Mushroom And Barley Soup With Potato Croutons

What’s better than a creamy mushroom soup to warm you up from the inside out? But these kinds of soups are often laden with heavy cream. Try out this health-conscious mushroom and barley soup for a delicious meal without the added calories:

Ingredients

Method

  1. Heat a large pot over a medium to high heat and add the butter with a dash of olive oil to prevent the butter from burning. Add the onion and mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, for about 3-5 minutes, or until nicely browned. Reserve some mushrooms for garnishing.
  2. Lower the temperature to a medium heat. Add the garlic and fresh thyme, to your taste, and fry for another 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add your chicken stock and allow to simmer for about 30 minutes. Heat a frying pan and add a small knob of butter and a dash of olive oil. Fry the potato cubes until cooked, golden and crispy. Season to taste and set aside until needed.
  4. Use a stick blender to puree the soup. Adjust with some chicken stock or water if you feel like a runnier soup.
  5. Add the cooked barley and allow to heat through. Once heated, add the coconut cream and soy sauce and stir. Remove from the heat and serve with micro herbs, reserved mushrooms and chilli oil or cream as garnish.

Adapted from: https://foodloversmarket.co.za/recipes/mushroom-barley-soup/

winter soup

https://foodloversmarket.co.za/recipes/mushroom-barley-soup/

Bean Soup With Chorizo And Parsley 

Beans are packed with protein and fibre, which means you stay fuller for longer. Whip up this wholesome kidney bean soup topped with crispy chorizo and parsley oil to see you through long winter days. You can exclude the chorizo for a vegetarian version or substitute with crispy bacon bits. 

Ingredients

Method:

  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onion and cook for 5 minutes until softened. Stir in garlic and sweet potato and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in stock and tomatoes and simmer for 15 minutes or until the potato is tender.
  2. Meanwhile, blanch parsley in boiling water for 30 seconds until bright green. Refresh in chilled water and drain well. Process in food processor until pureed. Add extra virgin olive oil and process until combined.
  3. Puree soup in a food processor (or use a stick blender) until smooth. Return to the pan. Add beans and keep warm over a low heat.
  4. Fry chorizo in a small, non-stick frying pan until crisp. Ladle soup into serving bowls. Top with chorizo and drizzle with the parsley oil.

Source: https://www.woolworths.com.au/shop/recipedetail/4034/bean-soup-with-chorizo-tomato

winter soup

https://www.freepik.com/carpaumar

Chicken Noodle Soup 

There’s a reason moms make chicken noodle soup for their little ones when they feel under the weather. It’s packed with good nutrients and helps soothe sore throats. If you feel a sniffle coming along, brew up a pot of this healing broth. You can freeze the leftovers for those cold winter nights when the very last thing you want to do is slave over the stove. 

Ingredients

Method:

  1. Put all the stock ingredients and the chicken in a very large saucepan, then cover everything with about 3 litres of cold water. Bring to the boil, then lower to a simmer and cook for 1 hour -1½ hours, until the chicken is cooked through. Skim off any froth every 20 minutes or so. Remove the chicken to a plate to cool. Strain the stock through a sieve, skimming off as much fat as you can.
  2. Rinse out the pan and put the stock back in, then simmer on a high heat until reduced a little – you need about 2 litres in total. Add the carrots and leeks, then simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, shred the meat from the chicken, discarding the skin and bones. Add to the pan with the sweetcorn. Add the vermicelli noodles, unless you want to freeze the soup, and simmer for about 7 minutes more, until the corn and pasta is cooked. Ladle into bowls, sprinkled with the parsley. 

Source: https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/chicken-sweetcorn-noodle-soup

https://www.freepik.com/stockking

Do you have any go-to winter soup recipes to share? Let us know about them! 

Maintaining healthy gut bacteria is a game of fine balance. We must firstly understand all the factors that may affect the our digestive tract. Then, we must learn to treat our own bodies accordingly to our individual needs. Keeping up with all of this while going about our daily business, may seem impossible. Nevertheless, improving our digestive health may prevent a range of diseases. These include obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, autoimmune disease, asthma and eczema and depression.

Pre-biotics vs. Pro-biotics

People often misunderstand pre and pro-biotics as opposing ways to treat bad gut bacteria. There is also usually an implied competition between these two digestive health supplements. In fact, pre and pro-biotics should be used in conjunction to achieve digestive health. They feed off one another (quite literally), to promote balance in the intestinal tract.

