Did you know it's Love Your Gut Week?

Posted: 4th Sep 2017

Did you know gut health can affect almost every aspect of your mind and body?

It can impact on everything, from your mood and your immune system, to digestive health and comfort, so it's crucial we take good care of it.

Eating gut-happy foods is one way to give it the care and attention it needs, so nutritionist and cook Dr Joan Ransley has compiled a collection of recipes for good gut health for the Love Your Gut campaign and Love Your Gut Week (4th-10th September).

Full of gut loving fibres and micronutrients, these recipes are ideal for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert, making it easy to give your gut the love it deserves every day.

Avocado, Peas and Feta on Toast with Poached Eggs

Serves 4 

You will need: 

120g frozen petits pois or peas
1 ripe avocado
Juice from half a lime juice
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
80g feta cheese, crumbled
1 tsp fresh mint, finely chopped
4 thin slices of rye sourdough, toasted
4 fresh eggs
1 tsp white wine vinegar
Pea shoots to garnish


1 Place the frozen peas in a pan and cook in a little boiling water for five minutes. Drain and leave to cool.

2 Cut the avocado in half, remove the stone and scrape out the flesh taking care to extract the thin, very green layer next to the skin. Place the avocado, peas and half the lime juice in the bowl of a food processor and blitz for 30 seconds. The mixture does not have to be completely smooth.

3 Add the crumbled feta cheese and chopped mint to the bowl of the food processor. Pulse the mixture until well mixed. Season to taste and add more lime juice if needed.

4 Spread each slice of toast with a generous amount of pea, avocado and feta mixture. Arrange on a plate, top with a poached egg and garnish the dish with pea shoots.

Spinach and Buckwheat Pancakes

Serves 4 (two pancakes each)

You will need

75g buckwheat flour
1 egg
150 ml milk of your choice
50 ml cold water
A large handful fresh spinach
A little grated nutmeg
1 tsp olive oil
Olive oil for frying the pancakes

For the topping

100g half fat crème fraiche
150g smoked salmon
Small bunch of chives, finely chopped
1 lemon, cut into wedges


1 Blend the buckwheat flour, egg, milk, water, spinach, nutmeg and a teaspoon of olive oil together in a food processor.

2 Place the batter in the fridge to settle while you prepare the topping.

3 Heat a small non-stick frying pan on medium heat and brush with a little oil.

4 Stir the batter and pour three dessert spoons into the frying pan. Tilt the pan and swirl around until the batter is evenly distributed. Cook for about two minutes on each side, until the pancake is set and beginning to brown.

5 Cook all the pancakes and place on a baking tray in a warm oven until ready to assemble into the finished dish. Place a small sheet of greaseproof paper between each pancake to prevent them sticking to each other.

6 Top each pancake with smoked salmon and a teaspoon of crème fraiche. Sprinkle with a few chopped chives and serve with a wedge of lemon

Chicken Breast with Haricot Beans, Tomatoes and Pesto Dressing

Serves 4

You will need

4 skinless chicken breasts
2 tbsp olive oil
150g green beans, trimmed
400g canned haricot beans, drained
1 small salad onion, sliced thinly
12 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
½ lemon, juiced
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Small bunch of fresh basil, torn
4 tbsp ready made fresh pesto


1 Pour a little olive oil into a large non-stick frying pan and heat gently. Add the chicken breasts and cook each side for five minutes on a medium heat until golden brown.

2 Check the chicken is cooked by piercing the flesh with a skewer. The juices should run clear with no sign of blood and the skin should be golden. Remove the chicken from the pan and cover with foil until you are ready to assemble the dish.

3 While the chicken is cooking, boil/steam green beans for five minutes until tender.

4 Place the haricot beans into a bowl with the tomatoes cooked green beans, salad onion and torn basil leaves.

5 Add the extra virgin olive oil, a squeeze of lemon and season to taste.

6 Slice the chicken breast and place on the beans, and drizzle with the pesto dressing.

Roasted Baby Carrot Salad with Walnuts, Chickpeas and Feta

Serves 4

You will need

Bunch of about 12 young slim carrots, leaves and ends trimmed
1 red onion, roughly chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp ground cumin
1 small avocado, sliced
100g ready cooked or canned Puy lentils
1 large bag rocket
30g walnut pieces, gently toasted in a dry pan
Small bunch coriander, chopped
100g feta, crumbled
Seeds from half a pomegranate

For the dressing

2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
1 clove garlic, crushed (optional)
2 tbsp virgin olive oil
Squeeze lemon


1 Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/gas 6.

2 Wash, but do not peel, the carrots. Lay the carrots in a roasting tray with the red onion, drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with ground cumin.

3 Place the carrots and onion in the oven for about 20 - 30 minutes until tender and a little wrinkled. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.

4 Mix the ingredients for the dressing in a jar and shake well. Adjust the seasoning to your taste. This dressing should taste a little sharp.

5 Mix the remaining salad ingredients together with the cooked carrots in a bowl with half of the dressing. Lay the salad in a shallow bowl or serving platter and drizzle with the remaining dressing.

Mango and Lime Sorbet

Serves 4

You will need 

500g frozen mango chunks
1 lime, zest and juice
100ml coconut water
1 tbsp caster sugar (optional)
200g fresh raspberries
100g fresh coconut shavings
Fresh mint to garnish


1 Place half of the mango into the bowl of a food processor and add the juice and zest of the lime. Begin to process the mango and juice and gradually add a little coconut water until you form the sorbet. Taste and if you want to add a little sugar do so at this point. Gradually add more mango and coconut water until you achieve the consistency you like.

2 Place a few raspberries in the bottom of a tall glass and spoon the mango sorbet on top. Decorate with more raspberries, shaved coconut and fresh mint.

Honey Baked Plums with Toasted Pistachio Nuts and Sweet Saffron Labneh

Serves 4

You will need 

4 large dark red plums, cut in half, stone removed
2 tbsp runny honey
1 tbsp pistachio nuts, finely chopped
350g labneh made from 500g low fat Greek yogurt
2 pinches of saffron strands
2 cardamom pods
1 tbsp icing sugar, or less if preferred


1 Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/gas 6.

2 Place the plums cut side up on a baking tray or bun tin and drizzle with honey. Place the tray of plums in the oven for 10 minutes and cook until they are soft and their juice bubbles from the skins.

3 Finely grind the saffron. Mix with a teaspoon of freshly boiled water and set aside to infuse for 10 minutes. Remove the seeds from the cardamom pods, discard the husks and finely grind the seeds.

4 Fold together the labneh, ground cardamom, icing sugar and cooled saffron water.

5 To serve; divide the plums among 4 serving bowls. Top with the saffron labneh and sprinkle with the ground pistachio nuts.

Recipes: Dr Joan Ransley for Love Your Gut