Beet and Turmeric Kvass Tonic

Posted on August 26th, 2014

You read it first here: The next chapter in my health explorations is the microbiome. Yep, I’m all about healing the gut right now. I’ll touch on this in more detail shortly; meantime I’m just working on recipes that get my gut gunning with gas (or without it, as preferred case may be). Kvass is one such ammunition in my holster.

Beet xxx, recipe below

My Beet and Turmeric Kvass tonic, recipe below

A traditional Ukrainian drink, beet kvass is fermented with Lactobacillus bacteria and is a pink probiotic powerhouse punch with a slightly rustic, earthy flavour. As my gutsiest guru Sally Fallon says:

One 4-ounce glass, morning and night, is an excellent blood tonic, cleanses the liver and is a good treatment for kidney stones and other ailments.”

She also says that beet kvass is widely used in cancer therapy in Europe and in the treatment of chronic fatigue, chemical sensitivities, allergies and digestive problems.

I’ve added turmeric, because I recently read that turmeric needs to be fermented for the full benefits of this little root to be experienced. If you can’t find turmeric, simply make it with straight beetroot.

Beetroot and Turmeric Kvass

  • 2 large beetroots, scrubbed and coarsely chopped
  • 10 cm turmeric scrubbed or peeled (depending on how rough and gritty the skin is), chopped Read more

Fermented Turmeric Tonic recipe

Posted on August 21st, 2014

Turmeric is a sweet salve for an inflamed, auto-immune, gut-compromised soul, or so say the studies. But a bunch of other studies show it has poor bioavailability and requires pretty good gut health from the get-go to be able to convert the active ingredient (the yellow pigment, curcurmin) into a form that kicks into gear all the good guff. Sad sigh.

My fermented turmeric tonic

My fermented turmeric tonic

ALL OF THAT SAID, a study published in the International Journal of Food Science and Technology found the bioavailability increased when it was fermented.

It works like this: Curcumin is transformed through digestion into different forms known as metabolites. And it’s these metabolites that are the anti-inflammatory and cancer-preventing agent. And the bit that I find interesting: According to a Japanese study, fermentation prior to eating can replicate this transformation, ie create metabolites.

Music. To my witchy ears.

I decided to play around with turmeric fermentation myself this week. My wonderful friend David grows the stuff and brought in a boot-load (literally) for me to muck about with. For those of you who don’t know a David With A Bootload of Roots, you’ll be glad to know turmeric is in season right now (in the Southern hemisphere) and pretty easy to get hold of. Buy up big. I’ll be posting a few more recipes to come.

For today, a tonic that’s bound to pacify pain and cool the angry inflammation based on my Ginger-ade recipe.

Fermented Turmeric Tonic

  • 1 cup thinly sliced turmeric, unpeeled (if you come up a little short, a bit of ginger in the mix is fine, too) Read more

What I eat on planes

Posted on July 24th, 2014

This is another one of those posts I do when the questions on a particular topic roll in too thick and fast for me to respond to on an individual basis. Every time I travel somewhere I cop this one: but what do you eat in the air?

Image via Favim.com

Image via Favim.com

I’ve covered off what I eat when I’m travelling, that is, what I eat in foreign countries when I don’t have access to a kitchen and familiar foods.

I’ve also touched on what I eat on the run, including toting my breakfast and lunch to work. But today we’re going to cover air travel in all its hyper-packaged, processed, over-salted glory.

I mostly don’t eat on domestic routes

On short flights I simply don’t eat. Honestly, all of us can survive 1-2 hours without food. Snacking is a confection of the food industry to get us eating more of their food. Up until the 1990s common wisdom was to eat three square meals a day. This is what our bodies are designed to do. They like to rest a good 4-5 hours between meals. But in the early 90s nutritionists modified this to the “5-6 small meals a day” prescription in response to their client’s crazy blood sugar issues (from eating too many sugars and cheap carbs).

My issue with snacking is also this: snack food is mostly crappy. And always so on planes.

Know this:

Because our sense of taste dilutes at altitude, plane food is jammed with extra flavourings and salt.

On international flights

On long flights, or if my transit and flying time is right on a meal time, I will generally pack my own food and eat it at the airport or mid-flight. This is what I do:

  • I use up veggies that will go off in the fridge while I’m away. I chop up red capsicum, beans, snow peas etc and put in a ziplock bag (these can be rinsed out, dried and rolled up taking up less room in my suitcase than a lunchbox). I tend to always have a wedge of avocado or cheese lying around. I put that in the bag, too (I always eat fat Read more