Let's Talk Gut Health // Green Monster Smoothie Recipe
Let's Talk GUT HEALTH!
A couple of weeks ago I hosted the first Taste & See event at my little apartment in Johannesburg. I was a bit nervous to step out and do something like this, but I am so grateful to everyone who attended the event and to those who played a role in making it happen :) The idea behind the event was to share a variety of gut-related evidence-based information with everyone who attended the event alongside some food that promotes gut health.
I'll start off with a BIG thank you to each of the sponsors who were generous enough to donate some of their delicious, healthy snacks and treats for the guest's goodie bags:
Eat Naked honey & peanut butter squeeze packets are a favorite of mine, so it was great to share some of their products with the event attendees. This is a company that promotes good, healthy eating habits, conscious eating, and superior, authentic ingredients that are good for you. Eat Naked pairs up with African Honey Bee (AHB), a network of local South African micro-beekeeping businesses that produce superior quality honey AND support rural South African communities. Their limited edition creamed aloe honey is definitely my favorite, but take a look at some of their other products if you're interested :)
Leafy Greens // Antonia's Real Food was kind enough to share a few bottles of their gut-loving kombucha with us. I absolutely LOVED the variety of flavours of kombucha, which included the likes of Pineapple & Basil and Kiwi & Lavender. If you have a chance to drive out to Muldersdrift you must visit Leafy Greens. It is a lovely rustic cafe that draws inspiration and flavours from all of the organic produce that is grown right on the farm. I love their food mission "...to bring people back to a life lived in harmony with nature by eating living foods. To eat simply again and rediscover the joys of unprocessed ingredients. To savour the beauty of each fruit and vegetable, and to bring out their full flavour and health benefits."
Just Peachy has a range of dried fruits and healthy snacks, free from preservatives, chemicals, and added flavourants. I had the opportunity to taste some of their dried wild berries, CocoPine cashews, and dried mango at a local supermarket a week or two before the gut health event, and thankfully Just Peachy's founder, Kymn, was generous enough to share a variety of their products with us. YUM!
And finally, there were a few Wholesome Kitchen bestsellers that were included in the goodie bags. Each guest received a sample of the Ancient Grain Porridge, which features the likes of teff, oats, millet and amaranth in their "whole grain" form, which makes them more nutritionally beneficial than highly processed and refined modern cereals. There was also a sample of the classic All-Rounder Granola, which tastes good with pretty much everything.
Ok onto the breakfast :) We enjoyed a delicious Green Monster Smoothie (which will be shared at the end of this post for anyone that would like to try it out) sprinkled with some All-Rounder Granola, and then the gut-health talk began with a basic introduction to the digestive system and the gut microbiome (which has a huge role to play in our health and wellbeing). Believe it or not, but our gut microbiome plays a number of important roles in our bodies including:
Assisting the digestion of food components in our GIT
The synthesis of vitamins including some of the B vitamins and vitamin K
Protection from harmful microorganisms by maintaining the integrity of our intestinal mucosa
The stimulation of our immune system
Communication with our brain, along the gut-brain axis
We then discussed probiotics, prebiotics, the effect of nutrition on gut health, and the relationship between gut health and our brains before continuing with our delicious brunch :)
After a delicious brunch of Ancient Grain Porridge (full of gut-loving fibre, which works really well to keep your tummy moving), a variety of fresh fruit, kombucha, tea, and coconut-date balls, we continued with the talk. We discussed topics that included leaky gut, irritable bowel syndrome, and fermented foods. It was wonderful to have input and questions from each of the guests, which included Ankie from Wooden Spoon Kitchen who had a fair share of wisdom to share with us too (you can check out some of her yummy recipes here when you get the chance).
All in all, I am so happy that I stepped out of my comfort zone and organised this event. It was really special to spend the morning with a group of ladies that were eager to learn more about nutrition and gut health from an evidence-based perspective. I will definitely look into organising another event in the next month or two, so just send me an email if you would like to be updated if I do organise anything or if you have any ideas for the topic of the next event :)
Oh, wait, before I forget here is the recipe for the Green Monster Smoothie that we enjoyed at the breakfast :)
Total time: 5min
1 banana, frozen
1/4 cup milk of choice
1/4 cup kefir
1-2 Tbsp peanut butter (SF)
1 large handful of baby spinach
1 Tbsp chia seeds
Handful of ice, as needed
Place all of the ingredients into your blender and blend on high until smooth and creamy. Add ice blocks for a thicker smoothie, and more liquid for a runnier smoothie.