Probiotic power

After a week of travelling and eating in restaurants, my daughter Alexandra and I wanted to get back on track with eating well and exercising regularly. Among the healthy meals that we put together, were fresh fruit puddings and smoothie bowls made with chia seeds and natural bifidus probiotic yoghurt.

Because we don’t like the taste of natural yoghurt on its own, and because we wanted to avoid the ones with added sugar or artificial sweeteners, preservatives and dyes, we decided to go for the plane bifidus yoghurt with the least amount of added ingredients. To enhance the taste, we added our own fresh and frozen fruit.

Probiotics are healthy bacteria that include Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium bifidum (bifidus) and can be found in yoghurt, kefir, sauerkraut and soft cheeses. There are billions of probiotics (good bacteria) inside our gut and bifidus is one of them. Adding bifidus to your daily diet can help stop the growth of disease-causing bacteria and strengthen your immune system, thus lowering the risk of respiratory and gastrointestinal infections.

Consuming foods or supplements which contain probiotics can help control or prevent conditions, such as, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), constipation, diarrhoea, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, yeast or Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) and stomach ulcers.

Below are the recipes for making probiotic puddings and smoothie bowls. They are easy to put together and great for breakfast or as a mid-afternoon snack. Enjoy!

Probiotic puddings or smoothie bowls

6-8 pudding cups

2-3 smoothie bowls

Ingredients

  • 250 grams (1 cup) natural bifidus yoghurt, dairy or soy
  • 260 grams frozen bananas, chopped (equivalent to 2 large or 3 small bananas)
  • 640 grams (3 cups, firmly packed fruit) mix of raspberries and blood orange slices (more berries than oranges)
  • For the puddings: 145 grams (12 tablespoons) chia seeds
  • For the smoothie bowls: oats and dry fruit granola, chia seeds, extra fresh fruit

Procedure

In a high-speed bender, add the yoghurt, frozen bananas, raspberries and oranges and whiz gradually increasing to high speed whilst scraping the sides with blender plunger as needed and until mixture is very smooth.

For the puddings: add the chia seeds in blender and whiz on low, just enough so that they mix-in with the fruit/yoghurt mixture. Pour into separate pudding cups and chill in fridge until gelled, about one hour.

For the smoothie bowls: pour the yoghurt/fruit mixture in separate bowls and sprinkle tops with granola, chia seeds and fresh fruit that you like.

Store all leftovers in glass containers in fridge.

* To avoid your blender motor from overheating and stopping, in your blender bowl, pour the yoghurt first, then the frozen bananas and then the fresh fruit. Also, don’t use frozen raspberries because blending too many frozen fruit together, as in this recipe, can overheat the motor of your blender and it will stop (I did that once!!). Only the bananas should be frozen.

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Julie Zimmer

Julie has extensive experience in nursing practice and education in a wide range of fields from intensive/coronary care, to medical-surgical to community and public health. Julie has Bachelor Degrees in Psychology and Nursing, and a Master’s Degree in Community Health Nursing Education. She has taught in faculties of nursing and in various communities in Toronto, Canada and in Geneva, Switzerland, and is a consultant to the International Council of Nurses (ICN). Julie also has years of experience teaching English as a foreign language (EFL) in addition to coordinating an English department in a Swiss private school.

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