Flu-fighting power smoothie


K started with the sniffles last week… which meant that two days later, I had them too – the day we were leaving for our much-anticipated weekend away ūüė¶

Did you know that having an autoimmune disease makes you more susceptible to infections and illnesses in general? It explains why I’ve had more colds than usual over the past year or two – usually, I never, ever get sick. Aside from the colitis, of course, but I¬†don’t consider myself ‘sick’ because of it – at least, not ‘sick’ in the way that I am when my nose is stuffed up and my eyes are streaming!

Anyway, I wasn’t going to let a cold ruin my weekend, so I got to work whipping up this vitamin-packed, protein-boosted smoothie. It ended up being way too much for a single serving and I only had half of it. Also, the protein powder – the first time I’d used it in a smoothie – made the drink really grainy. Should one dissolve it in something before adding it to a drink? Let me know.

Flu-fighting fruit smoothie

Serves 2


  • 2 oranges (vitamic C and polyphenols protect against viruses)
  • a handful of ripe strawberries (vitamin C, fibre, calcium and iron, and they help to reduce¬†inflammation)
  • a handful of frozen blueberries (vitamin B complex, C, E and A, copper, zinc and iron – blueberries are loaded with antioxidants)
  • 1 ripe banana (vitamins B6 and C, potassium, protein and fibre)
  • +- 1 cup of yoghurt ¬†(I use home-made SCD/paleo coconut yoghurt coconut is a healthy fat that aids in reducing inflammation)
  • 1 serving pea protein powder (optional)


Add all the ingredients to your blender and blend until smooth.

Pour into two glasses, wrap up warm and enjoy its flu-fighting power!

Flu-fighting fruit smoothie

Flu-fighting fruit smoothie


Easy homemade coconut yoghurt – SCD/paleo


**Update: If you find that your yoghurt separates after refrigerating, give it another whizz with the stick blender to re-incorporate the coconut cream (which will have risen to the top in a thick, hard layer) with the gelatine. Return to the fridge for a few more hours to firm up.


I LOVE my SCD coconut and cashew yogurt (recipe here), which I eat most nights after dinner, drizzled with honey. However, when my nutritionalist instructed me to start following the autoimmune paleo protocol, she said that nuts were out (sob!).

I knew this was going to be a tough transition and I especially didn’t want to give up my yoghurt. However, she did recommend that I try to eat coconut milk every day. Very quickly I decided to try to make the yoghurt¬†without the cashews, and after a failed attempt or two, I think I’ve finally perfected it.

It has the right¬†yogurt consistency as well as¬†the¬†sour tang that indicates that the probiotics are active. For some this is an acquired taste, but for me, it is reminiscent of one of my long-lost loves, cheese cake ūüėČ

Remember to factor in 24 hours for incubating and refrigerating.

Homemade SCD/paleo coconut yogurt


  • Blender
  • Nut milk bag, cheesecloth/muslin or a clean, unused stocking
  • Mesh¬†sieve
  • Yoghurt maker


  • 2 cups of unsweetened desiccated coconut
  • Boiling water
  • 1 x 10g sachet of gelatine powder + 1/4 cup room temperature water
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tbsp honey
  • 5 probiotic capsules/ 1/8tsp live yoghurt cultures (lactose free if need be)


Place the coconut into your blender and fill with boiling water (you should aim to use about 1 litre of water).

Blend for several minutes, pulsing at first to break up the mixture (it gets quite lumpy).

Place the sieve ‘into’ the nut milk bag (so that the sieve is covered), place over a large clean pot, and pour the blended mixture through. The aim is to capture all the milk and none of the pulp.

Allow to drip until cool enough to handle, and then with clean hands, squeeze the remainder of the milk from¬†the pulp. It will look a little like you’re milking a cow.

Mix the gelatin with 1/4 cup of room-temperature water. Allow to sponge for five or ten minutes, until firm.

Add the vanilla extract, honey, probiotics (open the capsules and pour the powder out) and gelatine to the milk, and blend very well with a stick blender.

Pour into the sterilised bowl/container of your your yoghurt maker, place it into the yoghurt maker, and allow to incubate for 12 hours.

After 12 hours, give the yoghurt a good stir as the gelatin tends to clump up. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours to set.**

Serve with grain free cereal, add to curries, soups or smoothies, or simply enjoy on its own, drizzled with honey.

