Need an extra reason to stay in? Make this version of the Instagram famous #TheStew, a spiced chickpea stew with coconut and turmeric. Balance out the bold flavors by adding a spoonful of creamy kefir for a protein-rich way to stay warm this winter.
Cultured Dairy: The Nutrition Benefits You Actually Need to Know
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.
Studies have shown that reduced diversity of healthy gut bacteria during early years is associated with an increase in food allergies during school age years. In addition, kefir made from whole fat milk helps absorb key nutrients such as Vitamins A, D, E, and K. Vitamin K is important because it helps your bones absorb calcium. It’s important to know that kefir contains a special trio: vitamin D, K, and calcium – all three crucial elements to support bone health.
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.
- ¼ cup olive oil, plus more for serving
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 1 (2-inch) piece ginger, finely chopped
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground turmeric, plus more for serving
- 1 teaspoon red-pepper flakes, plus more for serving
- 2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2 (15-ounce) cans full-fat coconut milk
- 2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
- 1 bunch Swiss chard, kale or collard greens, stems removed, torn into bite-size pieces
- 1 cup mint leaves, for serving
- 1 Natural Kefir Cup
- Toasted pita for serving
- In a large soup pot cover the bottom with olive oil, Saute the onions and ginger for about 5 minutes.
- Add the turmeric, red pepper flakes and chickpeas. Season with salt and pepper. Stir this frequently so the chickpeas get crisp and mix with the spices. Once they start to brown mash them up a bit to release the starches which will thicken the soup. Remove about one cup of the chickpeas for garnish later (this is optional). This should take about 10 minutes.
- Add the coconut milk and stock, season again with salt and pepper to taste. Continue to mash the chickpeas a bit. Bring to a simmer for about 30 minutes or even more. The longer you wait the thicker the soup gets.
- Add in the greens and make sure they are really mixed up in the liquid. Let this cook another 5-7 minutes. Season again if needed.
- Pour into soup bowls, top with mint, strained kefir , chickpeas, a piece of lime (just squirt the juice over the top) and a dusting of turmeric with warm pita on the side.