It blizzard-ed this week in my sweet hometown, Chicago. Just to be clear, a blizzard happened in April. In the spring. The husband and I thought we could be part-time mid-westerners, because we see the irreplaceable value of our children’s grandparents and extended (crazy) family (who still lives there despite the obvious weather problems). We lasted four long cold months (end of summer through the beginning of spring). Read more
Fermented or probiotic foods are all the rage right now because we are finally recognizing their power to help heal and re-establish balance in our gut bacteria.
Digestive health is the basis for all health, as 80% of our immune system lives within the microorganisms in our gut. Our digestion is ruled by these tiny micro-organisms, called micro biome that literally outnumber our own cells 10:1. That’s right, our bodies are made up of about 10 times more bacteria than cells.
The human body alone doesn’t have the enzyme production to break down all of the food we eat, so we depend of the power of our inner probiotics or “eco system,” as one of my mentors, Donna Gates would call it — to digest our food for us, and deliver nutrients to our other organs.
These beneficial bacteria also create vitamins for us, protect us from illness, detoxify poison and continue to accommodate MOST of our health needs.
Probiotic foods were the very first step in my son’s autism recovery. They weren’t the first food or remedy that we tried. No way — you moms know how it is when your child is sick. You will go to the ends of the planet, researching and re-researching, asking for help, and making the connections to get them well. For our family, probiotic foods were the first natural remedy that showed us significant healing results for his autism symptoms.
Coconut kefir was the first probiotic beverage we tried, and it has remained a staple in our diets. It helped my son heal quickly from many infections including pneumonia, and gain eye-contact in less than a month. That’s why I add at least a little bit of coconut kefir to many of my recipes. If you have children with allergies like asthma, they can often tolerate small doses of coconut kefir because it is known to be more hypoallergenic. Not creating a histamine response. Whereas, something like kombucha tea, which is a wild ferment — may be too much for their sensitive systems to handle. Coconut kefir has even been known to reduce overall allergic response for my clients. Thankfully, science has caught up to this ancient wisdom that we conscious mamas have been using for years to heal our babies.
The Human MicroBiome Project, which launched in 2008 spent five years studying the micro biome in depth, which led to a surge of independent and university studies — and more people healing naturally.
My book, “Are You Eating Your Bugs” debuted this year as well. After working on it since 2011, I suppose now is simply THE TIME :).
This hummus recipe here is a delicious way you can add these healthy bugs to your plate. It’s a very forgiving recipe in that you can add extra spices or take out ones that you don’t like. It calls for soaking your sunflower seeds, which is necessary to remove the phytic acid. Phytic acid is sort of like the seed’s way of protecting itself from being eaten. (Incidentally, most natural foods we consume have some protection factor like that… all nuts, seeds and grains contain physic acid and must be soaked, sprouted or fermented for us to fully absorb their nutrition).
Sunflower Seeds are packed with their own nutritional power too. They contain Vitamin E, which helps cardiovascular health and have even been known to reduce the risk of heart-attack. High in selenium and magnesium and low in allergens, these amazing seeds happen to be something that’s well tolerated by many of my sensitive clients too. Then add in the healthy fats, minerals and protein, and you get a near-super food. My son Dougie and I were extremely low in selenium and magnesium when we were tested years ago. Part of that was our inability to absorb due to low stomach acid. So, I created this recipe to help us absorb these minerals. My body craves this and I feel awesome after eating it. Hope you do too.
If you take just a little more time with this recipe you can sprout your seeds — which not only makes them even more nutritious, but also increases your yield. Score!
Spicy Probiotic Sunflower Seed Hummus Recipe
Feeds: 5 hungry husbands or the equivalent.
Prep time: 1-2 days
Uncook time: 5 minutes
- High speed blender
- Large 32 oz mason jar
- Lemon juicer or hand
- 2 cups organic raw sunflower seeds (no shell)
- 1 organic green chili pepper, chopped
- Juice of 2 lemons
- 2 Tbsp Organic Olive Oil
- Sea Salt to taste
- Splash or 2 oz of fermented coconut water kefir (or other probiotic beverage)
(Optional — Pick one or a few of these to spice it up a notch: cumin, turmeric, curry powder, black pepper, paprika)
- Make your kefir
- Simultaneously, soak your sunflower seeds in the large mason jar — filling the water to the top, and adding a splash of coconut kefir to the water. Swish the jar around or lightly stir with wooden spoon.
- Soak for 8-24 hours.
- Choose whether to sprout or move to blending.
- Sprouting Option: Rinse sunflower seeds and return to jar, rinsing 3-5x for (up to) 24 hours. Little tails will grow. (cover with screen or cheesecloth)
- Blend your sunflower seeds with lemon juice and olive oil.
- Add spices and sea salt and blend more, and taste.
- Scoop into a beautiful serving bowl, and stir in a splash or more of coconut kefir.
- Dress the top with chopped fresh herbs if you like.
- Use as a dip for cucumbers and other cut-up vegetables.
- Spread it on sandwiches and wraps
- Use as a sauce- base for vegan pizzas
- Lick it off your fingers because it’s so yummy
- Take it to parties and feel fancy for sharing something so wickedly healthy that your friends will love (and not even notice it’s healthy).
Ok, I’ll tell you a very short story. I threw a big birthday party for my daughter this year. All of the food had something fermented in it. Many of our friends hadn’t had “our food” before, but everyone ate heartily. The next day, I received several phone calls about the deliciousness of the food, the good feelings people had in their tummies as well as some T.M.I. about the poop happenings of my guests. This stuff not only helps nourish you, but will also help cleanse you. No one seemed to mind the poop part. They just felt they needed to share.
Enjoy and let me know what you think.
Love Love Love
Have you seen my new book, “Are You Eating Your Bugs?” I’d love for you to get a free excerpt to help you analyze your digestive prowess. You can get it for free, here.
I’d love to help you create bliss in your life through healthy eating! Contact me for your personalized session!