gut health

Herbed Raw Boursin


This probiotic-rich fermented cheese tastes very much like Boursin cheese, although it's completely dairy free and actually good for you! It goes really well with flax crackers and crudites, and although it is a 3-step process, it's actually very easy to make. 

2 cups soaked cashews (at least 4 hours), drained

1/3 cup hemp seeds

1 cup warm water with 1-2 teaspoons probiotic powder

Chopped dill, chives, peppercorns


Step 1: In a vitamix or high-speed blender (with tamper preferably), blend soaked cashews, hemp seeds, and the water with probiotic powder until smooth*.  Remove the mixture into a nut milk bag and let ripen over a colander in a bowl, covered and with a small weight, for about 15-24 hours, or per your taste.  To speed the process, you can also place it for 1 or 2 hours on top of a dehydrator to absorb some of the heat. 

Step 2: Scoop out the mixture into a bowl, and add 1-2 tablespoons chopped dill and 3 good sized chives, minced small.   Season with a little salt and taste, and adjust the seasoning if you need to.  

Step 3: Line a mold of your choice (ramekin, a 4 inch mold with a pop-out bottom, etc.) with wax paper or plastic wrap and pour the cheese mixture in.  This recipe should be enough for 3 or 4 ramekins or two 4-inch molds. Cover with more wax paper or plastic wrap and refrigerate at least overnight to set well.  

Step 4: Flip over, remove the wrapping and decorate with crushed herbs/pink peppercorns. Keep refrigerated and enjoy!  

I love this cheese best sprinkled with herbes de provence, at the very end. It takes it to a whole new level! 

NOTE: I tend to like my cheese tart and a little more ripe, so I add about 1.5 teaspoons. Also, the longer you let it sit (or if you put it on the top of your dehydrator to absorb some of the heat that comes out) it will ripen faster.

Fennel For Digestion

Probably one of my favorite ways to settle an upset tummy or to aid in digesting a meal is to have a little taste of fennel seeds - straight from the palm... This little pot of fennel seeds sits close to me whenever I eat, and I sprinkle some in my hand before (during) or after a meal to help the digestive fire. It's a carminative herb which actually means it helps to dispel gas and cramps, is highly fragrant. 

Some have even used fennel seeds in a tea post-meal to help in digestion. It has a pleasant anise flavor that provides a freshening of breath as well, which is another bonus after we've eaten. 

Note: As with any herb, these are potent little things. Strong herbs are typically not advised for pregnant women. It is also contra-indicated for those who have cancers of the reproductive system. For the rest of us, these are pretty safe to eat.