Probiotics are digestion-boosting live bacteria that make your belly feel good. They offer up a wide variety of benefits, including keeping your gut healthy, improving the complexion of your skin, supporting urinary and vaginal health, warding off IBS, fighting off allergies and common colds, and boosting oral care. That’s a lot of good things!
While probiotics may sound like a scary science term, they actually naturally occur in a lot of your favorite foods, like yogurt, apple cider vinegar, and all things fermented.
If you’re looking to boost your gut health by harnessing the power of probiotics, we’ve got what you’re looking for right here. Whip up any one (or more!) of these four delicious probiotic-rich recipes from our favorite chefs:
Spicy Grilled Korean BBQ Steak (or Tofu) with Kimchi and Brown Rice
By Chef Lee Wallach, Founder of Home Appétit
At Home Home Appétit, we’re always looking for ways to introduce our clients to new healthy ingredients. Kimchi is a staple of Korean cuisine, and because it’s fermented, it’s full of probiotics and anti-inflammatory goodness. Also, it tastes great! You can make Kimchi yourself, but store-bought is just as good (as long as it’s the refrigerated kind).
1 Tbsp. gochujang (Korean chili paste)
- Make the marinade: whisk all marinade ingredients together. Add to a medium size pot, and reduce slowly over medium-high heat, until it’s a thick, ketchup-like consistency. Cool.
- Prep and cook the steak or tofu: Marinate the steak for at least three hours or overnight. Remove from marinade, pat dry, and season with a small amount of salt and pepper. Grill over medium high heat about 6 minutes, until medium. Remove and cool before slicing.
- If using tofu, press tofu by wrapping it in a clean towel, putting it in a shallow bowl or plate with a plate on top, then weighing the top plate down with a pan or can for at least 30 minutes until lots of water comes out. Then marinate for at least 3 hours or overnight. Remove tofu from marinade, slice or cube, toss in olive oil, and roast in a 350-degree oven until crisp, about 25 minutes. Cool and slice.
- Top steak or tofu with kimchi and scallions. Serve with brown rice.
I’ve always been interested in fermenting, because of the way it brings out flavors. Most people know how delicious sauerkraut, kimchi, bread, beer, cheese, and wine are, but many overlook the delicious power fermenting carrots.
Probiotics are great for gut health. This recipe uses a salt brine that encourages good bacteria (lactobacillus) to thrive. Lactobacillus is the scientific name of the most popular probiotic bacteria commonly found in fermented foods like yogurt.
I love the salty, briny, slightly sour crunch of these carrots. You can mix them raw into salads, use them in dips, or dice them into a bowl of fried rice, which adds a lot of umami to the dish. They also make the perfect quick cold snack straight from the fridge on a hot day.
- Mason jar
- 1.1 lb carrots (about 6 medium carrots) freshest carrots you can find
- 1 pc Nappa cabbage
- 2 cups room temp water distilled water is ideal
- 2½ tsp. sea salt not iodized
- 1 clove garlic (optional) peeled
- ¼ tsp. black pepper (optional)
- ¼ tsp. coriander seed (optional)
- 1 pc star anise (optional)
If you’re looking to boost your gut health by harnessing the power of probiotics, here are four delicious probiotic-rich recipes from our favorite chefs.
- Dissolve the salt in the water using a whisk. Mix well.
- Wash the carrots, but don't peel them. Cut the carrots into eighths lengthwise, and pack them into the jar as tightly as possible.
- Add the desired spices and garlic, and cover the carrots with the salt brine so that the carrots are completely submerged in the liquid. Leave a little space at the top of the jar for the CO2 that is created from the fermentation.
- Cover the carrots with a fresh piece of cabbage, and make sure it's completely submerged.
- Close the lid and leave the carrots in a dark, cool place in your house (approx. 18°C).
- Open the jar to “burp” the fermentation every day, and check for bubbles and gas. It can be ready in seven days but sometimes can take up to two weeks. Note: if you don’t release the gas every once in a while, the jar can explode, so make sure you don’t skip this step!
- Once the carrots are sour, crunchy, and smell delicious, they're ready to go in the fridge. They can last up to three months in the fridge when covered with brine.
Golden milk is an Ayurvedic beverage that traces its roots to India, where turmeric and other healing spices are warmed in milk to create a comforting and nourishing tonic.
My version adds a probiotic twist by replacing milk with kefir to create a thicker, more delicious smoothie. Kefir is a tangy probiotic-rich cultured dairy product, similar to yogurt, that supports digestion. If you have trouble finding kefir, feel free to substitute yogurt.
The herbs used in golden milk also add health-promoting compounds. Turmeric and ginger provide antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that can benefit gut health, immune function, skin health, and more. Turmeric’s medicinal compounds are not well-absorbed from food unless combined with fat or black pepper. In this recipe, the whole milk kefir lends its healthy fats to help improve absorption, but feel free to add a sprinkle of black pepper to yours for an extra kick!
To make your smoothie a bit thicker and more filling, add a handful of frozen fruit for a post-workout snack or quick breakfast treat to power you through your day.
Ingredients for Probiotic Golden Milk Smoothie:
Optional: 1-2 tsp ashwagandha powder
- Place ingredients in a blender.
- Puree until smooth and ingredients are well incorporated.
- Serve right away, or make a larger batch to refrigerate and enjoy later.
Bloody Mary Mocktail (or Cocktail)
My passion for mocktails has tripled during the Pandemic! Sheltering at home called for a lot more creativity in the kitchen using “what I had” to design immunity boosting drinks. I love this Mock Bloody Mary, because it’s perfect on a warm afternoon and offers all the probiotic-benefits of apple cider vinegar.
Elevate with Spirit: Add 2 oz. Vodka
- Pour Splash Bloody Mary mix into a tall glass over ice. Add ACV, fresh lime juice (and vodka if desired). Stir well, garnish and serve!
- Use healthy garnish options, like cucumber and celery spears, pickles, cherry tomatoes and fresh lemon.
Great tasting probiotics are a no-brainer with these four recipes from our favorite chefs. Looking for an even quicker and easier way to add probiotics to your wellness routine? KOR’s Gut Check consists of all-mighty apple cider vinegar (with the mother!) and 1 billion CFU probiotics for an unbeatable one-two punch.