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Why do we love Bone Broth?

Did you know  that bone broth is awesome because it’s one of the best things you can eat to heal a ‘leaky gut’ ?

It’s so easy to make because you can add all the ingredients to a slow cooker and leave it for the day or overnight. It’s nutrient dense, easy to digest and boosts gut health. From a nutritional point of view, bone broth offers three important things: amino acids, gelatin and minerals.

The amino acids in bone broth contain glycine and proline. Glycine is converted into an important neurotransmitter which improves memory, alertness and mood. It also promotes detoxification and stabilises blood sugar levels. Proline is beneficial to our heart, preventing the build up of cholesterol in our blood vessels. Both of these amino acids are involved in collagen formation so they strengthen our skin and help repair the gut wall.

Gelatin in bone broth is beneficial because it is soothing and restoring and strengthens the gut lining promoting probiotic balance and growth.

We love bone broth every morning and it’s become our favourite way to start a day because it’s so tasty and healing! Just add veggies from the night before like roasted pumpkin, sweet potato, carrot, broccoli or other leftover veggies with some fresh greens like spinach, kale or bok choy. Having bone broth for breakfast might be a new idea, but we encourage you to embrace it.

Many recipes on our Bestow Love Your Gut Programme include bone broth because of the healing benefits and it is a great way of using leftovers and seasonal veggies.

Bestow Bone Broth Recipe

INGREDIENTS

1 half an organic chicken
1 leek, chopped in half
1 celery stick, halved
1 parsnip
1 carrot
1 onion, halved (skin on is fine)
2-3 garlic cloves
2 bay leaves
2 inches of fresh ginger
2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
1 handful of Italian parsley (stalks and all)
1 tablespoon of Himalayan Salt (coarse or ground)
8 cups of water

METHOD

Place all ingredients into a slow cooker and cook on low for a minimum of five to seven hours.

About five hours into cooking, take the chicken out. Separate the cooked chicken flesh from the bones. Set the chicken aside and place the bones back in the slow cooker for the remainder of the cooking time or skip this step if you are not at home. Cool broth, and strain out the bones and vegetables into container or jars that can be refrigerated and frozen. Once cool, scrape off any fat that has solidified on the top. Will last several days in the fridge and also freezes well.

Use the chicken flesh for chicken soup!

TIP

When cooking other vegetables for other meals and you have offcuts or leftovers of raw vegetables you can add these to snaplock bags and freeze for future batches of broth. Just ensure offcuts are clean first.

Making your own sauerkraut is as simple as slicing a cabbage and adding salt! Then we add some steps to get the fermentation process underway. I recently purchased a Kilner Fermentation Set from my local organics store, as I want to make lots of different fermented foods and in larger quantities. But you don’t need to do this – a simple jar will work well too. Here is the process…

Purchase a medium sized organic cabbage, remove the outer leaves and core and slice. I like my sauerkraut a little chunky so, as you can see, I haven’t sliced it finely.

Add one tablespoon of sea salt or Himalayan salt. I’ve used Himalayan salt, which is pink, and you will see further down that the juice has a pretty pink tinge to it! Rule of thumb for salt to cabbage ratio is 1 tablespoon per 800 grams of sliced cabbage.

Muddle the cabbage and salt with a wooden spoon for about ten minutes. This means to kind of smash it repeatedly, but not in a violent way. You will see the cabbage juice start to release. After ten minutes I like to get my hands into the mix (clean hands of course) and just grab handfuls and squeeze. Do this for a few more minutes.

Add the cabbage mix to a nice clean jar and press down with the wooden spoon. You should have enough liquid to cover the cabbage – this is the important part as we don’t want any escapee cabbage that could become mouldy and gross. Add some sort of weight to keep the cabbage below the brine. This ensures that we have an anaerobic (without air) fermentation process and it also prevents the cabbage mixture pushing itself above the brine, which can sometimes happen once air bubbles form.

