Welcome back to my ‘What I Ate’ series. In this series of blog posts I have been trying to give you some month-by-month seasonal food inspiration as well as keeping you up to date on new paleo recipes and products, what’s going on in the UK with regards to events that might be of interest, and also to give some product, book and podcast recommendations that you might find useful.
If you would like to catch up on previous posts you can follow these links:
We were on holiday this month, spending a couple of weeks in Dartmouth in Devon.
The weather was gorgeous while we were down there and we were able to get fresh seafood straight off the fishing boats on several occasions.
Lobster is an excellent source of protein, copper, selenium, and vitamin B12. In addition, it is a very good source of phosphorous. We also got fresh crab and lots of mackerel. I don’t eat a lot of oily fish as it’s hard to get it really fresh so it was great to be able to get it so readily in Devon while we were there.
August’s UK Seasonal Produce:
Aubergine, Beetroot, Blackberries, Blackcurrants, Broad Beans, Broccoli, Carrots, Cauliflower, Cherries, Chicory, Chillies, Courgettes, Cucumber, Damsons, Fennel, French Beans, Garlic, Greengages, Kohlrabi, Leeks, Lettuce, Loganberries, Mangetout, Marrow, Mushrooms, Parsnips, Peas, Peppers, Potatoes, Plums, Pumpkin, Radishes, Raspberries, Redcurrants, Rhubarb, Rocket, Runner Beans, Samphire, Sorrel, Spring Greens, Spring Onions, Strawberries, Summer Squash, Sweetcorn, Swiss Chard, Tomatoes, Watercress.
We’ve had loads of courgettes growing in the garden this month so we’ve been eating a lot of recipes using courgettes. Here are a few to give you some ideas:
- 1 courgette, grated (you can also swap this for carrot or use a mixture of both). Squeeze out any moisture after grating
- Optional: 1 chopped spring onion
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp. coconut flour
- Salt and pepper
- Optional: 1 tbsp. chopped mixed seeds (sunflower, sesame, pumpkin etc.)
- Add all the ingredients to a bowl and beat together.
- Heat some olive oil in a frying pan.
- Add about 1 tbsp. of the mixture to the pan per pancake, fry for a couple of minutes until golden brown on the bottom. Flip and cook on the other side.
- Serve with bacon, ham or chopped tomatoes and avocado. Sometimes I finely chop some ham and add it to the mixture before frying.
Ratatouille – 30 minutes to prepare. Great served with meat or fish
- Olive oil
- 1 onion
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 courgette
- 1 aubergine (optional, you could use 2 courgettes instead)
- 1 red pepper
- 2 tins tomatoes
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Finely dice all the vegetables into evenly sized pieces.
- In a large frying pan heat 2 tbsp. olive oil and add the onion and the garlic. Fry gently with a generous pinch of sea salt (which will stop the vegetables from browning) for 5 minutes until softened.
- Add the rest of the vegetables and the oregano and fry for 10 minutes.
- Add the two tins of tomatoes to the pan then fill one tin with water and add that to the vegetables. Season with freshly ground black pepper and a little more salt to taste.
- Bring to the boil and then simmer gently for 15 minutes until the liquid has reduced. You could sprinkle with chopped fresh herbs such as parsley before serving.
- Serve with sausages or any meat or simply prepared fish. You could also serve this on top of cauliflower rice, mash or courgette spaghetti for a simple veggie main dish.
Courgette spaghetti – 5 minutes to prepare (if you skip the salting step)
Equipment needed: Julienne Peeler
- 1-2 large courgettes per person
- Using a julienne peeler, julienne the courgettes. Once you get down to the middle you can discard the courgette as the middle bit makes the spaghetti a bit watery.
- You can cook the courgettes straight away or you can let them stand with salt as follows to remove some of the water: toss the courgettes with salt and put into a colander or sieve over a bowl for half an hour to remove some of the water. After half an hour, pat dry with kitchen paper.
