• Cabbage kimchi (Murdoch Books)Source: Murdoch Books
When you eat delicious things, you can't help but feel boosted mentally and physically.
21 May 2018 - 9:47 AM  UPDATED 16 Mar 2021 - 2:42 PM

Fermented elixirs 

1. Persian princess rosewater and saffron water kefir

This elegant drink bubbles (literally) with Middle Eastern flavours and tummy-loving goodness. It's made with water kefir grains—not actual grains like wheat or rye, but crystal-like clusters of bacteria and yeast that are used to transform sugars into vitamins, enzymes and good bacteria.  

2. Wintry beet kvass with orange and cloves

Kind of like a healthy sangria. Cloves are a perfect match for the pungent and earthy beetroot, and have many medicinal benefits—they aid digestion, are anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and anti-fungal.

Satisfying smoothies

3. Mango & turmeric lassi smoothie

Turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory and astringent, and has long been used in Indian culture to promote digestion, balance stomach acids, and settle upset tummies. Here it's blended with mango, yoghurt, for a sunny-looking and bright-tasting smoothie. 

Mango & turmeric lassi smoothie

4. Homemade natural yoghurt bowl

Natural yoghurt is one of the best-known probiotic foods. Making your own means you know exactly what goes into it, to ensure it's free of any additives and as healthy as possible. Once you have a big batch, use it in everything from smoothies to dressings, swirled through a soup, or just a big bowl topped with your favourite fruit. 

Homemade natural yoghurt bowl

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Balancing breakfasts

5. Kombucha overnight oats

Oats are rich in prebiotic fibre, to help the good bacteria work their magic and to reduce the presence of harmful bacteria; kombucha is the poster child for recent gut-health trends, and with good reason—it's incredibly high in probiotics. So by the powers of kombucha and oats combined, you have breakfast with superpowers! Not only is it healthy though, but it also has all the bells and whistles of a luxurious breakfast: infused with chai tea, dotted with sultanas and chia seeds, sprinkled with shredded coconut, and topped with stone fruit baked in lemon zest, vanilla and honey until soft. 

6. Pumpkin porridge

This porridge is warming, enriched with coconut milk, coconut butter (or oil), cinnamon and vanilla paste. Serve it topped with pomegranate seeds or blueberries, or a dollop of yoghurt for a cooling and sour contrast. Pumpkins are high in beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant, and in vita­min A (which supports the gut lining), C and E. They're also rich in fibre, which boosts our microbiome diversity. 

Pumpkin porridge


7. Poached blue eye with celery, pea and ginger broth

Make this when you want something that makes you feel as good as it tastes. This gentle and fragrant broth is brimming with friendly bacteria's best friend, ginger. It's also brimming with other gut-friendly and digestion-promoting nutrients from the fish stock, poached fish and fresh vegetables.  

8. Nori omelette with miso mushroom broth

Japanese cuisine is one of the healthiest on the planet, and an essential part of this is miso soup. Because it's made from fermented soybeans, miso paste is rich in probiotics, adding beneficial microorganisms to our digestive tracts. This dish is a well-rounded meal, with the seaweed-laced omelette providing protein to keep you full, and fresh mushrooms for extra nutrients. Oishii! 

Good-for-you grain salads 

9. Roots and leaves buckwheat bowl

This rainbow-in-a-bowl makes you feel better just by looking at it and is perfect for any meal of the day. It has a few little touches that make it stand out from other healthy food bowls out there: a carrot top pesto, sesame-pecorino crisps, and a tahini-yoghurt dressing. Don’t be mislead by buckwheat's name—it's not actually a type of wheat, but a seed. It's high in fibre and rich in vitamins and minerals to help with your inner workings, as well as being naturally gluten-free.

10. Bhel puri freekeh bowl

With three times as much fibre as brown rice and prebiotic powers, it's time to introduce your gut to freekeh—we're sure they'll get along. 

11. Roasted nashi, fennel, and crispy polenta salad

It may come as a surprise, but this golden Italian grain made from corn can help with your inner harmony. Without delving too deep into the "too much info” territory, it contains insoluble fibre that ferments in the colon and cultivates gut flora. Here's it's paired with stomach BFF fennel, and lots of little components like shaved parmesan and roasted nashi that make this dish a real dazzler.


12. Sauerkraut

While you're feeding yourself with sauerkraut, you're also feeding the good bacteria inside you. To make your own sauerkraut, all you'll need is some cabbage, sea salt and a jar, and a month to leave it "in a cool dark place until it starts to smell interesting". 

13. Pickled fennel

Fennel is often linked to natural medicinal properties. Many relating to the stomach-soothing acids, aiding digestion, and reducing gas and bloating. Case in point: bowls of fennel seeds on the tables of Indian restaurants. Fennel relaxes the smooth muscles of the digestive tract, helping food and gas to travel through our bodies. This pickled fennel is versatile as a side and a condiment, try it with your next roast meal or salad sandwich. 

14. Cabbage kimchi (pogi kimchi)

Kimchi has been the it-pickle of the last few years, rich in vitamins and gut-boosting lactobacilli bacteria, and has appeared in everything from cheese toasties to scrambled eggs to tacos. Aside from this cabbage kimchi, you could try carrot kimchi or daikon (white radish) kimchi.

Cabbage kimchi

Hot, spicy drinks 

15. Elixirs and teas

Spiced drinks hydrate the body, nourish the stomach, and soothe the soul.

Elixirs and Teas

Breakfast greens, fried eggs and tahini

The seeds and nuts you have come to expect from your breakfast muesli take on a more savoury side, in Shane's greens and eggs breakfast fry-up. #RecipeForLife

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Good gut bacteria brings a host of health benefits, and oily fish is a great way to up your count.
Mint pineapple tepache

The addition of mint is pretty and adds a freshness and crispness to the tepache.

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Quinoa and chia porridge

My recipe for quinoa porridge is dead easy. It does, however, require that you have quinoa already cooked and ready to add to your porridge. Having it pre-prepared means that your cooking time goes from 15 minutes of standing at the stove stirring to just 5 minutes total cooking time.

I suggest in the cooler months always having some cooked quinoa in the fridge. It’s handy to add to soups, stews, warm salads and of course porridge. Cooked quinoa will last in the fridge for up to 5 days or you can make a bigger batch and freeze in portions for up to 2 months.