Beet Kvass

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Beet greens alongside beet chunks in glass container ready to make beet kvass

As a healing through food specialist and health supportive chef, I have been hearing about the wonderful health benefits that are derived from raw beet juice consumption.  The word “kvass” is a Russian word that means a lacto-fermented beverage made from sourdough rye or beets.  With its Russian origin, it originated in the Ukraine and has been consumed for over 1000 years by people living in that part of the world.  Now, it finally is making its way to the USA.

The benefits of this beverage are numerous.  As a lacto-fermented beverage, it contains beneficial bacteria (probiotics) which helps rebuild immunity and helps strengthen the gut.  This process allows key nutrients to be absorbed more readily into the body.

It helps with the digestive process, cleanses the liver, the gallbladder, improves bile flow, removes toxins from the body and fights free radical damage at the cellular level.  The red staining color in beets is derived from a set of phytonutrients known as betalains.  The betalains are responsible for the creation of red blood cells which alkalize the blood.

Inflammation can occur in an over-acidic body.  Due to maintaining balance among the pH level, it robs the body of calcium.  We all need to alkalize the body and beet kvass is an alkaline promoting beverage.

Beets are an excellent source of sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron, fiber, folic acid, manganese and vitamins A and C.  It is a rich potpourri of vitamins, minerals and enzymes.

The beet kvass when ready to consume can be drunk as is or added to soups and salad dressings.

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Bowl of raw beets and the glass container of beet kvass

Recipe:

Beet Kvass 

(Serves:  8 cups)

Ingredients:

1 (2 quart) glass bottle or jar with tight fitting lid

4-5 small beets scrubbed, rinsed and diced

1 tablespoon sea salt

Filtered water

Procedure:

Put the diced beet chunks into the glass container.  Add the salt and proceed to fill the jar with water leaving about an inch or two of space from the top.  Close securely with a lid and keep it away from direct sunlight in a room temperature environment for 3 days.

At the end of the 3 days, it can be moved to refrigeration.  It is now ready to consume.  It is suggested to have 1/4 cup in the morning and 1/4 cup in the evening.

Experiment with added ginger root and carrots for a variation.

Note:  When following the GAPS Diet protocol, Stage I, the beet kvass can be consumed along with the gelatinous meat stock for additional digestive benefits.  Stage I excludes fiber but the juice from lacto-fermented beets is highly encouraged for healing of the gut lining.

Sources:

Axe, Dr. J. “The Beverage with Probiotic & Cancer Fighting Benefits”  September 16, 2015.  http://www.draxe.com/kvass/

Goldberg, Max. “Beet Kvass- What is it and Why am I drinking it?”  January 24, 2012.  http://www.livingmaxwell.com/beet-kvass

Ilia Regini is a certified healing through food specialist, health supportive chef, culinary instructor, writer, blogger and speaker.  Healthy Nourished Body offers chef service, cooking lessons, healthy kitchen makeovers and customized menu planning for healing through food dietary protocols.

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Vegetable Soup for Breakfast?

20170703_143424Cereal, bread, muffins, pastries, pancakes and omelettes are fine choices if you are well and don’t need to boost your nutrition.  However, if you are like most people, you will do anything to rake in more nutrients.  If you have an autoimmune disease, it is important to consume a nutrient dense breakfast free of grain.

Many Asian countries begin their breaking of the nightly fast with a steamy bowl of soup rich in vitamins and minerals.

In this day and age, so many people are suffering from a myriad of mysterious chronic health problems that include auto-immune illnesses such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, Leaky Gut Syndrome, Lupus, Hashimotos’s as well as Candidiasis, Diabetes, Cancer and the Neurological illnesses that include MS, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s to name a few.

Many of the specialized healing food diets that are being prescribed by Integrative Health Practitioners, Functional Medicine and Naturopathic Doctors exclude the consumption of sugar and starches due to its breaking down into simple sugar in the body.  This leaves us with the question, “What is one to consume for breakfast?”  Good question.  Why not a healthy vegetable soup that is chock full of vegetables super rich in nutrients? If that is not filling enough, add some kelp noodles which are grain free and some chicken chunks for protein.

The main reason that most people cannot seem to adjust to this idea is simply because certain foods are associated with breakfast and soup is not one of them.  You need to break out of this way of thinking.  There are many people in various countries around the world that do not eat the standard American breakfast and many of them are quite healthy.

I am including a simple recipe for a healing soup that includes what I call the magic healing trio of garlic, ginger and turmeric as well as burdock root, shiitakes, bok choy, watercress and kelp noodles which are not made of starch and are a good source of iodine.  This soup is a rich potpourri of nutrients.  It is easy to assemble.  If you cannot commit to having it every day, at least try consuming it 2-3 times per week.

Let’s get serious about healing our illnesses and enjoy a healthy body once again!

