Tag Archives: Vitamin B

Kefir – My Favorite Probiotic

Kefir – My Favorite Probiotic

I have to tell first off that I absolutely despise yogurt. I can’t stand it. I don’t like the texture or the super sour the taste and smell. I’ve tried it so many times thinking that maybe this time will be different but no. I want to like it so bad because of the probiotic benefits. The only way that I can tolerate it is to put it in my protein shakes.

wallaby kefir organic probiotic fermented milk dairy good bacteria immune systemThe story continues to the last time I was at my local grocery store. I noticed a probiotic drink called kefir. The dairy manager happened to be standing right there and asked if I had ever tried kefir. I explained my disgust for yogurt and turns out that he and I shared the same opinion. Surprisingly he said that he loved kefir. Since I’m always trying expand my foodie knowledge, I gave it a go.

Result? I LOVE KEFIR! 

So what is kefir and why is it different than yogurt? 

First of all, our guts are the heart of our immune systems so it’s very important to keep bacteria in balance to keep our immune systems strong. With a good immune system, you have the best chance to fight off illness without antibiotics or medicines. Good health starts with a good immune system.

Probiotics are essential for keeping your gut healthy. Consuming probiotics has numerous benefits.

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www.probiotics-for-health.com

Kefir is defined below. For the full description, go here:

Kefir is a fermented milk product that originated centuries ago in the Caucasus mountains, and is now enjoyed by many different cultures worldwide, particularly in Europe and Asia. It is slightly sour and carbonated due to the fermentation activity of the symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast that make up the “grains” used to culture the milk (not actual grains, but a grain-like matrix of proteins, lipids, and sugars that feed the microbes). The various types of beneficial microbiota contained in kefir make it one of the most potent probiotic foods available.

Besides containing highly beneficial bacteria and yeasts, kefir is a rich source of many different vitamins, minerals and essential amino acids that promote healing and repair, as well as general health maintenance. (2) Kefir contains high levels of thiamin, B12, calcium, folates and Vitamin K2. It is a good source of biotin, a B vitamin that HELPS the body assimilate other B vitamins. The complete proteins in kefir are already partially digested, and are therefore more easily utilized by the body. Like many other dairy products, kefir is a great source of minerals like calcium and magnesium, as well as phosphorus, which helps the body utilize carbohydrates, fats and proteins for cell growth, maintenance and energy. (3)

Bacteria differences in yogurt and kefir each perform different tasks.

probiotic immune system healthy bacteria fermented protein calcium digestion vitamin bYOGURT: The beneficial bacteria found in yogurt help keep the digestive tract clean and provide food for the friendly bacteria found in a healthy gut. They pass through the digestive tract and are called “transient bacteria.” Meaning when it’s there, it does it’s job and then it’s gone. It doesn’t hang around.

Yogurt is food for the bacteria in the colon. Yogurt only lasts 24 hours while kefir lasts indefinitely. Yogurt helps to ensure that good bacteria grows and remains stable so it is important.

probiotic immune system healthy bacteria fermented protein calcium digestion vitamin bKEFIR: The bacteria in kefir, on the other hand, can actually colonize the intestinal tract and hangs out for a long time continuing to do it’s job. Kefir also contains a lot larger range of bacteria as well as yeasts. So while yogurt may contain a handful of different strains of bacteria, kefir may contain many more than that.

Kefir has more strains of beneficial bacteria and good yeasts; over 50 in homemade kefir, while yogurt only has 7 to 10. Kefir bacteria act like a SWAT team entering into the colon and attaching themselves to the colon, pushing away other harmful substances. It has been said that antibiotics cannot kill kefir – it is that strong. If you are someone that routinely takes antiobiotics, this is really important.

The other great thing about kefir is the amount of good yeasts. There is not much said about yeasts but they are extremely important. It is the good yeasts that put the fizz in kefir. They dominate and kill and control pathogens in the gut. They clean house and strengthen the gut, making it harder for pathogens to dominate and parasites to exist.

I’ve also read that even lactose-intolerant individuals can tolerate kefir as it soothes the tummy because the “good” bacteria have digested the lactose in the milk. For example, the actual lactose left in kefir is 1% or less. So, kefir is 99% lactose free. It also boasts more protein, B vitamins and more relaxing amino acid tryptophan than yogurt.

probiotic immune system healthy bacteria fermented protein calcium digestion vitamin b

I usually drink my kefir (always organic) straight up but I also use it in my protein shakes and make delicious salad dressings with it. My go-to flavor is vanilla for most things but I use plain for cooking or salad dressings (ranch, goddess, bleu cheese, ceasar, etc). I prefer Wallaby kefir but I hear that Trader Joe’s kefir was ranked #1 by Taster’s Choice.

probiotic immune system healthy bacteria fermented protein calcium digestion vitamin bI’m so happy that I gave kefir a chance because my diet lacks probiotics and they are essential to our immune system.

Be good to your gut.

 

 

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Eggplant Parmesan Baked Fries

Eggplant Parmesan Baked Fries 

Earlier this week I was at my local store I picked up an organic eggplant with no specific plans for it. I saw a couple of recipes for eggplant fries and had me cocking my head to the side and saying “huh?” I miss my french fries so of course I WANT to believe in the concept.

This morning I buckled down and decided to give it a go. I originally found this recipe on ClosetCooking.com. I did some tweaking to make them gluten-free (not to be confused with twerking).

