Tag Archives: gut health

Recipe Love | Summer Spiced Fermented Cherries

When I see cherries, piled high, I cannot help myself but snaffle them by the overflowing handful. I eat and eat and eat ..

How wonderful to find a way to enjoy these beauties in a whole new, slightly more controlled, way .. to be able to save some for later (hah!) and get the benefits of a fermented, gut healthy treat too.

This recipe was gifted to me by the lovely Alaskan fermenter (thank you, Shabd Sangeet!). We have plans to roll this out over lots of different fruit with lots of different spices and herbs. It’s adaptable and delicious!

Summer Spiced Fermented Cherries

A divinely delicious way to improve gut function and cheer your day. Yum!

MAKES:   approx. 600ml jar   PREP TIME:   20 mins   FERMENT TIME:   2-3 days

500-600gr cherries – fresh/ frozen/ organic/ seed in or out – I buy extra to snack as I prep 😉
1 tablespoon raw honey
1/4 teaspoon Himalayan salt
2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
3-4 fresh sprigs of tarragon (I used thyme as I didn’t have tarragon .. be creative!)
1 whole allspice berry (I used a couple of star anise)
A few pieces of cinnamon bark
3 cloves
1/3 of a vanilla bean, split lengthwise

A little filtered water.

500 ml/ 16 oz sealable jar.

Fill jar with cherries (score each one if you leave the pits in), either fresh or frozen.

Add all ingredients to jar. I like to line them on the side as it looks pretty as it sits steeping in your kitchen.

Fill the remaining space with water and let it ferment for 2-3 days on the counter, then refrigerate.

The longer you keep them, the more they ferment and become sour.

The juice kept in the fridge becomes a great salad dressing when mixed with oil. It seems to keep until it is all used up, which for Shabd Sangeet is over a year!

Fermented cherries are great with cacao nibs, in coconut yogurt with shredded coconut and toasted nuts. On your porridge. On your granola. Actually anything!


Pregnancy, birth and pelvic floors.

For all those beauties who are joyously continuing the train of human procreation. I’d like to share with you a little something to help your physical journey as new life burgeons within you.

Say hello to the sToop .. a toilet footstool to make everyday in the bathroom easier, healthier, happier .. in pregnancy and beyond.

sToop in position

Correct sToop position



















* Pre birth? Popping your feet up on a sToop for number one or two significantly relieves the pressure your growing bundle is adding to your elastic pelvic floor muscles.

* Post birth? Assists you as you transition past that dreaded first poop point ..

* Suffering from constipation now you and bub(s) are co-habiting?

But how does this beautiful little piece of handmade, recycled timber, looks-fabulous-in-my-home furniture help with all this?

For the uninitiated, it is widely accepted (not least by the two thirds of humanity who naturally squat to poop) that Western toilets do not help us achieve the optimal position for easy and complete defecation. Sitting upright, with your knees often not even at 90 degrees, equates to varying levels of strain that can lead to a gamut of potential health problems. Of which, constipation, haemorrhoids, incontinence,  colon disease, prostate and gynaecological dysfunction name only a few.

The solution? We simply raise our feet by placing them onto the sToop to elevate our knees higher than 90 degrees. This mimics the squat position in a readily achievable manner. Voila, we naturally attain a fuller, easier emptying of our bowel .. pregnant or no .. and there is minimal strain and maximum support to your beloved pelvic floor too.

Happy days!

If you haven’t already, click here to read the beautiful Wholesome Cook, Martyna’s, review of  new motherhood with her sToop and grab her lactation smoothie to boot!

Great tips, lovely! Thanks for rating your sToop so highly. Thrilled it helped you so much.  xx

Seasonal threats? Managed naturally ..


So, the sun is shining (on and off, anyway) here in the northern hemisphere and the roses on the house are simply glorious. Crops are in the fields and ripening beautifully. The bees are enjoying happily productive long, long days and our barn is now full of firewood for the coming winter .. it’s a pollen-filled, dust-filled extravaganza!

Happy days!

At least until the itchy, watery eye and scratchy throat thing arrives with all it’s discomfort and tries to take the fun out .. eek!

