Blueberries are one of the most nutrient dense and antioxidant rich fruits available. Adding in one handful of blueberries a day can help boost brain health and support digestion. They’re the natural way to add healthy sweetness to any recipe! Start the week right with a stack of these light and fluffy kefir pancakes with juicy blueberries and let every bite melt in your mouth.
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 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 immunity, improve allergies, and improve digestion. We’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.
- 1 cup Blueberry Lowfat Kefir
- 1 cup whole wheat flour (for lighter pancakes, mix ½ cup all-purpose flour with ½ cup whole wheat)
- 1 tbsp coconut sugar
- ¼ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 large egg
- 1 Tbsp butter, melted
- 1 cup blueberries
- Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a large bowl. Set aside.
- Crack the egg into a medium sized bowl and whisk until fully incorporated and frothy.
- Add in kefir and butter together and whisk well.
- Add liquid mixture to the dry mixture and stir until just combined.
- Heat a nonstick pan over medium heat. When up to temperature, lightly coat with cooking spray.
- Drop ¼ cup dollops of batter onto the hot pan and sprinkle with a few blueberries.
- Cook 2-3 minutes, or until bubbles form and pop, then flip.
- Continue cooking until golden brown on the bottom, about 2-3 more minutes.
- Continue with the rest of the batter until all pancakes are complete. Top with syrup, more blueberries as desired.