** If you find that your yoghurt separates after refrigerating, give it another whizz with the stick blender to re-incorporate the coconut cream (which will have risen to the top in a thick, hard layer) with the gelatine. Return to the fridge for a few more hours to firm up.

SCD coconut yogurt

SCD coconut yogurt

Fruit smoothie with homemade coconut yoghurt (SCD/paleo)


I recently read about the ‘rule’ for eating fruit – how it should be consumed on an empty stomach, between meals rather than with or directly after them. You can read the article here, which Pure Ella posted on her Facebook page this week – thanks Ella!

This was news to me, as I often have fruit for ‘dessert’, right after eating – I love to complete a savoury meal with something sweet. And while I do think that everyone has to find a way of eating that works for them¬†(I’m sure some people can eat fruit whenever they like with no ill-effects), I thought I’d give this theory a bash since I struggle so much with bloating, cramps, gas and discomfort.

Because I sometimes eat quite often throughout the day, it’s hard to find a two-hour gap where I haven’t touched any food¬†– so for me, if I’m to eat fruit on an empty stomach, breakfast makes the most sense.

So this morning, I whipped up a¬†super easy, nutrient-packed smoothie with fresh ingredients and my own homemade coconut yoghurt (recipe here), which adds a little healthy fat and some probiotics too.¬†During the week as I’m dashing off to work, I probably wouldn’t have time to do this, but it was a great ‘treat’ for a Sunday morning.

Fresh fruit smoothie with homemade coconut yoghurt


  • 1 medium-sized ripe banana
  • 1 kiwi fruit
  • 3 large strawberries
  • Handful fresh or frozen blueberries (I used frozen)
  • Roughly half a cup of yoghurt (I used home-made SCD coconut yogurt)
  • A drizzle of honey (optional)


Chop all the fruit into smaller pieces and add to your blender or the measuring cup of your stick blender together with the yoghurt and honey. Blend until smooth and serve immediately.

Fresh fruit smoothie with coconut yoghurt

Fresh fruit smoothie with coconut yoghurt

It couldn’t be easier, healthier or more delicious, and if you struggle to get the right amount of fruit or vegetables into your diet, this is a super easy way to get your recommended daily amount in one yummy burst. Enjoy!

Sink your teeth into this, AIPs!


Rump steak, fresh avocado and stir-fried vegetables

There are few things I love more than a juicy rump. I’m also a big fan of a rare steak, so I was pretty thrilled that K chose to fry up this bad boy for us tonight.

For carnivores, it’s the ideal¬†paleo, autoimmune paleo or SCD meal: rump steak seasoned with fresh garlic and black pepper, trimmed of fat and fried in a dab of olive oil, served with perfectly ripe, creamy avo and lightly stir-fried¬†veg seasoned with salt, pepper, a touch of lemon juice¬†and a sprinkling¬†of apple cider vinegar.

Such a simple but delicious meal that really hits the spot, and provides a solid dose of healthy fats, protein, vitamins and minerals. Plus, it takes just a few minutes to whip up. Win!

The best paleo cauliflower soup – dairy/grain/refined sugar free and vegan

Paleo cauliflower soup

Paleo cauliflower soup – dairy, grain and refined sugar free

My sister made this amazing¬†soup for me last week, and I instantly fell in love with it. Why is it¬†so special? It’s filling, easy to make, and it doesn’t feel like it’s ‘missing’ anything despite having no dairy or gluten. It’s also a great way to get more broth into your diet (if you’re not vegan/vegetarian). Oh and it’s¬†delicious!

I recreated it tonight with a couple of tweaks, though I still think hers was better – kind of like how coffee always tastes nicer¬†when someone else makes it for you ūüôā

Thanks C for this amazing recipe!

Easy cauliflower soup – dairy, gluten and refined sugar free; vegan

Serves 4 to 6


  • 1 – 2 tsp coconut oil
  • 2 medium onions
  • 3 – 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 large head of cauliflower
  • 1 large sweet potato (for SCD, omit or use butternut)
  • 1 cup vegetable stock*/chicken stock/bone broth
  • A handful of fresh coriander
  • Garlic salt (optional)
  • Salt and black pepper


“I let the ingredients fry while I chop the next thing. I think it makes a difference to the flavour to let it fry a while,” advises¬†my sister.

– Chop the onion and add to a large pot with the coconut oil. Fry on medium-high heat.