The Kilner set comes with ceramic weights but, previously I have used the cabbage core cut to fit snugly inside the jar and rested a smaller jar atop the larger jar.  Once the weights are in place, you seal the jar loosely with a lid. The Kilner set has an airlock which allows oxygen and carbon-dioxide to escape, thus ensuring an anaerobic environment for the growth of our mighty microbes.  However, the airlock is not essential by any means. In fact, if you just starting out with making your own sauerkraut, I would recommend just using a simple lidded jar before investing further.

Then, simply set the sauerkraut jar on your bench top for 5-7 days in a cool place to ferment. Then refrigerate and enjoy!

Sheryl Nicholson

Want access to more gut-healing recipes?

The Bestow Love Your Gut Programme combines decades of holistic skincare wisdom with new advances in gut science to create a gut-healing programme that addresses the root cause of many skin challenges.

The online programme includes 7-day meal planner, shopping guides, daily nurturing rituals, gut-health education and wellness wisdom.

Skin-friendly Fermented Foods for Gut Health

You can’t read a magazine or scan a newsfeed these days without being told about the amazing benefits of fermented foods. These special foods do indeed have a significant role to play in gut health and feature in the Bestow Love Your Gut Programme for this reason. Here’s the skinny on how fermented foods can promote gut health and support beautiful skin.

What are fermented foods?

Fermented foods are food or drinks that have been pre-digested by live microbes as part of a fermentation process. When eaten daily they provide a multitude of bio-available nutrients and beneficial microbes. They can be plant-based and pickled in brine, or liquids or proteins cultivated with a live culture.

How do fermented foods help gut health?

The gut is home to various colonies of live bacteria and fungi – some good and some bad. When bad colonies of gut microbes overtake good colonies this has a damaging effect on skin and overall health. Our gut needs a regular supply of beneficial live microbes in order to maintain a harmonious microbe balance. Fermented foods support the gut by supplying a diverse range of beneficial gut microbes as well as digestive enzymes, which enhance nutrient absorption.

What’s the connection between gut health and skin health?

A sluggish digestive system and imbalanced gut leads to an overloaded liver and unwanted inflammatory toxins circulating around the body. This exacerbates skin challenges like acne, rosacea and any sensitive or inflamed skin conditions. It gets in the way of a clear, glowing complexion. But the reverse is also true. When we make the changes required to heal our gut, our skin is supported and renewed from within. The gut-skin connection is very direct.

What are common fermented foods?

We feature three skin-friendly fermented foods in the Bestow Love Your Gut Programme: coconut yoghurt, sauerkraut and kombucha. We avoid some of the other common fermented foods like kimchi, tempeh and miso because soy-based products can be irritating to the gut and the spices in kimchi can inflame sensitive skin.

Coconut Yoghurt is coconut milk that has been cultivated with a live culture. The Bestow Love Your Gut Programme provides a recipe for making your own but it is also readily available at good supermarkets. It is wise to give your gut a break from dairy yoghurt during your gut healing programme as cow’s milk is not always easily tolerated by sensitive tummies.

Kombucha is a delicious fermented tea drink which is packed full of beneficial microbes to rebalance your gut. Drinking a full glass is fine, but if you want to ration it for the sake of your budget, you only require 100mls daily for the gut benefits.

Sauerkraut is essentially pickled cabbage, though other vegetables such as carrots and beetroot can also be added. It produces a plethora of bacteria which will support your gut microbiome. As a general rule, it is best eaten raw so the probiotics are alive and active when we consume them, however some will still survive cooking.

Are fermented foods a new food fad?

Not at all!  Before electricity made refrigeration possible fermentation was a common way of preserving food. But fermented foods have deeper roots than that. They were part of ancient food cultures in many parts of the world. Greece brought us yoghurt, Germany – sauerkraut, Japan – miso, Russia – kombucha, kefir and kvass, India – lassi and Egypt – sourdough. Countries where fermented foods continue to be embraced are often reported to have better overall health and life expectancy than countries that don’t.

As civilization progressed, it seems that somewhere along the way – and particularly in the West – these fermenting practices were lost. What now looks like a fad is simply a renaissance of interest in these amazing foods, prompted by a greater global awareness of other food cultures and advances in gut health research endorsing their health-promoting benefits.