With a little drumroll, I am excited to say, now is the time to pull out my natural healthcare kit and grab the trusty trio of essential oils that will quickly have this dilemma on its knees .. lemon, lavender and peppermint .. taadaa!

But why, I hear you ask? Because, my friends, I am over popping a little white something for each and every ailment that comes my way. I have been horribly guilty of the over-self-medicating lark and the time has come to lighten my toxic load from the inside, as well as out!

Nowadays, I use 1-3 drops of each of these 100% pure oils in a small shot of water and down the hatch it goes. It makes for a refreshing and interesting start to the day, that I quite like actually, and helps keep me in control of my health naturally.

NB I love and trust doTERRA essential oils for their quality and purity. Their exceptionally high standard of sourcing and testing ensures that they are 100% pure and they are the only oils I would consider safe to ingest.

Want to give it a try but scared of the taste? For the faint of heart (or littluns) I suggest you combine the same oils in a veggie capsule and down that with water. Alternatively, you can combine all with a tablespoon of fractionated (light & liquid) coconut oil for topical application across the bridge of your nose, behind ears or under feet. Some blinking may be required from the menthol in the peppermint but, for me, it’s a good affect and passes quickly.

However you use this whizz-bang little treatment it really is the bomb for getting on top of those seasonal threats and staying there. Crazily enough, in Aus, I found I needed it in Autumn too with the second hit of natives flowering!

Use daily in a proactive approach to your health and well-being or as and when you are struck by the need.

Little and often is always the best approach with these intensely effective oils.

Bonne chance! Bonne été! xx


Reach out and answer that push to a healthier you .. I would so love to help! 🙂

Washing day meets natural, healthy, clean!

So, at the risk of sounding like a white’s-must-be-white clean freak, I want to share with you why I love washing .. or maybe it’s why I love washing now?

I love this process because, after years of living in the deserts of Saudi Arabia, I have a clothes line .. outside .. in the clean air!

I can peg up my clothes, dry them and bring them in! Sometimes in the sunshine. Sometimes in a blithering rush as the rain starts to pelt down. Always with that uplifting little click of the pegs hitting the basket.

I also have a laundry! With a sink for soaking (yes, absolutely, those white’s must be white) and joy of joys, I have found the means to make every load count as a way to better health for my family.

Really! Almost too much excitement for this bunny to bear.. lol .. I am laughing at myself here as I actually do mean every word of this and, yes, that does mean I am obsessed. 🙂

But, whether washing rocks your world or is just a never-ending chore to be endured, we can all benefit both physically and emotionally from improving the way we wash our clothes.

This everyday process can be simpler, cleaner, greener, cheaper and ultimately better for our health. It’s the perfect place to start reducing the toxic load placed on our lives by the synthetic nasties tucked into our day .. and yes-we-can still end up smelling sweet!

Why wouldn’t you?


Prep Time: same as now
Takes: same as now
Makes: twice as many loads as now


washing powder/liquid (see below)
bi-carb soda
white vinegar
100% pure essential oil of your choice, I love lemon or the Purify blend


  1. Use half the normal amount of your washing powder etc along with 1/3 cup of regular bi-carb soda.
    Manufacturers directions and a heavy hand have us over-using massively here. The excess detergent residue this leaves behind has an adverse effect on us, our clothes, our washing machines and the environment. Less equals win win win.
  2. Add a cup of vinegar to your softener compartment along with 2-3 drops of essential oil. I like Purify or lemon but you choice depends on your taste. Just make sure you choose a 100% pure oil with no synthetic fillers and you are adding only goodness.
  3. Be organised. If it’s not easy, you won’t do it!
    I like my stuff in jars, lined up and easy access .. whoops! Another obsession ..
  4. Done!

Little points of very big note ..

