Three probiotic recipes to give your gut a healthy boost.
With approximately 70 percent of the immune system located in the gut, feeding your gut well to maintain a healthy immune system should be a non-negotiable part of your routine. Probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria that help keep the natural balance of microflora in the intestine, play a big role in the digestion and absorption of nutrients. In fact, some of the latest research— published last year in the journal Genes—has revealed a connection between a healthy microbiome and healthy weight management. Enjoy this trio of great homemade probiotic recipes, which makes taking good care of your gut simple and delicious.
Red Cabbage Sauerkraut
Homemade sauerkraut is a true powerhouse of beneficial probiotics for the gut microbiome. It is also the perfect way to start experimenting with live probiotic foods. To make sauerkraut, all you need is cabbage, pure salt, and a little patience. To switch it up, you can also replace the red cabbage with the white variety and adjust the pickling spice mix to your taste.
4 lb red cabbage (about 2 medium)
2 tbsp pure Himalayan pink salt
1 tbsp dried dill or caraway seeds
1) Clean the cabbage by removing the outer leaves. Slice the cabbage thinly by hand or with a mandolin or food processor.
2) Place the sliced cabbage in a large bowl, sprinkle with salt and mix well. Let it rest on the counter for 30 to 60 minutes until the cabbage starts to sweat. Bruising the cabbage with a pickle packer or clean hands helps to bring out more juices.
3) Add the seasoning and mix. Start packing the cabbage and any liquid in the bowl into clean one-gallon mason jars. Pack the cabbage well into the jars, leaving about an inch-and-a-half on top to place a pickle weight or a ziplock bag filled with water. The purpose of the weight is to keep the cabbage under its juices, preventing pieces from floating to the top and spoiling, and to provide an anaerobic environment, which helps the fermentation to take place.
4) Cover the jars with pickle airlocks or cloth depending on your vessel choice and let them sit for at least two to three weeks on the counter. You can leave them for longer depending on how tart you prefer your sauerkraut.
5) Once they have reached the right tanginess for your taste, place them in the refrigerator. Enjoy as a healthy add-on to any meal.
Apple Pie Kombucha
Kombucha is a popular probiotic drink made with tea, sugar, and a SCOBY, which is the acronym for Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast. It has a tangy, vinegary taste and contains acetic acid also found in vinegar, B vitamins, probiotic bacteria, and other beneficial compounds. It can be flavored with a wide variety of fruit, berries, spices, and herbs, and enjoyed by everyone in the family.
3½ L pure filtered water
4 green tea bags
4 black tea bags
1 cup organic cane sugar
1 cup starter tea (fermented unflavoured kombucha)
SCOBY, which you can purchase online, grow your own from instructions online, or ask a friend who’s already making their own kombucha
½ tsp cinnamon, divided
4 tbsp apple, chopped
1) Boil the water and steep the tea bags for five to seven minutes until you get a strong tea.
2) Add the sugar and mix well until dissolved. Let the tea sit until it has completely reached room temperature. If the tea is hot, it will kill your SCOBY.
3) Pour the tea into two large, wide-mouth mason jars and add the starter tea and SCOBY. Cover the jars with cheesecloth or coffee filters and secure them with a rubber band so that there is the air that allows the SCOBY to breathe. Let the jars sit in a warm, dark, ventilated area for anywhere between seven to 21 days, depending on taste preference. The longer you let it ferment, the stronger or more vinegary it will be.
4) On the seventh day, taste your brew with a straw and decide if it needs more time or if it is ready to flavor. Take the SCOBY out and reserve a few cups of your fresh brew to use as starter tea for your next batch.
5) To flavor your kombucha means to do a second fermentation. You should never put flavorings in the primary ferment because it will kill your SCOBY. It is also very important to use jars that can take the pressure building inside as a result of carbon dioxide. Also, store them in a cooler to prevent accidents or injuries. Place ¼ teaspoon cinnamon and 2 tablespoons of finely chopped apple into each bottle and fill up with kombucha, leaving about one inch of space at the top. Let the jars sit in the cooler at room temperature for 24 hours. You should see bubbles forming. At this point, you can place the jars in the refrigerator. This will slow down the fermentation process.
Yogurt is extremely popular as a breakfast item or snack; unfortunately, it often comes with lots of unwanted ingredients. Making your own yogurt ensures a live food packed with viable probiotics. Also, coconut yogurt can be a healthy alternative for those who are milk intolerant or choose to avoid dairy products.
1 14-oz can organic full-fat coconut milk
2 probiotic capsules
1) Shake the coconut milk can well. The smoother it is, the smoother your yogurt will be. Open it and pour contents into a sterile mason jar.
2) Open each probiotic capsule and sprinkle the powder on top. Mix well to incorporate.
3) Cover the jar with a piece of cheesecloth or a coffee filter and secure it with a rubber band. Let sit at the counter for 24 to 48 hours. Taste and if it’s to your liking, it is ready. Cover the jar with a lid and store it in the refrigerator. Serve with fresh fruit, in smoothies, or any other recipe that requires yogurt...