Pre-biotics

Pre-biotics are a type of non-digestible fibres which feed the good bacteria already found in the large intestine. Used simultaneously with pro-biotics, they may increase this good bacteria. Pre-biotics can be found naturally occurring in many fruits and vegetables, especially ones high in soluble fibre. Examples of foods high in prebiotics include, berries, bananas, asparagus, Jerusalem artichokes, garlic, onions, oatmeal and apples (with the skin on.) Legumes such as lentils, beans and peas are also great sources of fibre.

oatmeal

Pre-biotic supplements come in many strains as well. They may be marketed to aid weight loss, bone health and other illnesses. Make sure to research these supplements thoroughly before paying a bucket load for something you don't need. Regardless, pre-biotics have been shown to decrease inflammation in the intestine. So, make sure to include them in your lifestyle choices one way or another.

Pro-biotics

Pro-biotics are live bacteria found in certain foods or nutritional supplements. They are produced by the process of fermentation in foods such a yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi and miso, for example. Of course, there are many different varieties of yogurt available in stores. Plain Greek yogurt and Bulgarian yogurt varieties are recommend as the most beneficial to digestive health. These yogurts also contain less sugar than flavoured varieties. If you are put off by the tangy taste of plain yogurt, add a sprinkle of cinnamon and a drizzle of natural honey to your serving for extra sweetness.

Alternatively, make a batch of your own sauerkraut at home. All you will need is about 1 kg of white cabbage, sea salt, an empty glass jar, large mixing bowl and a tea towel.

sauerkraut

Method:

  1. Sterilise the glass jar, mixing bowl and any other utensils you will be using. Make sure your hands are impeccably clean as well.
  2. Grate or shred the cabbage to your desired consistency.
  3. Place the grated cabbage into the mixing bowl. Add 4 - 5 teaspoons of sea salt. (The ratio of salt to cabbage is pivotal to the fermentation process. Experts suggest that you weigh your shredded cabbage to estimate the amount of salt needed. The salt ratio should be between 2.25 - 2.5% of the cabbage weight.)
  4. Rub the salt into the cabbage. It should start to release its own salty brine. Leave the mixture to stand for five minutes before rubbing again.
  5. Transfer the cabbage and brine into a clear glass jar. Press the cabbage down into the jar with a wooden spoon. The brine should just cover the top of the cabbage.
  6. Leave the mixture to ferment for at least 5 - 7 days at room temperature, away from direct sunlight. Open the lid after the first day to release pressure. Make sure to keep the mixture pressed firmly down into the jar - you can cover the top with cling wrap or weigh it down with leftover cabbage leaves.
  7. Place your homemade sauerkraut into the fridge once you are happy with its taste and texture. It should keep for between one week to a month refrigerated.

Adapted from BBC Good Food Recipes

Supplements

Pro-biotic supplements are also readily available from health stores and pharmacies. Dischem has a wide range of pro-biotic supplements available.

However, it is important to remember that there are millions of pro-biotic strains out there. Each of these may be used to treat a different set of digestive problems. Therefore, always consult your doctor first to find the right strain for you. You may have to use more than one kind to achieve gut balance. Using one type of pro-biotic supplement for an extended period may also prove ineffective. This is why it is so important to include as many fermented and fibrous foods in your diet as possible.

Oat and Banana Pancakes

This is a pancake recipe that uses oats and bananas instead of flour and sugar, making a healthier alternative to an old-fashioned favourite. Throw some blueberries and nuts into the mix to get even more nutrients and serve with cut up fruit, dollops of yoghurt and a drizzle of honey for a full meal that feels decadent.

Ingredients:
2 bananas
2 eggs
1/2 C rolled oats
1/2 tsp baking powder

Method:
Put the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Allow the mixture to stand for 10-20 minutes to thicken. Heat a non-stick pan. Fry spoonfuls of the mixture until golden brown on both sides. Serve and enjoy.

Recipe sourced from Simply Delicious Food.

Vegetable Chips

This recipe is made from different root vegetables which provide multitudes of vitamins and minerals for your little ones. The resulting snack is also a lot more pretty to look at with the rainbow of colours. Add some spices like paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic powder and onion powder to give it different flavours. You can also use chickpeas instead of root veggies, these are great alternatives to greasy and processed chips.

