Healthy Prebiotic Foods To Try Out During Christmas

Posted: November 21, 2021 2:16 am

Spice up Your Christmas With These Prebiotic Foods

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Prebiotics are indigestible plant fibers that help the good bacteria in your gut stay healthy. We know our gut flora as a vital component of our immune system and digestive health. In this article, we will give you ten recipes to help you incorporate prebiotics into your family’s holiday meals.

1. Ginger Veggie Stir-Fry

Ginger is an anti-inflammatory root that contains active enzymes that help break down starches. It also contains gingerols which are powerful antioxidants.

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ cup prebiotic vegetables (onions, garlic, leeks, celery, carrots)
2 teaspoons finely grated ginger
1-2 tablespoons soy sauce or liquid aminos (to taste)
Dash black pepper to taste

Preparations:
-Cut up any prebiotic veggies. Slice ginger into thin pieces.
-Heat the olive oil for 30 seconds on high in a large skillet or saucepan, then add the prebiotics, vegetables, and ginger to the pan. Stir fry until tender, about 10 minutes. Splash soy sauce or liquid aminos over all of it before serving.

2. Cheesy Kale Chips

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Kale is one of the most nutrient-dense green leafy vegetables you can prepare this holiday season! One hundred grams has nearly 400 percent of your daily need for vitamin A, 300% vitamin C, 684% vitamin K, 206% calcium, and 139% manganese. It’s also filled with carotenoids that are antioxidants that prevent cellular damage.

Ingredients:
1 medium bunch of kale (about 6 cups chopped)
½ cup shredded cheddar cheese or other hard cheese, at room temperature (optional)

Preparations:
-Remove the ribs from the kale and chop finely—place in a large mixing bowl. If using prebiotic vegetables like leeks, carrots, celery, or onions, finely chop them and add them to kale. Add olive oil to coat everything well.
-Spread out the kale leaves on two baking sheets lined with parchment paper or silicone mats. Bake for 10 minutes on 375 ˚F/191˚C followed by another 10 minutes on 400 ˚F/205˚C until crunchy slightly darkened in color.
-Sprinkle cheese over the kale chips (optional) and put back in the oven for another minute until melted. Serve warm or cold!

3. Squash Soup

Squash has health benefits due to its antioxidant content that help fight inflammation, oxidative stress, and free radicals. Its high fiber content also promotes digestive regularity. Acorn squash tastes great baked with a little cinnamon sprinkled on top!

Ingredients:
1 acorn squashes washed, cut in half lengthwise, and seeds scooped out with spoon or melon baller
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon or other spice (if desired)

Preparations:
-Place the halves of the squash face down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
-Bake squash at 400 ˚F/205˚C for about 40 minutes. Check with a fork to see if it’s cooked through, then scoop out the inside into your blender or food processor. Add water to the blender until the contents are liquefied.
-Pour back into the squash halves and sprinkle with cinnamon or other spices if desired before serving warm!

4. Garlic Pepper Zucchini Fries

Zucchini is another nutritious prebiotic vegetable that can be prepared in many different ways this holiday season! It contains antioxidants called flavonoids which have anti-cancer properties, among many other healthful benefits. When paired with heart-healthy fats like oil, garlic, and pepper, you can enjoy your fries guilt-free!

Ingredients:
1 medium zucchini
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil or other oil that is safe for frying
1 teaspoon garlic powder or 3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
½ teaspoon salt (optional) and ½ teaspoon ground black pepper (or to taste)

Preparations:
-If desired, peel the zucchini. Cut into 1 inch wide sticks. If using prebiotic vegetables like carrots, onion, or celery, finely chop them and add to zucchini. Add olive oil to coat everything well. Combine with the remaining ingredients in a large bowl until the fries are evenly coated. Let them sit for 10 minutes before baking so that all of the flavors can soak into the zucchini.
-Preheat the oven to 400 ˚F/205˚C and place a rack on top of a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Spread out the seasoned fries evenly on the baking sheet, so they don’t touch each other. Bake for 20 minutes, then flip them over and bake for another 10 minutes or until lightly browned and cooked through. Serve hot with ketchup if desired!

