Traditional holiday feasts are not so microbe-friendly. A week of high fat and sugar treats can throw your gut microbes into a tailspin, possibly weakening your immune system just in time for flu season.
Repeat this mantra: Healthy can be delicious. And try these ideas below to keep those friendly microbes merry this season.
- Substitute low-fat yogurt or lebnah for sour cream or cream in dips, sauces, pies and casseroles.
- Steam vegetables in lieu of casseroles. Top with lemon yogurt sauce.
- Add kimchi to the appetizer table.
- Serve fermented cheeses along with a vegetable plate to serve as prebiotics.
- Use buttermilk in place of whole milk in recipes.
- Ditch the fatty pie crust and present the fillings as puddings or trifles laced with honeyed yogurt and nuts.
- Offer kombucha alongside the hard beverages at the bar.
When it comes to gifts, forget about candy or booze. Be creative. Look for gifts that will keep friends and family in the peak of good health.
- Tuck a bottle of probiotics in stockings.
- Buy a yogurt or kefir starter and package it with a thermometer and recipe.
- Enroll someone in a kombucha-making class.
- Gift a kombucha-making kit.
- Wrap up a yogurt-maker.
- Gift a book: Fermented foods lose their mystery with many new cookbooks on the subject.
- Buy a gift card for online probiotic shopping.
- Wrap up a jar of homemade sauerkraut or pickles.
- Gift a loaf of sourdough bread and a cookbook.
- Buy a big jar of kimchi from an Asian market.
- Prepare a festive basket of prebiotic fruits and vegetables.
And don’t worry about receipts because the gift of health is never returned.