  • When searching out the “best” detergent look for one with no petroleum products, phosphates, chlorine, optical brighteners or synthetic fragrances and dyes.
    It can be tricky but you will find “the one”! Or join me in trying Soapnuts !
  • The bicarb and vinegar are natural fresheners, brighteners and softeners. All this whitening power is further amped up if you can line dry in the sunshine.
  • Adding the essential oil hit with your rinse will ensure any unwelcome smells are long gone. It also gives us that reassuring hint of fragrance we have come to expect from our clean clothes but without the synthetic toxins of fragrance filled softeners.
  • For my buds who live in the lands of dryers only I am about to pull together the easiest, cleanest, best smelling home-made dryer sheet option yet ..  hold on!
  • For my buds who need the extra boost of stain removal power .. hold on too .. but the vinegar/bicarb mix will transform your whites as-is!
  • Options for choosing your best wash day oils equally inbound along with why they benefit us emotionally too.

So much goodness to share .. busy day at the keyboard .. but after a swim thank you very much!

Local or international curiosity about these glorious oils oh-so welcome. I use, share, sell and love them .. drop me a line to find out how you can too .. happy to share the love. Shelley xx


Reach out and answer that push to a healthier you .. I would love to help! 🙂


Green Smoothies – fad, fetish, fabulous?

OK. So. You might feel that this whole green smoothie wagon is just the latest, trending, NYC, Bondi Beach, look-how-healthy-I-can-handle-my-milkshake kinda thing.

You might think it’s not your bag at all. That they taste as shockingly green as they look. That you would gag to try it yourself. 

I know exactly what you are thinking because I was right there with you .. until the day a friend gave me a Simple Green Smoothie Beginner’s Luck!

These days, I am less about recipes as I am clearing out my fruit bowl but, if you need tasty inspiration, you can do no better than to follow the amazing SGS girls ! They were an awesome start point for my brightly coloured journey.


Another thank you, Roobie .. xx

What’s in it for you?

  • Breakfast/snack on the go and a super healthy start to the day .. begin as you mean to go on!
  • A simple, yummy, fuss free way to pack yourself with nutrients and even possibly (oh-so on trend!) superfoods
  • Bags of gorgeous green fibre acting as a gentle, effective push-in-the-back for things you would rather have out than in 😉
  • Yay! Another piece in the puzzle for overall improved gut health .. happy days!


  1. Be organised. If it’s not easy, you won’t do it!
  2. Wash, bag and freeze your greens portions individually.
  3. Peel, chop and freeze bigger bags of pineapple chunks, chopped banana, berries, etc ready to grab quickly.
  4. Smoothies taste best with 2-3 pieces of fruit.
  5. Make sure to add at least one piece of frozen fruit to your smoothie. Even I cannot drink a warm one! 😉
  6. Buy up big on cheap seasonal produce, prepare and freeze it for later use.
  7. Check your blender is connected properly .. error that should only happen once but …..
  8. Blend your greens well with the liquid first to make sure it’s as chunk-less as possible.
  9. Chew any chunks you didn’t blend fully. It’s good for you!
  10. Smoothies last a couple of days in the fridge so feel free to make a double batch.
  11. SHAKE your pre-made smoothie BEFORE you look at it! 😉

Don’t be shy, kids! Get your smoothie on .. your colon will love you for it!


Purify Anti Everything Spray

Healthy Home Remedy | Clean, green surface spray

Slowly but surely converting our home space away from chemical nasties and onto homemade clean, green and natural products.

Happily sharing with you today this little recipe from a recent “Detox Your Home Workshop” I was lucky enough to attend. How good is that?!

Just loving learning and sharing such good-for-us info .. more coming at you soon! 🙂


This mix of gloriously pure essentials oil and good old white vinegar is my go-to for both kitchen and bathroom these days. No more gut-flora depleting anti-bacterial sprays .. just honest to goodness fresh, clean, happy homes.

PREP TIME:  5 mins    MAKES: 240-ish ml

Make Up your clean, green oil blend in a glass spray bottle (about 240 ml or 8 oz) with:-
10 drops lemon – to act as an invigorating, refreshing antiseptic;
10 drops Purify – to remove odours and for its powerful disinfectant qualities; and
10 drops On Guard – 
for its strong abilities to kill harmful bacteria, mould and viruses. 

Fill the bottle with half white vinegar and half water and screw the top on tightly. 😉

Shake the bottle before each use to distribute the oils.

Apply liberally to anything you wish to leave squeaky clean and germ-free. Wipe down with a clean cloth or kitchen towel if necessary or just leave it to air dry.

Enjoy the goodness!