5. Pomegranate Quinoa Salad

Quinoa is high in fiber and protein and contains many beneficial vitamins like riboflavin, niacin, thiamine, vitamin B6, folate, and minerals like manganese, iron, potassium, calcium, and copper. In this recipe, quinoa gets a delicious infusion of flavor from pomegranate to make a festive salad that’s perfect for the holiday season!

Ingredients:
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
2 tablespoons minced green onion or leeks (if desired), chopped finely
1/3 cup chopped walnuts or other nuts if desired, roasted and cooled before adding to salad
½ cup pomegranate arils from 1 medium pomegranate
-Whisk together all dressing ingredients in a small bowl, then set aside until ready to be added to salad. You can substitute balsamic vinegar for lemon juice if desired.
-In a large bowl, mix cooked quinoa with chopped cranberries, green onion or leeks, and chopped nuts if desired.
-Drizzle dressing over quinoa mixture, then stir well to combine! Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Preparations:
Cook quinoa according to package instructions. It makes about 3 cups cooked quinoa which is the equivalent of 4 cups before cooking. Dressing can be kept in a jar in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, covered tightly with a lid until ready to use on the salad!

6. Low-Fat Italian Pesto Hummus

Hummus is highly nutritious because it contains fiber, protein, and healthy plant oils derived from sesame seeds that are sources of phytonutrients. It is also great for promoting digestive regularity as a result of its high fiber content! In this low-fat pesto flavored version, healthy prebiotic vegetables like cauliflower serve as the base to create a flavorful alternative to traditional Italian pesto.

Ingredients:
1 head cauliflower or 1 (12 ounces) package bags frozen cauliflower florets if desired
2 cloves fresh garlic peeled and pressed through a garlic press or crushed finely with the side of a knife
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes or other vegan Parmesan cheese if desired
⅛ cup olive oil plus more for drizzling (optional) (if using vegan Parmesan substitute water for oil) -Optional: If you would like your hummus warm, use it instead of the olive oil and heat it before adding to the food processor with everything else.
-Process all ingredients together in a food processor until smooth and creamy! Serve drizzled with additional olive oil if desired or closer to room temperature. This hummus is amazing as a dipping sauce for raw veggies, a spread for sandwiches or wraps, or even stirred into pasta dishes!

Preparations:
-Remove excess leaves and tough stem at the bottom of your cauliflower. Cut up florets into smaller pieces if necessary to fit in a food processor.
-Process all ingredients together in a food processor until smooth and creamy! Serve drizzled with additional olive oil if desired or closer to room temperature. This hummus is amazing as a dipping sauce for raw veggies, a spread for sandwiches or wraps, or even stirred into pasta dishes!

7. Holiday Apple Sauce with Cinnamon

Apples are one of the most widely cultivated fruit trees in the world and have been consumed as food since prehistoric times! In addition to being a delicious, nutritious fruit high in fiber, apples also contain pectin, a type of soluble fiber.

Ingredients :
6 organic apples cored, peeled, and chopped into 1 inch pieces – Optional: You can add 1 to 2 teaspoons of lemon juice if desired to help prevent browning.
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon plus more for sprinkling at the end
-Boil apple pieces until tender. If you like your sauce chunky, you can leave it or blend chunks with some cooking liquid in a food processor until smooth.
-Stir in maple syrup, vanilla extract (optional), and ground cinnamon, then cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, occasionally stirring to prevent burning. Remove from burner to cool; serve warm or chilled! Sprinkle with extra cinnamon before serving if desired.