Ingredients:
1 medium beetroot
3-4 baby marrows
1 large carrot
1 small sweet potato
1 medium turnip
1 tsp salt and pepper
Oil

Method:
Preheat the oven to 200° C. Finely slice all the vegetables and toss them with the seasoning and oil. Spread out onto a baking sheet, avoiding any overlap. Bake for 10 minutes, flip and bake for a further 5-10 minutes. Allow to cool and enjoy.

Recipe sourced from The Big Man's World.

 

Chocolate Dipped Bananas

This recipe makes a delicious dessert that is healthy too. The bananas provide some potassium, vitamin C and also helps digestion. Use dark chocolate which has antioxidants and nuts for a dose of omegas.

Ingredients:
4 bananas
3 TB chopped peanuts
170g dark chocolate
8 skewers

Method:
Peel the bananas and cut in half. Insert a skewer in each half. Lay the banana halves on a baking sheet and freeze for three hours. Place the peanuts in a shallow dish. Melt the chocolate and pour into a tall glass. Dip each banana half into the chocolate and then into the nuts. Serve immediately.

Recipe sourced from Food Network.

Trail Mix

Kids love their snacks and so do parents. They are quick and easy to prepare for kids, they satisfy any hunger pangs while not being so filling that kids refuse to eat later. It can be tough to get your kids to snack on vegetable sticks instead of chips and sweets. Trail mix is a great choice because it offers some healthy choices that are high in fibre and kids will actually eat it. Make a great big bowl to keep on hand. You may find yourself snacking on this too.

Ingredients:
1 1/2 C mixed nuts
1 C mixed seeds
1 C dried fruit
1/2 C chopped dark chocolate
1 C pretzels
1 C pop corn
1 tsp seasoning

Method:

Mix all the ingredients together. Season with your choice of seasoning, such as salt and pepper, a pre-mixed spice or a mixture of spices like paprika, onion powder and cumin. Store in an airtight container.

Recipe sourced from The Healthy Maven.

 

Oat and Banana Pancakes

This is a pancake recipe that uses oats and bananas instead of flour and sugar, making a healthier alternative to an old-fashioned favourite. Throw some blueberries and nuts into the mix to get even more nutrients and serve with cut up fruit, dollops of yoghurt and a drizzle of honey for a full meal that feels decadent.

Ingredients:
2 bananas
2 eggs
1/2 C rolled oats
1/2 tsp baking powder

Method:
Put the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Allow the mixture to stand for 10-20 minutes to thicken. Heat a non-stick pan. Fry spoonfuls of the mixture until golden brown on both sides. Serve and enjoy.

Recipe sourced from Simply Delicious Food.

Vegetable Chips

This recipe is made from different root vegetables which provide multitudes of vitamins and minerals for your little ones. The resulting snack is also a lot more pretty to look at with the rainbow of colours. Add some spices like paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic powder and onion powder to give it different flavours. You can also use chickpeas instead of root veggies, these are great alternatives to greasy and processed chips.

Ingredients:
1 medium beetroot
3-4 baby marrows
1 large carrot
1 small sweet potato
1 medium turnip
1 tsp salt and pepper
Oil

Method:
Preheat the oven to 200° C. Finely slice all the vegetables and toss them with the seasoning and oil. Spread out onto a baking sheet, avoiding any overlap. Bake for 10 minutes, flip and bake for a further 5-10 minutes. Allow to cool and enjoy.

Recipe sourced from The Big Man's World.

pancakes

Chocolate Dipped Bananas

This recipe makes a delicious dessert that is healthy too. The bananas provide some potassium, vitamin C and also helps digestion. Use dark chocolate which has antioxidants and nuts for a dose of omegas.

Ingredients:
4 bananas
3 TB chopped peanuts
170g dark chocolate
8 skewers

Method:
Peel the bananas and cut in half. Insert a skewer in each half. Lay the banana halves on a baking sheet and freeze for three hours. Place the peanuts in a shallow dish. Melt the chocolate and pour into a tall glass. Dip each banana half into the chocolate and then into the nuts. Serve immediately.

Recipe sourced from Food Network.

Trail Mix

Kids love their snacks and so do parents. They are quick and easy to prepare for kids, they satisfy any hunger pangs while not being so filling that kids refuse to eat later. It can be tough to get your kids to snack on vegetable sticks instead of chips and sweets. Trail mix is a great choice because it offers some healthy choices that are high in fibre and kids will actually eat it. Make a great big bowl to keep on hand. You may find yourself snacking on this too.

