As someone who LOVES delicious food, summer is a gold mine for to-die-for recipes that are simple and incredibly nutritious. Portland is surrounded by farms, and one of my favorite summer activities is to go berry picking. There's something incredibly rewarding and meditative about picking produce warmed by the sun.
A few weeks back my family and I went berry picked and had a wonderful time except for the bee sting I got right on my arse! Painful as it was, it was worth it, and below you'll find the recipe I made with our berry stash.
I've spent the last five years studying nutrition and the intimate connection between what we eat and how it affects our digestion, hormones and immune system.
Did you know that your gut health in large part determines your immune health? True story! About 70% of your immune system is housed in your gut. Taking care of your gut can dramatically bolster the immune system and improve your overall health.
What often surprises my clients is that one of the most important things you can do to keep your gut and your immune system happy is to keep your diet dynamic and diverse.
It's important to maintain variety in your diet to provide yourself with an abundance of nutrients and to avoid the food intolerances that can develop from leaky gut.
Leaky gut is when the lining of your small intestines becomes permeable thereby "leaking" undigested food into the bloodstream and triggering a response from the immune system.
When we eat the same foods over and over again, the immune system is much more likely to label that food as a foreign invader thereby setting off a cascade of inflammatory reactions.
Sometimes the hardest part of making healthy eating choices is finding recipes that are delicious and feel like a treat rather than deprivation.
In my experience, deprivation fails 100% of the time.
With a few culinary tricks up your sleeve, you can make the transition to a healthy diet seamlessly while simultaneously supporting your gut and immune health for the long-term.
Below are two of my favorite summer recipes that are also a great choice for people struggling with autoimmune diseases and digestive issues.
BERRY, FIG & APRICOT COBBLER
Gluten free, Dairy free, Paleo, Vegan, Autoimmune Protocol
1 1/2C coconut oil, cold
1C coconut flour
1C arrowroot powder
1/2C maple syrup
1/2t sea salt
1/4C dried figs
1/4C dried apricots
1/4C coconut oil
Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Paleo, Vegan
2 lbs heirloom tomatoes
3 cloves garlic
6 inch cucumber
1 red bell pepper
1/2 cup fresh basil
1/2 cup onion
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup olive oil
1 t sea salt
2 t cumin
1/2 t cayenne pepper
2 t ground pepper
Place all ingredients in a Vitamix and blend thoroughly. You may need to use the plunger.