Preparations:
This dish does take time but is not completely hands-off, thanks to the simmering and stirring!
-Boil apple pieces until tender. If you like your sauce chunky, you can leave it or blend chunks with some cooking liquid in a food processor until smooth.
-Stir in maple syrup, vanilla extract (optional), and ground cinnamon, then cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, occasionally stirring to prevent burning. Remove from burner to cool; serve warm or chilled! Sprinkle with extra cinnamon before serving if desired.

8: Apple Cider Rosemary Sweet Potatoes

This recipe makes an interesting combination of apple cider, rosemary, and sweet potatoes! Sweet potatoes are full of dietary fiber, beta-carotene (a powerful source of vitamin A), vitamins C, B6, B1, E, potassium, and magnesium. They’re also a good source of iron.

Ingredients:
4 to 6 medium-sized sweet potatoes peeled and cut into small cubes
⅓ cup pure organic unfiltered apple cider (not the stuff in the carton) -Optional: You can drizzle maple syrup over your finished dish if you like it sweeter or top with pecans. For crunch!
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves plus more for garnish if desired -Optional: You can add 1 to 2 teaspoons of lemon juice if desired to help prevent browning.

Preparations:
-Boil potatoes until fork tender – about 10 to 15 minutes. Drain water, returning your potatoes to the same pot. Add apple cider and chopped rosemary leaves, then use a potato masher or sturdy whisk to mash ingredients together into a chunky mixture while still leaving some lumps. Once you reach your desired consistency, remove from heat.
-Serve alone, sprinkled with additional rosemary leaves for garnish if desired, or drizzled with maple syrup or another sweetener of choice! This makes an excellent side dish for vegan holiday meals, especially with green beans, butternut squash dishes, etc.

9: Zesty Guacamole

Another excellent dish for the holidays.
Ingredients
3 large ripe avocados, halved and pitted
4 green onions, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice plus more to taste if desired
2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro -Optional: Add 1 rinsed and chopped jalapeno pepper! Love garlic? Add a clove or two of minced garlic, then mash it into your guacamole, too, before adding other ingredients! Have fun with it while still maintaining the holiday flavors.

Preparations:
-Mash avocado halves in a small bowl until creamy but still chunky – do not use a food processor to make this step easier. If desired, add 1 teaspoon of lemon or lime juice.
-Add green onions, cilantro, and jalapeno pepper if using; season with salt and pepper and more lime juice to taste. Serve immediately in a festive bowl surrounded with veggies for dipping like carrots, celery, red and green bell peppers, and cucumbers!

10. Whipped Sweet Potato Pie

This light and fluffy pie is an excellent way to end your vegan holiday meal.

Ingredients:
3 large sweet potatoes (about 2 pounds) peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 tablespoons vegan margarine -Optional: You can add 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice here to make this dish even more festive if desired!
¼ cup unsweetened soy creamer or other non-dairy milk of choice -Optional: Have fun with this one too! Add a pinch of orange zest for a nice touch, a little bit of vanilla extract, maple syrup, or agave nectar to sweeten it up if needed. Try adding some chives or other herbs if you like too.

Preparations:
-Boil sweet potato cubes until fork tender – about 10 to 15 minutes. Drain water, returning your potatoes to the same pot. Use a potato masher or sturdy whisk to mash ingredients into a chunky mixture while still leaving lumps. Once you reach your desired consistency, remove from heat.
-Add soy creamer and margarine; use either an electric mixer or be super old school and whip everything by hand for several minutes until creamy smooth with no chunks! Add more soy creamer if necessary but keep in mind this pie thickens up even more after it cools, so don’t thin it down too much unless you want leftovers.

In conclusion, prebiotic foods are important for digestive regularity. They are high in fiber and provide the healthy bacteria in your system with food to allow them to thrive, which is very beneficial, especially during the holidays when people eat lots of holiday treats! Take care of your gut health by incorporating more prebiotic foods into your diet this Christmas season. Don’t forget to have fun cooking & baking while prepping these festive recipes!

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