Are fermented foods enough or should I take a probiotic supplement as well?

Because the quantity of fermented foods we ingest is often insufficient as a sole probiotic source, a probiotic supplement is a good addition. It is important to eat a variety of microbes and the combination of various fermented foods and a probiotic supplement will help to ensure diversity.  Bestow Gut Love + is a world-class synbiotic powder including probiotics, prebiotics and digestive enzymes to support a thriving gut microbiome.

How much fermented foods should you have for gut health?

Aim for at least two servings a day of fermented foods.  Incorporating at least two of the following into your daily eating habits is quite easy to do. Enjoy the benefits!

One serving equals any of the following:

100 mls of Kombucha
1 tablespoon of Sauerkraut
2 tablespoons of Coconut Yoghurt

Make your own sauerkraut!

See our fab recipe here for homemade sauerkraut – just two ingredients!

Janine Tait – Bestow Founder

As every gardener knows, the same soil can grow beautiful flowers and toxic weeds. Did you know it is the same with your gut?

Oh, and I’m not talking about planting an actual garden…

Growing a healthy gut garden is a helpful metaphor for understanding how to care for your gut in order to support beautiful skin.

To grow a flourishing gut garden follow these four principles which form the basis of the Bestow Love Your Gut Programme.

1. Create a healthy soil environment
2. Plant good seeds
3. Fertilise the plants
4. Starve the weeds

HOW  TO GROW A HEALTHY GUT GARDEN

ONE \\ Create A Healthy Soil Environment

The quality of the soil in your gut garden will hugely influence the quality of the gut flora (microbes) that grow there. An integrative approach is needed to prepare an inner environment that will promote flourishing gut flora.

Fibre is an essential factor in gut healing. The optimum environment for healthy gut microbes occurs in a digestive system where wastes, toxins and hormones are regularly eliminated through the bowel. You can’t heal a constipated skin!

Fibre Sources: Avoid processed foods and eat a whole-food diet rich in fruit and vegetables. Bestow Be Cleansed powder and Bestow Gut Love + includes a range of soluble and insoluble fibres to promote regular elimination.

Avoid Aggravating Foods
As part of preparing the gut for healing it is important to remove common aggravating foods like grains, beans, pulses, legumes and night-shades. These foods contain anti-nutrients (phyto-actives that have no nutritional value), which can be irritating to the gut. After your gut is stronger, you can try re-introducing these one at a time.

Fortify the Gut Wall
Healing and repairing the gut wall is a vital part of an integrated approach to gut restoration. A leaky, permeable gut allows harmful microbes to escape and enter the blood stream where they can cause irritation and inflammation in the skin.

Bone broths are a key feature of the Bestow Love Your Gut Programme, because they contain specific amino acids which help to repair the gut wall. Liquorice, slippery elm, organic sulphur and L-glutamine are key ingredients in Bestow Be Cleansed powder and Bestow Gut Love + and are instrumental in facilitating healing and repair of the gut wall.

TWO \\ Plant Good Seeds


Probiotics are the good seeds you plant in your gut garden. Probiotics are beneficial live microbes (bacteria and fungi) which your gut needs in order to thrive. Stress, poor diet and some medications can deplete good bacteria populations. To support your gut, you need to supply it with probiotics on a daily basis.

SOURCES OF PROBIOTICS
Fermented foods generate beneficial live bacteria and fungi as part of the natural fermentation process. Sauerkraut, kombucha and coconut yoghurt are key foods in the Bestow Love Your Gut Programme for this reason.

Organic fruit and vegetables provide beneficial microbes via the tiny particles of unsterilized soil they carry. These microbes will provide protection against allergens in the environment in which they grow, so eat organic produce from your local area for optimal health benefits.

Probiotic Powders/Supplements are a great way to boost your probiotic intake on a daily basis. Bestow Gut Love + is a world-class synbiotic powder including probiotics, prebiotics and enzymatic action for a thriving gut garden.

Note:It’s important to eat from a variety of probiotic sources in order to supply a wide range of microbe strains. The goal is to grow a garden with a variety of beneficial gut flora, so make sure you plant more than one type of seed!

