The status of your gut can impact so much more than digestion (although that’s a biggie), including immune health and mood. Optimal gut health comes from populating your microbiome with lots of good bacteria, or probiotics. While a good probiotic supplement can help with this, the ideal way to get all the good critters is through food, which have the most diverse array of bacteria. Great probiotic foods include fermented vegetables like sauerkraut and kimchi, kefir, yogurt, kombucha, miso, and tempeh.
In order for the good bacteria to thrive, it’s important to get a good amount of prebiotic foods onto your plate daily. Prebiotics come from non-digestible fiber in plants (which includes both soluble and insoluble fiber) and serve as food for the probiotics. Foods that are considered prebiotic gold include bananas, leeks, asparagus, legumes, garlic, onions, and cabbage.
Here’s one bowl that’s a perfect mix of the two for maximum gut benefits, with coconut (dairy-free) yogurt and fermented vegetables bringing those key probiotics, and asparagus, artichokes, chickpeas, garlic, shallots, and avocado all adding essential prebiotics. We’ve also included bitter greens and apple cider vinegar, which support those natural detoxification processes in the body.
Healthy Gut Bowl
- Avocado oil or other neutral oil
- 1 small bunch of asparagus, woody ends snapped off and spears cut in half
- Sea salt & cracked black pepper
- 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped and divided
- 1 cup artichoke hearts, frozen and thawed or canned and drained, cut into quarters
- 1 (440g) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 3 big handfuls of bitter greens like arugula, washed, dried and roughly chopped
- 2 radishes, cleaned and thinly sliced
- 1 big spoonful raw sauerkraut or fermented veggies — the kind you get in the refrigerated section
- For more protein, add a medium-boiled egg
- ¼ cup coconut yogurt (or your favorite dairy-free, unsweetened plain yogurt)
- ¼ of an avocado
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 small shallot (or half a large shallot), peeled and roughly chopped
- ½ cup fresh basil leaves
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Pinch or two of freshly cracked black pepper
1. To make the dressing, combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender. Puree until smooth.
2. To make the bowl, heat a medium cast-iron skillet over a medium-high heat. Add a small drizzle of avocado oil (enough to lightly cover the base of the skillet) and heat through for about 1 minute. Add asparagus spears, sprinkle with a good pinch of salt and cover for 3 minutes. Uncover the pan, add half of the chopped garlic and 2 tablespoons of water. Cook for another 2 minutes until the water has evaporated and the asparagus is bright green and tender. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
3. In the same skillet, heat another drizzle of oil over a medium heat and allow it to heat through. Add the artichoke hearts and cook uncovered for 2 minutes without stirring. Add the rest of the garlic, stir, and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes more until golden. Set aside.
4. Over a medium heat, add the chickpeas to the skillet along with a pinch of salt and pepper, tossing a few times until heated through.
5. Divide greens between two bowls. Toss with a spoonful of dressing each then top with asparagus, artichokes, chickpeas, sliced radishes, and sauerkraut. Drizzle with more dressing and serve.