*This trio of antibacterial, antiviral, antiseptic, anti-fungal, deodorising, sanitising and wonderfully pure essential oils are just a few of those I am loving exploring down here. We smell like a fabulously healthy spa retreat these days, and it’s good! 

Curious? Here or abroad .. just drop me a line on shelley@homehearthealth.com.au .

Happy to share the joy ..

Fermentables ..

Hands up, I am the first to admit that until recently my knowledge of fermentation was limited to a hard earned, rather-better-than-average, understanding of champagne production. Although I also had the vague but enticing comprehension this process, when applied to cabbage, was “good for me” I could not, hand on heart, tell you why.

So, withdrawing Bollinger et al from the equation, what is this swelling buzz for fermentation all about? And why am I now fully converted to this health conscious coven after just one happy afternoon chopping vege and talking intestinal health with our ferment guru friends, the F clan?

One word, Jerry. Gut health. 😉

Yes, people! The time has come to give my gut flora some love. Needed oh-so-much after unknown measure of antibiotics and more than a decade of practically pathological dedication to Dettol hand wash (aka living in Saudi Arabia) has surely decimated their numbers.

Yoda-esque wisdom from Mrs F explained I can eat fibre until the cows come home from eating fibre, but until these babies are flourishing neither will my digestion be.

gut-health-diagramAny idea as to what’s happening in your gut?

Does this strike a chord?

Need to know more?



I know!

Red letter day, right?

Another piece slotted into the puzzle of me. Yay!

How much am I loving this journey to discover the secrets of good digestion and my bio-individuality along the way? 🙂

The good news is, fear not!

Armed now with the know-how to reinoculate my gut, I am set to give this microscopic population the belated dedication they deserve.

And, thanks to my homegrown experts sharing the love in their kitchen, I am forgetting probiotic pill popping in favour of …….. the fermentables!

F family kitchen fashion. Super yummy and good for you too! 😉

Just a little on your plate every day for optimum gut function.

Old-fashioned, simple, good.





Easy peasy, cost effective, oh-so-oh-so good for you and tasty! These trending probiotic must-haves are just a few of an endless array of the ferment-based goodness set to kick start gut health with an overflowing smorgasbord of benefits.

Kylie’s sauerkraut with apple and cumin

Yes-it’s-fermented salsa

Fermented Carrot, Ginger and Currant Salad

Turmeric/ginger gut tonic

Watch this space for kombucha tea featuring at a happy hour near here soon!

Why not choose such yummy additions to your plate and “cocktail” glass in support of systemic wellness, digestive health and the proper functioning of your immune system? Winner, right?

Love to know how you get on.

Am I feeling the benefit? Yes! 😉

Like me and still need to know more?


** beyond massive and special thanks to Kylie and Geoff for sharing their own hard earned, heartfelt knowledge xx **

Recipe Love | Yes! It’s Fermented Salsa


Right to left, Yes-It’s-Fermented Salsa, Fermented Carrot Ginger & Currant Salad, and Kylie’s Kraut.

Kylie’s Yes-It’s-Fermented Salsa

For improved gut function, as a tasty dip, to flavour meals. Yum!

MAKES:   approx. 1.5 litres   PREP TIME:   10 mins   FERMENT TIME:   3 days

1.4 kg fresh tomatoes or 800 gr canned, peeled, whole toms (liquid drained off)
1 small onion, diced (quartered in TMX)
1-2 cloves garlic, diced (whole in TMX)
1-2 chilis, seeds optional, rough chopped
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Cracked black pepper to taste
Juice of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 cup whey or sauerkraut juice
1 large bunch of fresh coriander, coarsely chopped

A Thermomix or blender
A 2 litre sealable glass jar, or two smaller jars

Place all ingredients except cilantro in TMX/blender and process until chunkily smooth.

Add coriander and turbo/pulse a few times.

Jar and seal.

Leave to ferment for 3 days at room temperature out of direct sunlight. Remember to “burp” your jar morning and night to prevent a build up of carbon dioxide.

Salsa should then be stored in the fridge and will no doubt be good for longer than it will take you to eat it! i.e. 4-6 weeks as a stab.