Healing Vegetable Soup

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon minced turmeric
  • 1/2 medium onion diced
  • 1 medium burdock root peeled and sliced thinly
  • 1 1/2 cups shiitakes sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups bok choy chopped (whites and greens)
  • 1 cup watercress
  • 10 cups filtered water
  • 8 ounce bag kelp noodles (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons minced parsley
  • 1-3 tablespoons Coconut Aminos
  • 1/2 pound chicken cubed (optional)
  • Sea salt to taste

Procedure:

In a large pot, add the oil, garlic, ginger and turmeric and let it cook on medium heat until slightly golden in color.  Add the onions, followed by the vegetables and filtered water and the optional kelp noodles and chicken, if using.  If you desire a thicker soup, add less water and if you want a thinner one, add more.  Adjust seasonings to taste.

Note:  For the Candida Diet, leave out the shiitake mushrooms.  For the GAPS Diet, leave out the burdock.  For the Low FODMAPS Diet, leave out the garlic, onion and shiitake mushrooms.

Ilia Regini is a certified healing through food specialist/health supportive chef/culinary instructor/writer/blogger and speaker.  Healthy Nourished Body offers chef service, cooking lessons, healthy kitchen makeovers and customized menu planning for healing through food dietary protocols.  www.healthynourishedbody.com  www.facebook.com/wellnourishedbody63  e:healthynourishedbody@gmail.com

Cream of Tomato & Roasted Red Pepper Soup

img_20161017_225050This is the time of year when a creamy homemade vegetable soup is just the thing to take the nip out of the air and provide warmth and nourishment to the body.  This particular soup can be prepared vegan without any dairy or it can be prepared with a dollop of creme fraiche.  Either way, it is a velvety creamy texture and oh, so satisfying.

If you are vegan, just leave out the creme fraiche.  If you are following one of the dietary protocols recommended by your healthcare practitioner, it is appropriate for the Candida Elimination Diet, Low FODMAPS Diet without the garlic and onion, the GAPS Diet, the Gluten Free Diet, the Paleo Ketogenic Diet, Vegan Diet with no dairy, the Vegetarian Diet and the Weston A. Price Diet.

Ingredients:

2 Tablespoons of olive oil

2 cloves of garlic minced

1/2 medium onion diced

1 stalk of celery diced

1 medium red bell pepper roasted

4 cups of vegetable broth (homemade is preferable)

1 28 oz. can of tomato purée

1 Tablespoon of lime juice

1 teaspoon of chili powder

1 teaspoon of ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon of ground coriander

3 Tablespoons of flat leaf parsley minced

1/2 cup of creme fraiche (optional)

Sea salt & black pepper to taste

Procedure:

In a medium pot, add the oil and garlic and simmer until golden.  Add the onions, mix, cover and cook until translucent.  Add the celery.

Roast the pepper on a gas burner, turning it until it is charred all over.  Set aside to cool.

Peel and deseed the pepper.  Coarsely chop and add to the pot.  Mix well.

Add the broth and tomato purée and mix well.

Add the lime juice and sea salt and blend with an immersion blender until creamy.

If you are using the creme fraiche, add it here.

Garnish with parsley.

Ilia Regini is a certified healing through food specialist/health supportive chef/culinary instructor/writer/blogger and speaker.  Healthy Nourished Body offers chef service, cooking lessons, healthy kitchen makeovers and customized menu planning for healing through food dietary protocols.  www.healthynourishedbody.com  www.facebook.com/wellnourishedbody63  e:healthynourishedbody@gmail.com

Pan Fried Lemon Sole – A Healthy Choice for many Specialized Healing Diets

lemon-sole-20161016One of my clients for whom I provide chef service, is suffering from a diagnosis of Lyme Disease and has been advised through his functional medicine doctor to follow the Paleo Ketogenic Diet.  One of the main dishes that I recently prepared for him is lemon sole.  Lemon sole is a very delicate thinly sliced white fish that has virtually no bones to deal with.   It does not have a fishy odor and is considered a good protein choice on this particular diet.

It is quite easy to prepare.  Some people like it dipped in a little coconut flour before sautéeing but it is also good just as is.  Add about 2 Tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet. Add a teaspoon of both minced garlic and ginger and simmer until golden.  Add the slices of fish.  Salt and pepper it and squeeze a generous amount of lemon.  Drizzle a little coconut aminos and that’s it!  Since it is such a thin and delicate fish, it cooks up quickly.  It will be done in about 3 minutes per side.  Turn over, salt and pepper, add lemon.  Drizzle a bit more coconut aminos.

This dish is appropriate for the following specialized dietary protocols:  The Auto-Immune Paleo Diet, The Candida Elimination Diet, the GAPS Diet, the Low Histamine Diet and the Paleo Ketogenic Diet.

Note:  For the Low FODMAPS Diet, leave out the garlic.

Ilia Regini is a certified healing through food specialist/health supportive chef/culinary instructor/writer/blogger and speaker.  Healthy Nourished Body offers chef service, cooking lessons, healthy kitchen makeovers and customized menu planning for healing through food dietary protocols.  www.healthynourishedbody.com  www.facebook.com/wellnourishedbody63 e:healthynourishedbody@gmail.com