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4 delicious ways to drink to your (gut) health


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gut_health_pumpkin_spice_kefirAt this point, it’s pretty much common knowledge that you want probiotics in your life.

Wellness experts say they’re the key to a healthy gut, which in turn is essentially the secret to overall health—glowy skin included. And, according to pretty much every nutritionist out there, the best way to get your daily dose of probiotics is through your food.

But downing copious amounts of kimchi and sauerkraut isn’t always the most appetizing. Luckily, there’s a much easier—and tastier—way: probiotic drinks.

gut_health_bookCertified dietician Molly Morgan’s latest book Drink Your Way to Gut Health features 140 recipes for probiotic-rich drinks, from smoothies to kombuchas to better-for-you cocktails.

“There’s such a wide variety of ways to add probiotics to your daily routine,” says Morgan. Smoothies just happen to be the most fun. In the book, Morgan breaks the recipes down into categories (think energizing, detoxing, and immune-boosting) so that you can find a probiotic drink that’s right for you.

Need a jump start in the morning? Try a Chocolate Espresso Bean Kefir. Feeling under the weather? A Carrot Kombucha will do the trick.

Here, we’ve rounded up four of our favorite drink recipes from the book to give your morning smoothie routine a major gut-healing upgrade.—Victoria Lewis

(All Photos: Drink Your Way to Gut Health)

 

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gut_health_pineapple_chia_kefirENERGIZING
Pineapple Chia Colada Kefir

Pineapples are naturally occurring sources of bromelain, an enzyme that could help with arthritis pain (and is what gives pineapple its ability to break down protein, making it a great meat tenderizer). The pineapple also contributes vitamin C to this kefir; each serving delivers 120 percent of your daily requirement (74 milligrams).

Serves 2 (1 cup each)

1 cup cubed fresh pineapple
½ cup light coconut milk
½ cup plain kefir
2 teaspoons chia seeds

Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Divide among two glasses and serve, or store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

 

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gut_health_pumpkin_spice_kefirHEALING
Pumpkin Spice Kefir

A creamy base of vanilla kefir combined with pumpkin and cashew cream gives this beverage a flavor similar to pumpkin pie filling. Another key is the sweetness coming from the pure maple syrup. Why cashew cream? It is a unique way to add thickness and texture to a smoothie. It is dramatically different from cashew butter, which is similar to peanut butter. Cashew cream is made by soaking cashews overnight to soften, then blending them with some water to whip the cashews into a smooth texture that is surprisingly creamy.

Serves 2 (1 cup each)

½ vanilla bean pod
1/3 cup plain kefir
1/3 cup lowfat or nonfat Greek yogurt
¾ tablespoon agave nectar
3 ice cubes

Blend above ingredients to make the vanilla bean smoothie and set aside.

1 cup vanilla bean smoothie
½ cup canned pumpkin puree
½ cup cashew cream
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 or 5 ice cubes

Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Divide among two glasses and serve, or store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

 

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gut_health_green_goodnessDETOXING
Green Goddess Smoothie

If you have been reluctant to try green-colored beverages, this is a great starter smoothie! The sweetness of the strawberries, apple, and apple cider add delicious flavor to the kale. For a detox bonus, the apples contain the soluble fiber pectin, which can help you detox by removing food additives and metals from your body.

Serves 1 (1 ½ cups)

½ cup stemmed kale
½ cup apple cider
½ apple, cored
2 strawberries, hulled
½ cup low-fat or nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt

Combine the kale, cider, apple, and strawberries in a blender and blend until smooth. In a glass, stir together the green juice mixture and yogurt until combined. Serve, or store in the refrigerator 3-4 days.

 

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gut_health_tart_cherry_chia_kombuchaMETABOLISM-BOOSTING
Tart Cherry-Chia Kombucha

In addition to packing in 5 grams of fiber, this drink boasts chia seeds, which are hydrophilic (meaning they retain water); they actually can absorb ten times their weight in water, which helps you to feel full. Finally, the antioxidant boost that tart cherry juice provides makes this a perfect drink to refuel a tired body.

Serves 1 (about 1 cup)

½ cup 100 percent tart cherry juice
½ cup homemade kombucha or GT’s Enlightened Organic Raw Original Kombucha
1 tablespoon chia seeds

Combine the cherry juice, kombucha and chia seeds in a glass. Stir to combine. Let the beverage set for 5 to 10 minutes (for the chia seeds to absorb water). Serve or store in the refrigerator 3-4 days.

 

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glowyskinMore Reading
3 plant-based elixirs to sip for really great skin
How probiotics and prebiotics can help your health
Cheat Sheet: Everything you need to know about gut health