Cooking with Probiotics
5 Easy Ways to Use Probiotics to Create Your Own Fermented Foods
Probiotics are smoking hot right now. The research on their health benefits is exploding. Probiotics can help to improve the balance of the various microbes that make their home in your gut, on your skin, up your nose and even in your vagina. Research is showing that they’re more like a personal trainer for the microbes in your gut garden rather than a packet of seeds.
Fermented foods are also taking off and becoming hugely popular amongst anyone with an inkling of interest in health. And with so many different types popping up in the fridge of health food stores and grocers we’re no longer limited to sauerkraut, kim chi and miso. With new and exicting fermented foods combining kale, carrot, beetroot and ginger it’s easier than ever to find one that suits your palate and that of the fussiest member of your family. The probiotics in fermented foods are very general in the benefits that they confer to the microbial garden in your gut. That’s not to say that they aren’t powerful foods to help maintain a top notch healthy gut but if you’re after specific health benefits then probiotics are what you need.
The research on probiotics is moving away from the idea that probiotics seed or repopulate beneficial bacteria in your gut, instead they work by improving the health of resident good bacteria, supporting the immune system in your gut (and that’s 60-70% of your ENTIRE immune system) and making life uncomfortable for bad bacteria and other undesirable microbes that have popped up due to antibiotics, contraceptive pill, too much stress, sugar, caffeine, alcohol and chlorine in your drinking water.
In Love Your Guts: Choosing the Right Probiotic we’ve looked at how specific species of probiotic bacteria have been researched for their roles in conferring very specific health benefits including:
- Preventing the growth of yeast and bad bugs
- Helping your gut recover faster from antibiotics
- Boost your immune system and help reduce the incidence of viral infections
- Help reduce the risk of eczema in your baby when taken during pregnancy and while breastfeeding
- Reduce mastitis when taken in the last trimester of pregnancy and while breastfeeding
- Assist in the treatment of eczema and food allergies
- Increase the growth of beneficial microbes in your gut
- Relieve the symptoms of IBS such as bloating, pain, diarrhoea and constipation
- Having a potent anti-inflammatory effect
A good probiotic is an investment in your health but there is an effective and innovative way to spread the cost of probiotics a bit further and even enhance their beneficial effects – by cooking with them!
5 quick and easy ideas for cooking with probiotics
Using probiotics in food means that you can spread the benefits by adding just a single capsule to your recipe and benefit the whole family all at once. Unlike the art of making fermented artisanal foods such as sauerkraut, cooking with probiotics requires no specialised equipment and is pretty much fool proof, all you have to do is break the capsule open and sprinkle those good bugs into your recipe. So simple and so easy.
Some rules for using probiotics to get the best benefits:
- Don’t add them to recipes that require cooking or the heat will kill them off.
- Don’t add them to hot foods until they have cooled.
- Most probiotics use fibre as their food so adding them to recipes that contain plenty of fibre to feed them up enhances their benefits.
- Choose a probiotic that best suits YOU and your health needs or those of your family.
- Next time you’re whipping up a batch of bliss balls crack open your probiotic and add a capsule or two to your mix.
- If you like to create your own raw chocolate at home, you can make it even healthier by adding your probiotic to the mix.
- Add a capsule of probiotic to your breakfast smoothie mix each morning for one of the easiest and healthiest ways to nourish your body and your brain each morning.
Probiotic ice blocks
- Making super healthy and delicious iceblocks for yourself or kids is as simple as pouring your favourite super smoothie mix into ice block moulds. Add probiotics to make them even healthier.
- Making your own yoghurt at home with the additional benefits of therapeutic probiotics is so quick and easy that once you make your first batch you’ll be hooked. Make sure you check out our recipe for Super Simple Probiotic Immune Boosting Yoghurt below.
Make your own probiotic rich yogurt at home
Make your own turbo charged yoghurt at home. Enriched with extra probiotics, protein and immune boosting nutrients like vitamin D and colostrum, it takes around 5 minutes to prepare and will culture over night ready for the morning. Turbo charge your breakfast and defeat the office, school and daycare lurgies this winter with this super simple recipe.
Using a blender ball bottle and an Easiyo thermos makes creating your own healthy yogurt quick, easy and fool proof. EasiYo yogurt makers are available from most supermarkets, department stores and many health food stores. You DON’T need to use their sachets for making the yogurt. Blender bottles are available in store at Sage Beauty (they’re also indispensable for making quick and nutrient packed shakes for breakfast or lunch).
We’ve used a recycled glass bottle in place of the plastic container that comes with the EasiYo thermos. Pour half of your milk into the blender bottle and then add:
- 1-3 teaspoons of colostrum (the more immune support you need, the more colostrum you should add)
- 1-2 heaped tablespoons of whey protein
- The contents of 1 probiotic capsule
- The contents of 1 vitamin D capsule (1000-5000iu vitamin D)
Shake well until the colostrum and whey protein are completely dissolved and there are no lumps.
Pour into the container you’ll be making your yoghurt in and then add the 1/4 cup of yogurt starter, top with milk then stir gently.
Fill the EasiYo thermos with hot water according to the instructions, then pop your jar of yogurt-to-be in to ferment away for 8-12 hours, put the lid on and go to bed safe in the knowledge you’ll have the healthiest yogurt waiting for you in the morning! (Note, if your milk and starter yoghurt isn’t already at room temperature, it will take longer than 8 hours to ferment. You can either add some fresh hot water to the Easiyo thermos and pop your yoghurt back in while you’re at work, or, gently heat your yoghurt on the stove top before you add the probiotics and other ingredients. You don’t need to worry about testing it with a thermometer, just slightly warmer than room temperature is enough. Don’t heat it to much or you’ll kill the probiotics and yoghurt starter when you add them.
Drizzle on your porridge or pour over a bowl of fruit and berries and sprinkle with some mixed nuts and seeds for a bit of crunch. You can also add to your breakfast smoothie. Your finished yogurt won’t be quite as thick as commercial yogurts which have milk powder added to thicken them or have the liquid whey removed to create Greek style yogurt, it’ll be a runnier consistency more like a drinking yogurt. Adding the whey protein does helps to thicken it slightly as well as boosting the protein content.
You can use any yogurt as the initial starter for your own immune boosting yogurt but keep in mind that the flavour of your starting yogurt will be the flavour of your finished product – so if you’re making it for fussy palates choose a sweeter, milder tasting yogurt as your starter. We’ve used Rokebury farms Filmjolk Swedish style yogurt because of it’s mild taste and good mix of probiotic cultures. Regular yogurts use one or two different probiotics. Kefir can also be used as a starter but it can be a bit of an acquired taste as it’s quite tart and acidic, it also adds a bit of a carbonated fizz to the finished yoghurt which may not be enjoyed by fussier family members.
Need help to source any of the ingredients for making your own healthy live probiotic yoghurt at home?
Call us on 02 91307064 or send us a message.
We can also help you choose the right probiotic that best suits your unique health needs to ensure your home made probiotic foods are as healthy as possible for YOU! We can deliver to anywhere in Australia.
Like this recipe and ideas for using probiotics at home in the kitchen?
Subscribe to our newsletter and receive more great food ideas, natural beauty tips and product reviews PLUS special deals for subscribers in your inbox once a month. Share the love and LIKE us on Facebook and Instagram!