Revitalize your gut with these nourishing recipes! When it comes to enhancing your gut health, incorporating a diverse range of foods into your diet can help cultivate a flourishing microbiome, teeming with beneficial gut bacteria. These recipes, courtesy of Love Your Gut (celebrating Love Your Gut Week from September 18th to 24th 2023), are brimming with plant-based goodness—just what your digestive system craves to thrive.
Vegan Chocolate Mousse
3 medium ripe bananas
2 small ripe avocados
80g almond butter (rough or smooth)
30g cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla essence
100g of fresh berries i.e. raspberries, blueberries, strawberries
Peel and roughly chop the bananas. Cut the avocados in half, remove the stones and scrape the flesh from the skin.
Place the bananas and avocado in the bowl of a food processor. Add the almond butter, cocoa powder and vanilla essence. Process these ingredients for 30 seconds or until you have a smooth puree.
Divide the chocolate mousse into serving bowls or glasses and top with berries.
Alternative serving suggestion – This chocolate mousse could be used as a dip with biscuits as a snack, or as a topping for a cake.
180g cooked, whole chestnuts roughly chopped
200ml of semi-skimmed milk (or plant milk if making this dish vegan)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
250g risotto rice (arborio or carnaroli)
200g pearled spelt
125ml dry white wine (optional)
1.5l vegetable stock
5–10 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
75g Parmesan cheese, grated, or non-dairy hard cheese for the vegan version of this recipe
200g Brussels sprouts, halved
2 springs of fresh thyme, leaves stripped from the stem
Put 100g of the cooked chestnuts in a saucepan with milk and bring to a simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool a little before blending in a liquidiser to make a smooth chestnut purée. Set aside for later.
Heat one tablespoon of oil in a large saucepan, add the onion and cook gently for a few minutes until the onion has softened but not coloured.
Add the rice and pearled spelt to the saucepan and stir for a few minutes until the grains become coated in a little oil from the pan. Add the wine, if using, and continue to cook until it has evaporated.
Begin adding the stock to the rice and spelt mixture, a ladleful at a time. (Reserve 50 ml of stock to cook the sprouts a little later). Continue to stir the risotto until all the stock is added and the rice and spelt grains are firm but not chalky when bitten into. This will take about 15 minutes. The spelt remains slightly chewy when cooked.
Add the chestnut purée, half the cheese and half of the chopped sage leaves to the rice and spelt mixture and stir well. Add a little more stock to the risotto if required. It should be creamy and not too dry. Taste the risotto and adjust the seasoning if required.
To cook the sprouts. Add the remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil to a non-stick frying pan together with the thyme leaves. Place the sprouts cut side down in the pan and cook until golden brown. Turn each sprout over and add the remaining stock. Cook the sprouts for another couple of minutes until they are cooked through.
Add the remaining chopped cooked chestnuts, chopped sage leaves, Brussels sprouts and cheese to the risotto and serve.
Frozen Berry Yoghurt Cake
300g sunflower seeds
14 medjool dates, stones removed
2 tbsp coconut oil, warmed slightly to soften
450g fresh strawberries, raspberries or mixture of berries
juice of 1/2 lime
120ml clear honey
500g Greek yogurt
edible flowers to decorate
Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas mark 4. Place the sunflower seeds on a baking sheet in the oven for 5 minutes or until the seeds begin to brown. Remove the seeds from the oven and pulse in a food processor for a few seconds so they roughly chopped. Add the dates, coconut oil and process until the mixture resembles a thick paste. Press the date and seed mixture into the base of a 20cm (8in) spring form cake tin.
Purée the strawberries with the lime juice and honey in a food processor and add the Greek yogurt. Mix well and pour onto the date and seed crust in the cake tin. Place in the freezer for 2-3 hours to freeze. Remove a few minutes before serving. Decorate the top of the cake with berries and edible flowers.
Some examples of edible flowers are violas, lavender, oxalis, marigolds, chamomile, rose petals.