Ingredients:
1 1/2 C mixed nuts
1 C mixed seeds
1 C dried fruit
1/2 C chopped dark chocolate
1 C pretzels
1 C pop corn
1 tsp seasoning

Method:

Mix all the ingredients together. Season with your choice of seasoning, such as salt and pepper, a pre-mixed spice or a mixture of spices like paprika, onion powder and cumin. Store in an airtight container.

Recipe sourced from The Healthy Maven.

healthy snacks

Egg 'Muffins'

These egg 'muffins' are actually baked omelettes that are simple, speedy and very filling. They are extremely convenient because you can throw in anything you have on hand. They also mess free, so they make the ultimate breakfast to feast on in the car on the way to school in that morning traffic.

Ingredients:
6 eggs
Oil
Salt and pepper
Veg of your choice

Method:
Preheat oven to 180°C
Grease a muffin tin with the oil.
Place some veggies into each muffin cup.
Beat the eggs and add seasoning.
Pour eggs over the veggies.
Bake for 20 minutes until cooked and serve.

Source: A Sassy Spoon

Muesli Bars

These delectable bars are packed with nutrients: omegas from the nuts and seeds, vitamins from the fruit and potassium from the banana. Add some spices like ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon for an immune boost.

Ingredients:
2 Ripe Bananas, mashed
1/2 C Nut Butter
3 Tb Coconut Oil
1 Tsp Vanilla Essence
1 C Nuts, assorted/of your choice
1 C Oats
1/2 C Mixed Seeds
1/4 C Dried Fruit
1/4 C Desiccated Coconut

Method:
Preheat oven to 180°C
Mix bananas, nut butter, oil and vanilla.
Add rest of ingredients and extra oil if it's too dry.
Put onto baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes.
Slice into bars and enjoy.

Source: Chloe Moir

muesli

Apple Muffins

This is a travel friendly muffin that is perfect for a grab-and-go breakfast or lunch box treat. Just make an extra batch, bake, freeze and pop in the microwave for 30 seconds for a quick grab during those busy morning rushes.

Recipe:
2 1/2 C Oats
1 C Dried Dates, chopped
1/2 C Boiling Water
1 Apple, chopped
3/4 C Milk
2 Eggs
2 Tsp Vanilla Essence
2 Tsp Baking Powder
1/2 Tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
2 Tsp Cinnamon

Method:
Preheat oven to 180°C
Blend dates and water, let sit for 5 minutes and blend again.
Blend in milk and apple.
Add remaining ingredients and blend until oats are ground.
Fill greased muffin tray with batter.
Bake for 30 minutes and enjoy.

Source: Bren Did

Pizza

I know you're thinking "how can pizza be healthy or easy to make?" but just bear with us. The base for this pizza is made from brown flour to add some much needed fibre to your kids' diet (for an extra boost, add some crushed nuts, wheat or bran). This recipe is also free of yeast so there is no need to faff around with kneading and rising. Just mix, shape and bake. This pizza sauce is a great way to sneak in some extra veggies for the fussy ones and you can top this pizza with whatever you find in your pantry and fridge.

Recipe:
1 1/3 C Brown Flour
1 Tsp Baking Powder
1/2 C Milk
1/2 Tsp Salt
2 Tb Olive Oil
3 Tomatoes
Salt and Pepper
1 Tb Oil
1/2 C Veggies, of your choice
Toppings, of your choice

Method:
Preheat oven to 200°C
Chop tomatoes and other veg, rub with oil, salt and pepper.
Roast until softened.
Blend into a paste, add water if necessary.
Mix flour, salt and baking powder.
Add milk and oil.
Mix until a dough forms.
Break into four balls and shape into circles for a mini pizza, or
Shape all of dough into a circle for a large pizza.
Bake for 8 minutes, less for smaller pizzas.
Top with tomato and veg sauce made earlier.
Add toppings of your choice.
Bake for 15 - 20 minutes, less for smaller pizzas.

Source: All Recipes

Pizza

Chocolate Cake

Not all chocolate cake has to be a glutenous sin. This cake is made with bananas, which reduces the need for sugar and fat while still keeping the cake moist. You can also add some extra nuts and dried fruit for some extra brain power or even some chocolate chips for a slightly guilty pleasure.