THREE \\ Fertilise the Plants

Prebiotics feed probiotics. They are particular types of foods containing resistant fibres which feed the live beneficial bacteria and fungi in the large intestine. They pass through the small intestine undigested. This means that when they reach the large intestine they can feed the beneficial microbe populations. Prebiotics provide fertiliser and nourishment to help the good plants grow.

SOURCES OF PREBIOTICS

Dietary sources of prebiotics all have resistant fibres as a common denominator. In the Bestow Love Your Gut Programme, key prebiotic food sources are sweet potato, onion, garlic, leek, banana and apple.

Prebiotic powders provide a helpful gut boost. Bestow Be Cleansed powder and Bestow Gut Love + supplies prebiotics in the form of flax fibre and slippery elm.

FOUR \\ Starve the Weeds

Your diet is an essential dimension of gut health. As well as nurturing good seeds, you need to starve the weeds in your gut garden. The bad microbes in your gut can easily overtake the populations of good bacteria if you don’t keep them in check.

Avoid sugar, processed food and alcohol altogether while you are healing your gut in order to give your gut flora a chance to thrive without being choked out by weeds.

BRINGING IT ALL TOGETHER

The Bestow Love Your Gut programme brings together all four principles in a 7-day gut healing plan which can be cycled as a four week programme for greater benefits. The beautifully designed online platform provides gorgeous gut-healing recipes, a 7-day meal planner, shopping guides, nurturing rituals and wellness wisdom.

INGREDIENTS

1 clove of garlic, chopped
Juice from 1/2 lemon
1/2 tin of chickpeas (reserve the liquid)
1/4 cup of tahini
1/4 teaspoon Himalayan or sea salt
1 tablespoon of Bestow Beauty Oil
Himalayan salt
Cracked black pepper

Suitable for:
Snack

METHOD

Blend all the hummus ingredients together until smooth. Add more of the reserved chickpea liquid if it is too thick.

Place in sealed container in the fridge to be used as directed. Can be refrigerated for up to 4 days, can also be frozen to use at a later date.

To make hummus dressing just add water to quarter of a cup of hummus until it is a dressing consistency.

NOTES

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup of cooked chicken, shredded
1/2 small purple cabbage
1 spring onion, sliced
1 small carrot, sliced thinly (use a mandolin for this)
A dollop of Creamy Avo Sauce
1/2 cup of roasted buttercup pumpkin, cut into chunks
1/2 head of broccoli cut into florets and blanched
1/2 cup of brown rice, cooked (1/4 a cup of uncooked rice yields 1/2 cup of cooked)
Chopped fresh herbs (optional)
Pumpkin or sesame seeds (optional)

Suitable for:
Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner | Snack

Vegetarian and other options
These are versatile as a ‘use what you have’ meal, so any plant or animal based protein would work in these. Try chick-peas or black-beans for a vegetarian option.

METHOD

Peel 4 outer leaves from the purple cabbage.We have used them for serving the meal but that is optional so feel free to just serve the following on a plate.

Shred a quarter of the purple cabbage that you have left over and mix together the shredded chicken, spring onions, sliced carrot, broccoli and avo sauce so that you have a slaw type mixture. Divide the roast pumpkin chunks amongst the four cabbage leaf pods. Add dollops of the chicken mixture, season well with salt and pepper. You may like to sprinkle with seeds such as pumpkin, sunflower or sesame and any chopped fresh herbs.

Serve with brown rice.

NOTES

These are very much a ‘use what you have’ meal and therefore are quick and easy. We used what we had leftover in the fridge and we encourage you to do the same. Choose vegetables such as leftover roast vegetables, greens, and whatever else catches your eye. Add some protein and a creamy dressing and you are away. 

We encourage you to practice eating this way more often – it really is the easiest way to eat and means no food goes to waste. It is also great for when you are cooking for those who follow a vegetarian or vegan way of eating. Just add a plant based protein such as chickpeas or black beans instead of chicken for an easy, yummy dinner.

OTHER ELEMENTS

Click the images below to view the recipe for the Creamy Avo Sauce.