plain layer of cream and mascarpone mix. Spread it evenly and arrange the rest of raspberries on top.

Tiramisu is ready, now you only need to be patient and wait 3-4 hours for it to set in the fridge. Which is not very easy 😉 I sprinkled my tiramisu with tiny bit of powdered sugar, just for purposes of the photo.

boiled spiced coffee #ketofriendly #nosugar

We found this recipe years ago in the book about Traditional Chinese Medicine and Theory of Five Flavours, and it’s my partner’s favorite way of making coffee. We both are coffee lovers, always keen to find a new way of making it. This way of making coffee is considered to be the most gentle for the stomach and blood pressure.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine coffee is seen and used as herb, so it means it should not be overdosed. 1-3 cups of coffee per day is fine, but as I said it’s important how you brew it. The way you brew your coffee is also very important. You can prepare it in two ways – brew it by pouring boiling water into the ground coffee beans (or use a coffee machine) or boil it. Each one has different nature and different properties.

Brewed coffee removes fatigue, improves intellectual effort, brightens the mind and stimulates creativity. But for most of the people causes restlessness, heartbeat, dizziness and insomnia. People who suffer from hyperactivity, high blood pressure, with weak spleen, liver, kidneys and intestines, can feel heat imbalances which are often experienced as ulcers, heartburn and excessive sweating. Coffee brewed in coffee machines is more gentle, and tends to cause less issues.

While boiled coffee has not only different taste, but also different nature and properties. Boiled coffee is more gentle and soft in taste. It’s warming, stimulating for all body, especially kidneys, improves digestion, tends to soothe rheumatic pain, migraines and even PMS. In TCM boiled coffee is advised for people with allergies, asthma, cough, colds, with weak spleen and stomach. It also cleanses gallbladder and increases and warms blood circulation.

If you like coffee but you have this kind of problems, try boil it and see how it works for you. Add spices as you like, cinnamon will make it more sweet, ginger more spicy, cardamon and cloves gives it a bit wintery taste. And it also smells delicious when it boils 🙂

 

boiled spiced coffee #ketofriendly #nosugar

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 full tsp ground coffee
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon (sweet and woody)
  • pinch of cardamon (citrusy and fragrant)
  • pinch of ginger (pungent and spicy)
  • pinch of ground cloves or 3-4 cloves (warm, strong, sweet and bitter)
  • 500 ml water (I use ozonated)

DIRECTIONS

Put the coffee and all the spices to a small pot, pour the water in and heat to boil. Then lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Leave it for few seconds, so the coffee grounds will fall on the bottom. Pour to the cup and enjoy 🙂

keto sauerkraut soup

 

Today’s soup is not going to be everyone cup of tea, but we love it. As you probably know, on keto every fermented food is beneficial. Actually fermented food is always good, on any diet, but in keto it helps to grow good bacteria and heal the intestines. Sauerkraut and its juices, are made from naturally fermented cabbage. It’s very popular in the country I come from, and also very underrated from it’s health benefits. Sauerkraut juice is rich in natural lactic acid, which stops the growth of undesired intestinal bacteria and encourages the growth of good bacteria. You can read some more about sauerkraut juice we make, and other rules we follow, on this page.

Anyway, as I said this soup it’s not everyone cup if tea. Especially if you’re not used to fermented food. But we love it for its sour taste and warming properties.

You can find sauerkraut in Polish shops or in the most of the markets on a shelf with Polish food. Germans also make sauerkraut, but I’ve never tried any. Most of the times you can buy it in a glass jar, sometimes in a plastic bag. I prefer glass, it’s definitely more healthy, plastic from the bag goes in reaction with acid from the sauerkraut. You can also find two types of sauerkraut, one plain, one with carrot. I prefer the one with carrot, it adds some sweetness to taste, and it’s also great as a side salad.

To prepare this soup you’ll need to squeeze the excess juice. If you don’t the soup will be very sour, too sour even for me 🙂 So try it first, different brands makes slightly different sauerkraut so it’s always better to check. You can squeeze the excess juice or even rinse it under running water. Usually squeezing is enough. It also depends how sour you like it to be. We are used to this taste, so we like it quite sour. But if you make it for the first time, you might need to start with less sour taste. After making it a few times, you’ll find the best way for you and the best level of sourness.

Other very important thing is the base for the soup. I’ve used one part of beef bones broth (it’s quite condensed) and one part of ozonated water. If you don’t have beef broth, you can use pork ribs to make it. Pork ribs and sauerkraut goes great together. If you have a slow cooker, you use this recipe – directions below.

Sauerkraut soup is a great warmer. Especially if you add a good pinch of pepper. Addition of garlic makes it even more healthy. You can serve it any time of the day. If you feel cold in the morning or you struggle with cold hands and cold feet, this soup will warm you up for sure. Actually any warm soup eaten in the morning will help if you feel cold. According to Chinese theory of five flavours, respectively prepared soups with certain condiments, cooked for few hours have a giant energy power and strong healing properties. It also makes your jang higher – it means your heat and energy. So feel free to use slow cooker to make this soup.