Recipe:
3 Bananas, mashed
3 Tb Honey
1 Egg
1/2 C Yogurt
1 1/2 C Flour
1/4 C Cocoa powder, unsweetened
1 Tsp Baking Powder
1/2 Bicarbonate of Soda

Method:
Preheat the oven to 180°C
Mix bananas, honey, egg and yogurt.
Add dry ingredients and mix until combined
Pour batter into greased muffin tin for muffins or into a greased baking pan for squares or into a cake tin for a cake.
Bake until done, for 50-55 minutes for a cake or brownies, 20-30 minutes for muffins
Cool and then slice into pieces.

Source: Bake. Eat. Repeat.

chocolate

C - cup        Tsp - Teaspoon        Tb - Tablespoon

Maintaining healthy gut bacteria is a game of fine balance. We must firstly understand all the factors that may affect the our digestive tract. Then, we must learn to treat our own bodies accordingly to our individual needs. Keeping up with all of this while going about our daily business, may seem impossible. Nevertheless, improving our digestive health may prevent a range of diseases. These include obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, autoimmune disease, asthma and eczema and depression.

Prebiotics vs. Probiotics

People often misunderstand pre and probiotics as opposing ways to treat bad gut bacteria. There is also usually an implied competition between these two digestive health supplements. In fact, pre and probiotics should be used in conjunction to achieve digestive health. They feed off one another (quite literally), to promote balance in the intestinal tract.

Prebiotics

Prebiotics are a type of non-digestible fibres which feed the good bacteria already found in the large intestine. Used simultaneously with probiotics, they may increase this good bacteria. Prebiotics can be found naturally occurring in many fruits and vegetables, especially ones high in soluble fibre. Examples of foods high in prebiotics include, berries, bananas, asparagus, Jerusalem artichokes, garlic, onions, oatmeal and apples (with the skin on.) Legumes such as lentils, beans and peas are also great sources of fibre.

oatmeal

Prebiotic supplements come in many strains as well. They may be marketed to aid weight loss, bone health and other illnesses. Make sure to research these supplements thoroughly before paying a bucket load for something you don't need. Regardless, prebiotics have been shown to decrease inflammation in the intestine. So, make sure to include them in your lifestyle choices one way or another.

Probiotics

Probiotics are live bacteria found in certain foods or nutritional supplements. They are produced by the process of fermentation in foods such a yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi and miso, for example. Of course, there are many different varieties of yogurt available in stores. Plain Greek yogurt and Bulgarian yogurt varieties are recommend as the most beneficial to digestive health. These yogurts also contain less sugar than flavoured varieties. If you are put off by the tangy taste of plain yogurt, add a sprinkle of cinnamon and a drizzle of natural honey to your serving for extra sweetness.

Alternatively, make a batch of your own sauerkraut at home. All you will need is about 1 kg of white cabbage, sea salt, an empty glass jar, large mixing bowl and a tea towel.

sauerkraut

Method: 

  1. Sterilise the glass jar, mixing bowl and any other utensils you will be using. Make sure your hands are impeccably clean as well.
  2. Grate or shred the cabbage to your desired consistency.
  3. Place the grated cabbage into the mixing bowl. Add 4 - 5 teaspoons of sea salt. (The ratio of salt to cabbage is pivotal to the fermentation process. Experts suggest that you weigh your shredded cabbage to estimate the amount of salt needed. The salt ratio should be between 2.25 - 2.5% of the cabbage weight.)
  4. Rub the salt into the cabbage. It should start to release its own salty brine. Leave the mixture to stand for five minutes before rubbing again.
  5. Transfer the cabbage and brine into a clear glass jar. Press the cabbage down into the jar with a wooden spoon. The brine should just cover the top of the cabbage.
  6. Leave the mixture to ferment for at least 5 - 7 days at room temperature, away from direct sunlight. Open the lid after the first day to release pressure. Make sure to keep the mixture pressed firmly down into the jar - you can cover the top with cling wrap or weigh it down with leftover cabbage leaves.
  7. Place your homemade sauerkraut into the fridge once you are happy with its taste and texture. It should keep for between one week to a month refrigerated.

Adapted from BBC Good Food Recipes

Supplements

Probiotic supplements are also readily available from health stores and pharmacies. Dischem has a wide range of probiotic supplements available.

However, it is important to remember that there are millions of probiotic strains out there. Each of these may be used to treat a different set of digestive problems. Therefore, always consult your doctor first to find the right strain for you. You may have to use more than one kind to achieve gut balance. Using one type of probiotic supplement for an extended period may also prove ineffective. This is why it is so important to include as many fermented and fibrous foods in your diet as possible.

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