My “fry” craving is cured! I loved these. The parmesan gave them the crunch I missed. I especially loved them dipped in the most wonderful condiment ever invented – KETCHUP! I rarely eat anything that goes with ketchup anymore so I was even more giddy making these because I would be able to use my long lost love ketchup.

eggplant parmesan french fries vegetable vegetarian cheese egg protein fiber b vitamins

 

eggplant parmesan french fries vegetable vegetarian cheese egg protein fiber b vitamins

Eggplant Parmesan Fries
 
Prep time
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Author:
Recipe type: Gluten-Free, Vegetarian
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 medium eggplant
  • ½ cup of coconut flour
  • 3 large eggs whisked
  • 1¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon italian seasoning
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayanne pepper
  • dash of salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. You'll need 3 dishes - 1 for the coconut flour, 1 for the whisked eggs, 1 for the combined parm and seasoning (cayenne, italian seasoning, salt/pepper).
  3. Remove purple skin of eggplant.
  4. Slice eggplant into round slices then stack the slices and cut into "fries".
  5. Press each "fry" into the coconut flour so that the flour sticks to the eggplant.
  6. Roll eggplant "fry" in whisked egg getting the whole "fry" wet.
  7. Lay in cheese/seasoning mixture covering all sides of the "fry". I found it easiest to lay the eggplant in the cheese and scoop some on top.
  8. Transfer to parchment paper or foil covered baking sheet.
  9. Bake for 9 minutes and turn over.
  10. Bake for an additional 5 minutes.
  11. Serve with ketchup or marinara.
  12. Yay for "fries"!!

 

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Kale Chips Baked – Easy and “Cheesy”

I love me some kale!  I use it soups, salads and snacks.  I even included them in my Top 7 Favorite Snacks post a while back. I used to purchase my kale chips from the store but I eat them so fast that I would need a cart full and a lot of money to keep me in healthy snack heaven.

Do you know how awesome kale is?  One of my all time favorite blogs MindBodyGreen wrote about kale.  I encourage you to read it. You won’t believe how incredible this leafy vegetable really is.

Here is a basic list of the benefits that I found here:

1. Detox and weight loss: One cup of kale has 36 calories and zero fat. It also contains 5 grams of fiber, lowering cholesterol, and aiding in digestion and elimination.

2. Chock full of Vitamin C: (200% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA)), which increases metabolism, supports the immune system, promotes healthy blood sugar levels, relieves stiff joints, and maintains healthy cartilage.

3. Kale is great source of iron for vegans and vegetarians: Containing more iron than beef. Iron is necessary for hemoglobin formation, oxygenating the blood, cell growth, muscle function, and proper liver function

4. Kale contains Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids:  Providing health benefits for skin. Fatty acids are also great anti-inflammatory component, fighting arthritis, autoimmune disorders, and asthma.

5. Packed with vitamin A: (180% of the RDA), Kale helps strengthen eyes, nourish the skin, and prevent lung and oral cancers.

Now that we’ve had our lesson in kale.  Here is how I make mine.  It was difficult not to eat it all before I had the chance to take pictures.

Kale Chips Baked – Easy and Cheesy

braggs nutritional yeast vegetarian gluten free nutritious dairy-free b-vitamins

To create the “cheesy” flavor I used Bragg Nutritional Yeast Seasoning.

This stuff is an amazing seasoning.  It is nutritious, vegetarian, gluten-free, salt-free, sugar-free and is full of B-Vitamins.

It wasn’t easy to find though.  I know now that Whole Foods sells it in the bulk section but before I learned that, I found it at my local Vitamin Shoppe.  Go figure.  I felt like I won the lottery when I finally found it.

If you can’t find it locally, you can purchase it on-line here.

kale chips yeast vegetable iron fiber nutritious

kale chips www.theorganicrabbit.com

Kale Chips Baked - Easy and Cheesy
 
Prep time
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Kale chips are a super nutritious snack that will not stay in your house very long. They are delicious and addicting. Don't say I didn't warn you.
Author:
Recipe type: Snack
: Vegetarian
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 1 bunch of organic kale
  • Nutritional Yeast
  • Olive Oil or Coconut Oil
  • Salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees
  2. Prepare the kale. Separate the curly leaves from the thick stem that runs up the middle of each kale leaf. Keep the curly pieces as large as you can because they do shrink up in the oven.
  3. Next, rinse each leaf and pat dry with paper towels.Try to get as dry as you possible can. I lay my rinsed kale out on paper towels for a little bit then cover with another paper towel and pat dry.
  4. In a large bowl put about half of the rinsed and dried kale and drizzle with a little oil of your choice. Start with a little because it goes a long way. You can always add a smidge more if you need it.
  5. Massage the oil into each leaf. It goes pretty quick as raw kale is pretty hearty.
  6. After massaging leaves with oil, sprinkle about a ¼ teaspoon of salt and about a tablespoon of yeast. Toss so that all the leaves get some salt and yeast.
  7. Place kale leaves on a parchment paper covered baking sheet and sprinkle lightly with more yeast if you want.
  8. Bake for 25 minutes then remove from oven, turn leaves over and rotate pan.
  9. Bake for another 25 minutes
  10. Transfer to a container of your choice.
  11. Repeat process until you have baked the whole bunch. I'm guessing that your first batch will almost be gone by the time the second batch is done baking.
  12. Because I go through these so fast, I make 2 bunches at a time, usually on a day that I'm home bound since they take a little time.

 

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