РChop the garlic and break the cauliflower into florets and add to the pot. If the pot becomes too dry, add more coconut oil or a splash of water.

– Add the cubed sweet potato and chopped coriander to the pot and season everything well with salt and black pepper, and garlic salt if desired.

РPour in the stock/broth, then fill the pot with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 1 hour.

– Remove from heat, blend with a stick blender and serve.

It’s that simple! I say it serves four to six, but if I’m eating it, it probably serves two to three ūüėõ

*Most shop-bought stocks aren’t suitable for¬†those of us following healing diets. Make your own vegetable stock by simply reserving the cooking water when you boil veggies on the stove.

Autoimmune paleo recipe: Butternut and sweet potato soup with carrot, coconut and ginger

It’s been freeeeezing in Cape Town, the perfect weather for soup. But I’m not one to slave over a pot for hours on end – not after SCD anyway! I’m all for quick, easy soups that¬†taste like they’ve been bubbling away for hours…

My sister served us a delicious cauliflower soup yesterday, when she and her husband¬†had the family over for Father’s Day. Feeling inspired, I decided to see what kind of soup I could come up with using ingredients I already had at home, and this was the result.

AIP butternut & sweet potato soup with carrot, coconut and ginger

AIP butternut & sweet potato soup with carrot, coconut and ginger

It’s tasty, filling, easy to make and totally budget friendly ūüôā Plus, K said that it tasted like ‘restaurant quality’, which is high praise considering that a) she hates butternut soups and b) we have amazing¬†restaurants in Cape Town!

This recipe can easily be made SCD-friendly by omitting the sweet potato. Simply add extra butternut.

Butternut and sweet potato soup with coconut and ginger

Yields 3 to 4 servings


  • 500-600g butternut, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 200g sweet potato, peeled and cut into chunks (omit for SCD)
  • 1 medium-large onion, quartered
  • 1 medium-large carrot, sliced into rings
  • 6 or 7 whole garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1-2 tbsp coconut oil
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Dried rosemary
  • Dried mixed herbs
  • Garlic salt
  • Knob of ginger, grated
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • Salt & a good crack of black pepper
  • 250ml coconut milk or coconut yoghurt


Preheat oven to 200C/390F.

Place all the vegetables (except the ginger) on a roasting tray, drizzle with coconut oil and season with cinnamon, dried rosemary, mixed herbs and garlic salt. Roast for 30 minutes or until soft and lightly browned.

A trick I learnt recently: If you want to know whether your vegetables will taste good after roasting, run your finger along the bottom of the roasting tray after seasoning, and give it a lick. If it tastes good, so will the veg!

A trick I learnt recently: Run your finger along the bottom of the roasting tray after seasoning the veg, and then give your finger a lick. If it tastes good, so will the veg!

Just before the vegetables are ready, place the ginger into a large pot and saute in a little water for 2 or 3 minutes. Add two cups of boiling water, plus the salt, pepper and bay leaves. Add the roast veg along with any juices/seasoning. Bring to a boil.

Allow the vegetables to simmer, covered, for about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, take out the bay leaves and add the coconut milk/yoghurt. Blend using a stick blender. Add a little extra boiling water if it’s too chunky to blend – I found that I needed another cup or so.


Add a little extra water if it’s too chunky to blend

Return to the heat for a minute or two before serving.

Slurrrrrrrp! Enjoy ūüôā


How to make, use & store different nut milks

Cashew milk - very smooth and creamy

Home-made cashew nut milk

It’s so easy to make your own nut milk and you’ll also save a ton of cash doing it. Here’s my guide to making three of the tastiest and most versatile varieties: almond milk, cashew milk and coconut milk.

What you need

  • Nuts/coconut
  • Mineral/filtered water
  • Nut milk bag/cheesecloth/muslin/unused, clean nylon stocking

Tip: Be on the look-out for wholesale shops, or buy bags of broken nuts – they’re usually much cheaper than whole nuts, and if you’re using them to make milk, flour or butter, it doesn’t matter if¬†they’re all crushed up.

Almond milk

So much cheaper than buying it ready-made, and you can store batches in the freezer. It has a deep nutty flavour.

What to use it for: Use in tea or coffee; pour over cereal; use in baking or cooking; add to smoothies or raw desserts; use it to make dairy-free yoghurt, or simply enjoy on its own.