As Kylie says, if it’s not rotten .. it’s good! 🙂


Recipe Love | Kylie’s Sauerkraut with Apple and Cumin


Right to left, Yes-It’s-Fermented Salsa, Fermented Carrot Ginger & Currant Salad, and Kylie’s Kraut.

Kylie’s Kraut with Apple and Cumin

For improved gut function and as a tasty treat.
Add a tablespoon or two of this probiotic packed ferment to your meals every day!

MAKES:   approx. 2 litres   PREP TIME:   30 mins   FERMENT TIME:   7-10 days

1 large cabbage, cored and thinly shredded (mandolin at the ready!)
1 green apple, deseeded and grated, skin on
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
salt, sea or pink Himalayan
4 tablespoons of whey (where the heck do I get whey? try this)

2% brine solution as required (see table below to calculate)

A large pot to prepare mix
A 2 litre sealable glass jar (or two smaller jars)
A rolling pin or big wooden spoon to “massage” mix
Fermenting weights or a ziplock bag filled with a few rocks (my fav) 🙂


Remove any of the obviously dirty outermost leaves. No need to wash. The fermentation process itself will kill any “bad” bacteria and encourage the “good” to proliferate. That’s the whole point. 😉

Shred the cabbage thinly. This makes the whole dish tastier and is worth the effort. Invest in a mandolin to make life cruisy.

Weigh cabbage to calculate amount of salt to add as per table above and place with cabbage in a couple of layers in large mixing pot.

Take rolling pin and massage, aka not-so-gently mash, the cabbage until it begins to release its juices and mingle with salt. This process helps breakdown the strong fibres in the leaves and makes the final kraut easier to digest. It will take several minutes.

Add grated apple, cumin seeds and whey then get in with your hands and mix it all about.

Transfer the kraut to sealable jar, making sure to press the mix firmly down. You want to try to get the whole lot as submerged in its own juices as possible. Place weights to the top, pressing down again, to ensure the kraut stays submerged as it ferments.

If required add enough 2% brine solution to make sure the whole mix is fully submerged. It must stay that way at all times. Top up brine if necessary.

Leave for 7-10 days out of direct sunlight to do its thing. Make time to admire the bubble party going on in the first day or two. Especially in warm weather!

Remember to “burp” your jar each day to prevent a build up of carbon dioxide. Not necessary if you are the lucky owner of an airlock.

Then refrigerate and use a little daily to dress up salads and snacks.

Will last at several months when sealed and stored in the fridge.

As Kylie says, if it’s not rotten .. it’s good! 🙂


Recipe Love | Fermented Carrot, Ginger and Currant Salad, Kylie-style ..


Right to left, Yes-It’s-Fermented Salsa, Fermented Carrot Ginger & Currant Salad, and Kylie’s Kraut.

Kylie’s Fermented Carrot, Ginger and Currant Salad

A tasty side dish for improved gut function.

MAKES:   approx. 1 litre   PREP TIME:   10 mins   FERMENT TIME:   7-10 days

6 large carrots, grated
1 inch of unpeeled ginger, grated
1 1/2 teaspoons sea or Himalayan pink salt
2 tablespoons whey or other vegetable ferment starter
1/3 cup currants

2% brine solution as required (see table below to calculate)

A large pot to prepare mix
A 1.5 -2 litre sealable glass jar, you need room for your weights
Fermenting weights or a ziplock bag filled with a few rocks 🙂


Add all ingredients except additional brine solution in large pot then get in and mix it all about.

Transfer mix to sealable jar, making sure to press it all down firmly. Place weights to the top, pressing down again, to ensure the carrot mix stays submerged as it ferments.

NB This mix should produce enough liquid to self brine but if not cover with a 2% brine (see chart above). Top up brine if necessary.

Leave for 7-10 days out of direct sunlight to do its thing. In warm weather you are in for a treat with the bubble action going on day one!

Remember to “burp” your jar each day to prevent a build up of carbon dioxide. Not necessary if you are the lucky owner of an airlock.

Then refrigerate and use a little daily to dress up salads and snacks.

Will last at several months when sealed and stored in the fridge.

As Kylie says, if it’s not rotten .. it’s good! 🙂