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Latkes and Strained Kefir Three Ways

Golden brown latkes are an iconic Hanukkah dish. A savory dish with extra crispy texture, these bite-sized beauties perfect for fueling celebrations together whether you’re making them for Hanukkah or otherwise. Celebrate the festival of lights and the winter season with this classic traditional recipe.

What are probiotics?

Probiotics are “good” bacteria. They are live microorganisms similar to the ones already living in your gut and may offer health benefits when consumed in adequate amounts. The word “probiotic” itself is often translated to “beneficial for life.”  It is a derived from the Latin word “pro” meaning “for” and the Greek word “biotic” meaning “life.” With increasing research linking the correlation between probiotics, gut health, and immunity, it’s no secret that the integrity of our gut is vital to our health. Although additional factors such as stress, antibiotic usage, and individual health conditions can contribute to the condition of our gut, a focus on healthy food choices is one of the easiest ways to support the microbiome.

Several studies have shown a strong association between the gut-brain-microbiota. Probiotics introduced to the gut have been found to support immunityimprove allergies, and improve digestionWe’ve discussed before how our brain and gut communicate with each other. Scientists previously thought there was a one-way communication between the brain and the gut, but now realize that it’s a two-way line. Basically, your gut, which is comprised of millions of neurons called the enteric nervous system, is also talking back to your brain. On top of alerting your immune system to foreign invaders, digesting and absorbing nutrients, your gut also produces serotonin. In fact, about 90% of the serotonin in your body is produced by the cells in your gut.

Prebiotics + Probiotics = a Healthy You

Prebiotics are non-living, non-digestible carbohydrates naturally found in a variety of foods. Your body actually can’t digest prebiotics, so they’re what probiotics feed off of to remain actively working in your digestive system. They help the digestive system by promoting the growth of good bacteria. Prebiotics and probiotics work together in balance to make sure our digestive system stays on track and regular. Research has found that consuming a variety of prebiotic and probiotic food sources may improve your body’s natural functions, including both your immune and digestive system.

Directions

  1. Avocado Kefir Sauce: stir together 1 cup strained kefir, avocado, ½ of the lemon juice and a pinch of kosher salt. Allow to rest for 30 minutes before tasting. Adjust seasonings as needed.
  2. Cinnamon Maple Kefir Sauce: combine the maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg and pinch of salt. Slowly stir in 1 cup of strained kefir, tablespoon by tablespoon, until mixed well. Allow to rest for 30 minutes before tasting. Adjust seasonings as needed.
  3. Kefir Tzatziki Sauce: stir together the cucumber, dill, garlic powder, salt and remaining lemon juice until well combined. Stir in 1 cup of strained kefir until smooth. Allow to rest for 30 minutes before tasting. Adjust seasonings as needed.
  4. The Latkes: wash and dry the potatoes and peel the onion to remove the dry outer layer. Using a box grater, grate the potatoes and onion into a bowl.
  5. Using paper towels or an absorbent towel, transfer the grated vegetables into a fine mesh colander and press out as much extra liquid as possible.
  6. In a separate bowl, beat the two eggs together until foamy. Whisk in the flour and a pinch of salt and pepper. Add the onion potato mixture and stir until everything is well combined and coated.
  7. To fry, heat about two tablespoons of butter or oil in a heavy bottomed skillet over medium high heat until hot, but not smoking. Drop the batter in ¼ cup scoops into the hot pan and flatten with the back of a spatula.
  8. Serve warm with strained kefir sauce of choosing, or a combination of all three.