- In a dry frying pan with no oil, fry the courgettes for 2-3 minutes. Do not cook them too long as they lose their pasta-type texture.
- Add a drizzle of olive oil and stir through the courgettes for another 30 seconds.
- Serve under Bolognese sauce instead of pasta.
*To have courgette spaghetti on it’s own: In a tablespoon of olive oil fry a crushed clove of garlic and a little chopped red chilli, then remove from the pan. Cook the courgettes as above then stir the garlic and chilli through the courgettes with some chopped fresh parsley and salt and pepper.
Supplements I took this month
I have been researching probiotics for a big Gut Health post I wrote recently. As a result I came across some interesting probiotics called Probiogen. They have various formulations such as Weight Management and Allergy Defense. They contain both S. boulardii (a beneficial yeast) as well as Bacillus strains. It’s quite an unusual probiotic but one I wanted to try so I bought some.
I also bought 2 packs of Elixa Probiotic (12 day course) and so I have been taking a combination of both for most of the month.
So far, so good, I have been feeling really well since taking these probiotics. For more info on both, read the Gut Health post here.
Natural Skin Products
I have started using organic Rosehip Oil on my face after hearing lots of rave reviews about how lovely this natural oil is for skin. It supposedly has healing and anti-ageing properties.
It’s a really non-greasy and easily absorbed oil. Rosehip oil is good for the skin, protecting it and increasing cell turnover because it contains vitamin E, vitamin D, B-carotene (a form of vitamin A) and is particularly rich in Vitamin C, all antioxidants that help fight free radicals.
Rosehip oil’s healing properties are due to its chemical structure. It is rich in essential fatty acids (oleic, palmitic, linoleic and GLA). Rosehip oil contains polyunsaturated fatty acids (vitamin F), also known as an essential fatty acid (EFA), and when absorbed through the skin, these fatty acids convert to prostaglandins (PGE), which are involved in cellular membrane and tissue regeneration.
Apparently rosehips were traditionally made into a syrup and given to children during the Winter to boost their immune systems and ward off Winter colds. Rosehips contain twenty times more vitamin C than you find in oranges. As a result and due to the lack of citrus fruits, the British government during World War Two encouraged citizens to make rosehip syrup.
I also came across this recipe for a healing tea made from dried rosehips:
Healing Rosehip Tea
To make a gallon of the healing tea, you steep the following ingredients in a large pan over a med-high flame.
- 4 cups water
- 3/4 cups dried rosehips
- 2 tablespoons dried, crushed mullein leaves
- 2 tablespoons dried, crushed eucalypti leaves
- 2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves (diced) or you can use 1 teaspoon of mint extract
Once the tea brew is steeped, strain it and add the liquid to a gallon jug, fill the rest of the jug with water. When serving individual glasses of the tea, add honey to sweeten it to taste.
Books I read this Month
This month I read The Pioppi Diet, the new book from Dr Aseem Malhotra and Donal O’Neill (of Cereal Killers fame).
I had mixed feelings about this book. I enjoyed it but didn’t feel it contained much new information. It contains quite a lot of recipes that sounded really nice, and I did plan to try some but I haven’t actually got round to yet. The title is a little misleading as I don’t think the plan they come up with in the book actually reflects how they eat in Pioppi (an Italian village).
After reading the book I downloaded and watched the accompanying documentary The Big Fat Fix and I am sad to say that this was AWFUL! So badly put together and filmed, and really quite boring. I had really wanted it to be good so it’s a shame it wasn’t, but I don’t recommend it.
On holiday I read Homo Deus – the sequel to Sapiens which is one of my favourite books of all time. Homo Deus did not disappoint, I didn’t think it was quite as brilliant as Sapiens but still a really, really good book.
I’ve still been dipping in and out of Digestive Health with Real Food (a book I mentioned in a previous post). This book is more like a textbook but for anyone suffering from a digestive problem it is incredibly comprehensive and contains recipes and an elimination diet plan.
I hope this post contains some useful information for you! Until next month x
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