To-may-to, to-mah-to 🍅 However you pronounce it, it’s the perfect base ingredient for our Reverse Italian Toast – like a backwards #bruschetta. This is a satisfying, gut-healthy recipe that you can munch on as a snack between meals or as an appetizer before dinner. We flipped the traditional toast presentation and stuffed roasted tomato shells with a whipped farmer cheese mixture. It has spinach, garlic powder, salt, and pepper folded in for ALL the flavor. Tomatoes have vitamin C for immune health and vitamin K for bone health; spinach is an excellent source of iron, which helps create hemoglobin that functions in transporting oxygen to the body’s tissues; and farmer cheese is an Eastern European mild soft cheese that may balance the gut microbiome with 12 live and active probiotic cultures and assist in building strong muscles with 13 grams of protein. To top it all off, we garnished this innovative toast with sourdough croutons and a drizzle of olive oil. We’re changing the rules: be creative, play with your food, and go with your gut. Tag us in all of your gut-healthy creations #madewithlifeway. We want to see what you come up with!
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.
- 3-6 medium-sized tomatoes
- 1/2 cup Farmer Cheese
- 1/2 cup frozen spinach, cooked & drained
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 cup basil, chopped (extra leaves for garnish)
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup sourdough bread, cubed
- salt & pepper for taste
- Add chopped basil to olive oil in a safe oil container and let it marinate the day before or hours before you cook this recipe.
- Using a sharp knife, cut off a 1/2" thick slice from the top of each tomato.
- Using an edged spoon and/or knife, carefully scoop out the inside of the tomato.
- Lightly salt the insides of the tomato shells, turn them upside down and place them on paper towels. Set them aside to drain for 15 to 20 minutes.
- In a small bowl, mix Farmer Cheese with spinach, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
- Spoon the Farmer Cheese mixture into each tomato and place them onto a baking sheet. Place in a 400-degree oven for 15 minutes, or until tomatoes are tender. Then broil on high for 1 minute until the filling begins to bubble and brown.
- Remove tomatoes from the oven and set aside to cool as you take cubed sourdough, toss with salt and solve oil and bake in the oven till golden and crispy.
- On the plate, place the roasted stuffed tomatoes and sprinkle the sourdough croutons around and drizzle with the basil oil. Add more salt and pepper for taste and fresh basil leaves. Enjoy!