How to store it: In sterilised containers in the fridge for 2 to 4 days, or completely cooled and then frozen in batches.

Benefits of almond milk: Low in calories, loaded with vitamins such as A and D, rich in calcium and phosphorus, free of saturated fats and cholesterol and full of healthy fats.

Reasons to make your own: Much cheaper than store-bought; fresher.

How to make it:

(see my step-by-step guide with images here).

Soak 2 cups of raw, blanched almonds in water overnight. Drain, rinse and add to a blender with 4 cups of water. Pulse a few times to break up the nuts, then blend on high speed for ten minutes. Optional: Add honey or maple syrup if you desire a sweeter milk.

Strain through a sieve lined with a nut milk bag and squeeze all the milk out Рsee below:


Don’t discard the almond pulp! Instead, spread it out on a baking tray and bake it at low temperature for about 3 hours, until dry. You now have¬†almond meal to use in baking, smoothies or for a protein boost, or you can throw it into your food processor (when it’s cool) and process until you have almond flour.

Cashew milk

One of the creamiest of all the nut milks, and also one of the easiest to make because you don’t need to strain it.

What to use it for: Thanks to its creamy flavour and refreshing taste, many people enjoy drinking it on its own. It can also be used in cereal, hot drinks and smoothies, or to make yoghurt or ice cream. See my coconut and cashew yoghurt recipe here.

How to store it: In sterilised containers in the fridge for 2 or 3 days, or cooled completely and then frozen in batches.

Benefits of cashew milk: You get a big nutrient bang for your buck Рiron, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium and zinc Рplus loads of protein and fibre.

Reasons to make your own: Can be hard to find in the shops; much cheaper to make your own; always fresh.

How to make it:

Soak one cup of raw, preferably organic cashews in water overnight. Strain, rinse and then place in a blender with 3 to 4 cups of water (depending on how creamy you want it). Pulse a few times to break up the nuts, and then blend on high for a few minutes. Give it a stir to make sure all the nuts have been broken down – if not, process for a few more minutes.

Allow to stand for 15 minutes, then scoop the foamy layer off the top. Drink immediately, use in a recipe or store.

The Blender Girl offers this helpful tip for choosing cashews:

Always purchase from a supplier where there is a high turnover to ensure freshness and quality. Look for plump cashews that are uniform in colour. Avoid the limp and shrivelled ones. Cashews should smell nutty and sweet. If they have a sharp or bitter smell they have gone rancid. To preserve the precious oils, store cashews in a sealed glass jar in the fridge for up to six months. Always soak cashews before using to remove the enzyme inhibitors and make them more digestible.

Coconut milk

This is one of the cheapest nut milks to make and also extremely versatile. I love whipping up a fresh batch whenever I’m preparing the rest of my ingredients for a curry.

What to use it for: In curries (especially Indian, Thai and Asian curries); in desserts – both raw and baked; in smoothies, soups and cocktails; over cereal, in stews and even in breakfast foods. Use it to add an exotic sweet tang to almost anything you like, or use it to make a delicious, dairy-free yoghurt (see recipe above).

How to store it: Fresh coconut is best consumed right away or stored overnight in the fridge. Otherwise, as with other nut milks, allow to cool completely and then freeze in sterilised containers. If you are fortunate enough to have access to fresh coconuts, here’s a great step-by-step guide to making fresh coconut milk.

Benefits of coconut milk: High in vitamins including vitamins C, E and B3, B5 and B6, and contains fibre, iron, magnesium, calcium and phosphorus. It should however be consumed in moderation, especially¬†if you’re watching your waistline. Lower the KJ count by making it ‘lite’ – simply dilute it more.

Reasons to make your own: Much cheaper than store-bought, always fresh, no dodgy additives, preservatives or other unhealthy ingredients; can be lower in kilojoules.

How to make it:

Add 1 cup of fresh grated coconut or dry/dessicated coconut to a blender with 1.5 Р2 cups of warm (not boiling) water. The less water you use, the thicker and creamier it will be. Pulse a few times, then blend on high for about 5 minutes. Pour the milk through a sieve lined with a nut milk bag and strain, squeezing out as much of the milk as you can. Discard the pulp.

Please feel free to share any other nut milk recipes you have, as well as any ideas for using, storing and enjoying your nut milk. Cheers! ūüėČ