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Recipes for Stomach Health

 

Kristy-Regan
Kristy Regan, MScN

Guest Contributor: Kristy Regan, MScN

Kristy holds a Master’s of Science degree in Holistic Nutrition. She strongly believes in using food as medicine and that therapeutic diets should be satisfying and delicious.

Fermented foods are all the rage so you might be thinking it’s just another fad.  Yet fermented foods have been around long before your great grandma made her own sauerkraut.  Fermented foods contain Probiotics, which support your healthy gut bacteria.  A happy, healthy gut means a healthy you.  Gut dysbiosis, on the other hand, has been linked to obesity, diabetes, SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowth), and depression.  More and more links between gut health and overall well-being are being discovered every day. So here’s three fermented foods to eat NOW:

Sauerkraut:  I like to think of sauerkraut as a gateway fermented food.  It’s great on hot dogs and grilled cheese sandwiches and it’s easy to find in the supermarket.  It’s also the first thing many people make when they enter the land of DIY fermentation.  Bubbies brand is recommended (that’s not a paid endorsement) for those who can’t have processed sugar since it only contains cabbage, salt and water.  Also, take a look at what else is on the grocery store shelf because there’s a wealth of little companies making delicious and interesting sauerkraut.

Yogurt:  It’s funny that I should say try yogurt, because, who hasn’t already?  But I recommend moving away from the “fruit on the bottom” supermarket yogurt that has a boat load of sugar in it.  Buy a larger container of full fat yogurt, put it in glass or a “to go” container and add your own fruit, honey, nuts, etc.  It’s much more cost efficient and tastes better.  Add only as much honey as you need to, your taste preferences will change over time.  I recommend full fat because fat helps you feel satiated and also helps regulate blood sugar.  In addition to Probiotics, yogurt is a rich source of protein, calcium, Vitamin D, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin B12.  Recipe Below.

Kombucha:  Kombucha is a fermented tea, sometimes with added sugar or juice.  If you can make your own – do it!  If not, look for the brand with the least grams of sugar.  Drinking kombucha will provide you with supportive Probiotics and increase your absorption of amino acids and polyphenols.

24-Hour Yogurt with Blueberry Compote

This yogurt is cooked for 24 hours in order to reduce/remove the lactose.  Any kind of milk can be used but half and half makes a thicker Greek style yogurt and can support weight retention.

  • Heat milk or half and half to 180 degrees
  • Take heated milk and put in ice water bath till it cools to 110 degrees
  • Take ½ cup of milk and mix it well with yogurt starter (such as Yogourmet, available at Whole Foods, New Seasons or com) in the yogurt container.
  • Mix in the rest of the milk with a whisk.
  • Heat at 110 degrees for 24 hours in a yogurt maker
  • Refrigerate until firm

** Note-If you leave yogurt for longer than 24hrs the bacterial count will start to decline.

Blueberry Compote

1 small bag frozen organic blueberries (or other berry)
2 TBSP ghee or butter
Honey to taste (optional)

Add blueberries and ghee to sauce pan, cook at medium until fruit starts to soften and bubble.  Lower heat to medium low and continue to heat until juice begins to thicken. This basic recipe can really be adapted to any fruit that tastes good cooked.  Throw some fruit in a pan, add your preferred fat and honey as needed. Refrigerate as desired and top yogurt with compote.

Preserved Citrus

Extend your harvest and culinary repertoire by preserving citrus in salt and spices and you’ll also create a probiotic inoculant for many other dishes and ferments.  Makes 1 pint.

5-6 medium lemons or an equivalent amount of other citrus
1/4 cup sea salt
3 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 tsp. coriander seeds
1-3 additional lemons for juice or whey

Soften lemons by rolling with the palm of hand on a counter. Cut into eighths and remove as many seeds as you can. Place a layer of salt at the bottom of a jar followed by a layer of lemons, a sprinkling of spices and so on.  Continue to fill jar and press down fruit to eliminate air pockets and release juice. If there is not enough liquid to cover the lemons, you can add additional lemon juice or whey.  Make sure the liquid is covering fruit then close jar leaving 1 inch of headroom at the top.  Store jar at room temperature, away from direct sunlight.  For the first week, open jar everyday and press fruit down so that the liquid rises to cover.  You’ll see the fruit start to change character after a week or two and deepening in flavor for a year or more.  Store in the fridge at any time to stop the fermentation.

Recipe contributed by Nishanga Bliss, from Eating for the Seasons (Beth’s suggested reading).

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