Holiday Cheers for Probiotics

Guest BloggerMicrobiome Environment


It’s so easy to throw a ribbon on a box of candy or bottle of booze and call it your very merry holiday offering.

Resist the ordinary.

This year, invest your resources in gifts that will actually improve the health of those you care about (even though your annoying co-worker still merits ribbon candy.)

Ideas with synbiotic sensibilities

  • Kefir grains and instructions
  • Kombucha-making kit
  • Six-pack of specialty yogurt
  • Book on fermented foods
  • Bottle of broad-based supplements
  • Basket of prebiotic specialties
  • Yogurt maker
  • Gift card to buy probiotics online
  • Homemade sauerkraut or pickles

Now move on to the holiday dining table.

Can we beat back the supposed fiat that love means serving foods that will clog arteries and raise blood sugars?

High-fat eggnogs, casseroles, cheesecakes, pies and candies are not the only way to show your love. Mango yogurt smoothies, steamed artichokes, lemon curd yogurt parfaits, pumpkin ricotta pudding and chocolate-dipped strawberries exude affection, and are much kinder to hearts.

More ideas for lightening up the festivities:

  • Instead of cakes and pies, offer trifles laced with yogurt, honey and nuts.
  • Serve fermented cheeses along with raw vegetables.
  • Substitute whole milk yogurt instead of sour cream or cream in dips, sauces, pies and casseroles.
  • Steam vegetables instead of putting them in casseroles.
  • Serve kimchi as a side or appetizer
  •  Bake or grill sweet potatoes with olive oil and herbs
  •  Use buttermilk in place of whole milk in recipes.
  • Offer kombucha alongside the liquor

Not all the probiotics will survive cooking but some will as well as many of their healthy byproducts.

Happy holidays!