4 tasty, nourishing recipes to heal your gut and boost your mood

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We bring you a selection of easy, nutritious recipes that help restore health to your gut, improving your immune system, mood and weight-loss efforts in the process.
Gut health is the inspiration for the gorgeous new cookbook The Mandala Kitchen by food blogger and nutritional therapist Marlien Wright, with 101 fabulous recipes to heal and restore your digestive system. A healthy gut has significant benefits for your general wellbeing, including a stronger immune system, improved mood and increased energy. Normalising the bacteria in your body even has positive spin-offs for sleep and appetite regulation. Kick-start your journey to better gut health with these nutritious, family-friendly recipes.

Gutsy Oat Smoothie 

Serves 2

2 green-ish bananas (they should be on the cusp of becoming ripe; the less ripe a banana, the higher the resistant starch content in them)
¼ cup whole rolled oats, soaked overnight in ½ cup filtered water
1 cup baby spinach or kale
2 tbsp maca superfood powder
1 tsp chia seeds
1 cup almond or coconut milk
pinch cinnamon and drizzle of raw honey

1. Add all the above ingredients to your blender jug, and pulse/whiz until you have smooth mixture.
2. Add some water if you prefer a runnier consistency.

Brownies for your Bacteria (recipe originally from The Good Gut by Justin and Erica Sonnenburg)

Makes 16 brownies

5 tbsp unsalted, cultured butter or ghee
100g dark chocolate (70% cocoa)
1 cup almond meal
⅓ cup brown sugar
1 tbsp cacao nibs
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp orange zest

1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C.
2. Melt the butter and chocolate in a saucepot on low heat, stirring occasionally to make sure the chocolate doesn’t burn.
3. Add the almond meal, sugar, cacao nibs, eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, salt and orange zest and whisk until all ingredients are incorporated. Pour into a 20 x 20cm greased baking pan.
4. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Banana Flour Pancakes 

Serves 2 – 4 

¾ cup banana flour
2 eggs
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
salt to taste
50ml of A2 milk, water or a milk substitute like coconut, almond or rice milk
ghee or coconut oil

1. Add all the ingredients, except the ghee/coconut oil, to a mixing bowl and beat well until you have a smooth consistency.
2. Scoop/pour the batter into a hot pan that has been coated with a ghee/coconut oil. The size of each pancake should more or less resemble that of an American pancake, or ‘crumpet’.
3. Wait for small bubbles to appear on the surface before turning over, aiming for an attractive golden appearance, and serve with your choice of topping, such as fresh berries, bananas, yoghurt and raw honey. For a more savoury option try streaky bacon with some real maple syrup.

Chocolate Pots 

Serves 4 

1¼ tbsp powdered gelatine
3 tbsp water
1 (400g) tin coconut cream
½ cup raw cacao powder
4 tbsp brown sugar
coconut flakes to serve
salt to taste

1. Mix the gelatine with the water in a small bowl and set aside for five minutes to allow the gelatine granules to expand and soften.
2. Place the coconut cream, cacao powder, sugar and salt in a saucepan over medium heat and whisk to combine. Bring to just below simmering point and remove from the heat.
3. Add the gelatine mixture to the warm coconut milk mixture and stir until the gelatine dissolves. Transfer to four 150ml ramekins and place in the fridge for one hour to set.
4. To serve, add a few coconut shavings.

These recipes were extracted from The Mandala Kitchen by Marlien Wright (Jacana Media, R330)

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