If you read my post about the importance of the inner biome, you know that I am convinced that we all need to romance our good bacteria. These days I am out and about promoting both my Juice It! book and my Gluten Free Pasta book, spending lots of time talking about the state of our diet and health.
I’ve been teaching gluten free classes for many years, and it’s given me a birds-eye view of the changing GF consumer. 10 years ago, at least half of the class were either diagnosed celiacs or their family members, diagnosed wheat-allergy sufferers, and the occasional Crohn’s disease sufferer. Now the number of those people, the people who have been validated by actual medical doctors, has gotten smaller. The group that is growing is the collection of people who are giving up gluten for all the other reasons. Whether they suspect that gluten is behind their digestive issues, skin problems, or joint pain, these folks are not going to wait for their family physician to figure things out.
So when I listened to the discussion of gut bacteria, I wondered, could many of this group of self-diagnosed gluten-intolerant people be helped by adding good bacteria to their diets? Many of them are working to heal from inflamed and permeable guts, so building up good bacteria and flooding their systems with anti-inflammatory chemicals from fresh juices is probably a good idea. As dietary interventions go, eating more fermented foods is a pretty easy one. We all live in a world that makes it hard to maintain a flourishing population in our inner landscape. We could probably benefit by re-seeding on a regular basis.
So I was delighted to see that my local Seward Coop grocery had installed a new kombucha dispensing station. The Kombucha is brewed just down the street at Verdant Tea, and made from good quality full leaf teas. I’ve enjoyed trying lots of kombuchas around the country, and they range from tart and tangy to sweet and bubbly. They are a great source of beneficial bacteria, and easy to sip throughout the day.
The tap kombucha was mild and not too fizzy, and I like being able to use the same bottle over and over.
I want to make it easy to keep that good bacteria happy, so I have been incorporating it into my morning smoothies. If you have a recipe that you make with yogurt, you can switch out to kombucha, and maybe add a frozen banana for creaminess.
Here is an easy recipe, made with hemp for extra protein. It’s a way to have a non-dairy, probiotic breakfast or snack. The good bacteria love it when you eat lots of good plant fiber, so packing it with spinach is a good delivery system.
And it tastes great!
Kobucha-Hemp and Pineapple Green Smoothie
Makes about 3 cups
2 cups pineapple cubes
4 cups (4 ounces) fresh spinach
1/2 cup hempseeds
1 cup kombucha ( I used my local Ginger Vespers flavor)
Blend it all until smooth.