Adding healthy dips and dressings are a great and tasty way to help benefit your gut bacteria. I find it is much easier to eat healthy when you have great recipes. Here are some easy recipes to help improve gut health and make your meals more interesting.
Yogurt is a great source of probiotic bacteria. Probiotics help supplement your gut bacteria. You can make your own yogurt or buy plain yogurt. This is a great dip for vegetables.
Tzatziki Sauce (Yogurt and Cucumber Dip)
- 1 (16 ounce) container low-fat plain yogurt
- 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and grated
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Line a colander with two layers of cheesecloth and place it over a medium bowl. Place the yogurt on the cheesecloth and cover the colander with plastic wrap. Allow yogurt to drain overnight.
- Lay grated cucumber on a plate lined with paper towel; allow to drain 1 to 2 hours.
- Combine the drained yogurt, cucumber, garlic, parsley, mint, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.
Beans are a great source of resistant starch and fiber. Resistant starch and certain fibers aren’t digested in our guts but feed our healthy bacteria so they can thrive. They are known as prebiotic fibers. Try this great bean dip recipe at your next backyard party.
Black Bean Dip Recipe
- 1.5 cups dry black beans, either regular or sprouted
- 1 small onion, roughly chopped
- ½ red bell pepper, roughly chopped
- 1.5 teaspoons garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme (where to buy thyme)
- ½ teaspoon cumin (where to buy cumin)
- 1 bay leaf (where to buy bay leaf)
- 6 cups homemade chicken broth
- ¾ teaspoon pepper (where to buy it)
- 2 tablespoons cilantro, roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons grass-fed ghee
- In a medium/large pot, heat the ghee over medium heat. Add onion, bell pepper, garlic, thyme, and jalapeño and sauté until the onions are softened - about 5 minutes.
- Add beans, chicken broth, cumin, pepper and bay leaf to the pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.
- Partially cover the pot with a lid and simmer - stirring occasionally - until the beans are tender. Mine usually take about an hour and fifteen minutes. Remove the bay leaf and stir in the cilantro. Place mixture in the fridge and allow to cool overnight. The next day, place mixture in a food processor and puree. Serve chilled with veggies or crackers.
Foods that are fermented have probiotic microorganisms. Make sure you get raw apple cider vinegar to get the probiotic benefits.
Apple Cider Vinegar and Honey Vinaigrette Dressing
- ¾ Cup Extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup raw apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbls. Water
- 2 tbls raw honey
- 1 ½ tsp salt
- Mix ingredients together and enjoy!
Kefir, like yogurt, also is a probiotic that supplements your healthy gut bacteria. Kefir is a drinkable yogurt product that is great to use for creamy dressings.
Kefir Salad Dressing
- 1cup kefir
- 1⁄4 cup mayonnaise
- 1⁄4 cup plain nonfat yogurt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 minced garlic clove
- 2 tablespoons chives, chopped
- 1 tablespoon Italian parsley, chopped
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Put all of the ingredients, except the olive oil in a blender or food processor. Puree until all ingredients are well incorporated. Drizzle in the olive oil while processing. Continue to blend for another 20 seconds or so.
- Best if refrigerated overnight, as it allows the dressing to thicken slightly, and the flavors to mingle.
This salsa recipe has some great prebiotic ingredients. Beans, tomatoes, and avocado all have great fiber to feed our healthy bacteria.
Black Bean Avocado Salsa
- 1 (15 ounce) can black beans rinsed and drained
- 1 (11 ounce) can whole kernel sweet corn, drained
- 4 roma (plum) tomatoes, seeded and chopped
- 1 small red bell pepper, diced
- 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/4 cup diced red onion
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 avocados, diced
- Mix black beans, corn, tomatoes, red bell pepper, jalapeno pepper, cilantro, red onion, lime juice, vinegar, salt, and black pepper in a bowl; fold avocado into the mixture. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, putting it right on top of salsa; chill at least 2 hours.
Adding a few tasty dips and dressings to your diet as well as supplementing with a nutritional supplement like EpiCor that has great immune and prebiotic effects can help keep your gut bacteria happy and healthy. Try these recipes at your next back yard bbq this summer.