 

keto sauerkraut soup

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 l beef bones broth
  • 1 l water
  • about 800 g sauerkraut (with or without carrot)
  • 200 g smoked sausage
  • 1 large brown onion
  • rock salt to taste
  • good pinch of coarse pepper
  • 3 leaf bay
  • 3-4 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp dried marjoram

DIRECTIONS

Start with chopping onion, slice sausage in quarters. Heat a large pot and put the sausage first. Let it fry for a while on a small heat, then add onions and bay leaves. Fry until onion starts going golden brown. In the meantime squeeze sauerkraut from excess juice and chopp it in smaller pieces. Add to the pot. Then add pepper, some salt and chopped garlic.

Pour your beef bones broth and water, stir and cook for about an hour. In about 20 minutes before the end add 1 tablespoon of dried marjoram for better digestion (add it always at the end of cooking, because it gets bitter when cooking to long). Check if it’s salty enough, add some more if you need. Serve hot any time of the day – especially if you feel cold – it’s very warming.

SLOW COOKER DIRECTIONS

You can prepare this delicious soup using a nice big piece of pork rib. Cut it in smaller pieces, so it will be easier to tranfser to a plate. Sizzle the onion and sausage first and place it in the slow cooker, add ribs, squeezed and chopped sauerkraut and all the spices, apart from marjoram (add it in last hour of cooking, because they will get bitter when cooking for too long). Cook on “low” for 6-8 hours or about 4 hours on high.

Enjoy!

quick & easy creamy herb chicken

For all the chicken lovers – you don’t need to quit chicken on keto, just because it’s low fat meat. If you add some fat to it, it’s going to be a great keto meal. If you manage to find chicken breasts with skin it’s even better.

In this recipe we have fat from coconut milk, clarified butter and some extra olive oil. Garlic is commonly known from it’s antiseptic and antibiotic benefits. To get the most of it, try to find a good source of garlic – organic or just from local farmers. The one that’s sold in market might be bleached – it makes the the bulbs look perfectly white (can you imagine?) A lot of garlic is from China because (as everything else in this world) it’s production is cheaper and all year round. So in general, avoid perfectly looking garlic, and choose the one with more purple looking skin.

Addition of herbs is always good, mint and lemon pepper gives some freshness and lightness to this dish. To make it even more refreshing, serve it with bunch of green leaves (rocket will be great), tomatoes, peppers and olive oil, sprinkled with roasted sunflower seeds or almond flakes and more lemon pepper on top. If you don’t have lemon pepper use coarse pepper – in my opinion it has much more flavour than common ground pepper.

You’ll prepared this meal in less than 30 minutes, make your salad while waiting for the chicken to get tender. It’s really easy even if you’re not a master in the kitchen 😉

 

quick & easy creamy herb chicken

INGREDIENTS (1 chicken breast per person, I was making chicken for two dinners):

  • 4 chicken breasts (preferably with skin)
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp dried coriander
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • ½ tsp dried mint
  • 400 ml coconut milk
  • lemon pepper or coarse pepper
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp clarified butter or coconut oil

If your chicken breasts are very thick slice them in half. Than sprinkle with salt and lemon pepper. Chopp the garlic. Melt 1 tbsp butter in a large skillet, than add chicken and fry on both sides until golden brown. Take the chicken off the skillet and add garlic and another tbsp of butter. Fry for 1 minute over low heat just to release the flavour, be careful not to burn the garlic because it will get bitter.

If you want to use normal butter it might burn, so it’s better to use some coconut oil or olive oil instead. Butter makes the sauce more creamy, and adds a lot of flavour, that’s why I like using it. It also breaks out the coconut flavour.

Pour can of coconut milk on the skillet, add herbs and slowly heat to boil stirring quite often, so the flavour from herbs will spread evenly. Add a little bit more salt, then add fried chicken. Cook on a low heat for few minutes until chicken will be nice and tender and coconut milk will reduce slightly and get thicken. At the end pour tablespoon of olive oil all over and serve. Enjoy!

crazy keto salad with strawberries

That’s a bit crazy mix of fruits and veggies, but it’s also quite refreshing, and good choice if you crave something sweet. I know that pineapple is a no-no on keto, but it’s only a few chunks per portion. It’s definitely not everyday meal, but you can have it on the days when your carb intake is very low, or you just want to treat yourself with something sweet – that’s a healthy option 😉 Especially in upcoming spring and summer, when fruits will tempt us with colours and smells.

Iceberg lettuce makes every chunk crunchy, strawberries and pineapple gives sweetness, avocado and olive oil keeps the fats high and pepper spice this up. You can add some pumpkin or sunflower seeds to keep the fats even higher.

 

crazy keto salad with strawberries

INGREDIENTS (for 1 portion):

· some iceberg lettuce leafes
· few strawberries
· 1 avocado
· few chunks of fresh pineapple
· 1 tbsp olive oil
· pinch of lemon pepper or coarse pepper

DIRECTIONS

Rinse strawberries and iceberg salad leaves. Cut avocado in half, twist and remove the stone using knife or spoon. To remove the skin you can eaither peel it with your fingers, or dice the flesh with the knife, and than scoop out with the spoon. Whatever is easier for you. If avocado is ripe (purple-brownish and soft) it will be very easy to remove the skin with your fingers. If it’s still quite firm it’s better to scoop it out with a spoon.

Now it’s turn for strawberries. Remove the green stem and cut each strawberry in half or quarters if they’re very big. Mix your salad leaves, strawberries, avocado and pineapple chunks with olive oil. Sprinkle with pepper and enjoy.