So, what’s the best way to find harmony in your gut microbiome, you ask? Although there is not a one-size-fits-all answer, balancing your gut relies on a few essential factors like eating a diverse range of plant-based foods and making sure you're getting plenty of high in fiber, prebiotics, and probiotics. If you're in search of a recipe that checks all of the above boxes, check out these gut-friendly blueberry lemon bliss balls by Panaceas Pantry. They’re made with fermented blueberries and pack tons of protein, fiber, plus they're plant-based. Check, check, and check.
Why we love these gut-friendly blueberry lemon bliss balls
A study from Stanford University shows that consuming fermented foods like yogurt and kimchi can significantly help reduce inflammation and increase healthy microbial diversity in the gut, potentially even better than eating fiber alone. “People who ate the fermented foods showed a decrease in 19 different inflammatory proteins circulating in their blood, while those who ate the fiber-rich diet didn’t show that downward trend at all,” Hannah Wastyk, lead author of the study and a PhD student at Stanford in the bioengineering department, previously told Well+Good.
Well, we have good news for you. These tasty protein balls are made with fermented blueberries that you can easily DIY at home, plus loads of fiber from the chia seeds, coconut, and cashews. And although the fermentation process requires a little bit of planning ahead, once it’s set up, there’s minimal work to be done. Don’t worry: The payoff is worth the extra patience.
Tips for fermenting fruit at home
According to Jade Woodd, the blogger behind Panaceas Pantry and developer of this beautiful blueberry snack recipe, fermenting fruit at home is really much easier than it sounds. All it takes is no more than a day or two to complete with the help of the right ingredients and tools. For starters, Woodd recommends using a clean fermentation crock or jar with an airtight seal to prevent mold growth. (Keep in mind that she strongly emphasizes that making sure it’s completely sterile is an absolute must.)
Next, Woodd uses a high-quality unpasteurized ingredient—like water kefir, kombucha, or jun—to kickstart the fermentation process. These already-fermented products help the blueberries reach their own fermented, gut-friendly state even faster. Woodd notes that smaller fruits with less natural sugar like berries take less time to ferment compared to larger fruits that can take more than 48 hours. “Once all the sweetness has gone, they are ready,” she says in the blog post.
To make this very well-rounded snack (no pun intended), Woodd combines the fermented berries with other gut-friendly ingredients, including shredded coconut, roasted cashews, chia seeds, and lemon. Then, she rolls them all together into these blueberry lemon bliss balls that will last in the fridge for up to a week and are the perfect bite-sized snack to munch on throughout the day.
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Blueberry lemon bliss balls recipe
Yields 14 servings
2 cups blueberries
1/2 cup fermentation starter (unpasteurized water kefir, kombucha, or jun)
2 cups shredded coconut
2 cups raw, actuated, or roasted cashews
1 Tbsp chia seeds
1 Tbsp coconut flour
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 Tbsp lemon zest
1. Begin the day before you plan to make this recipe to ferment your fruit. Place berries into a jar with an airtight lid with your chosen starter. Top with filtered water if necessary; the berries should be fully submerged. Insert a fermentation weight (if you have one) and then leave it in a warm spot to ferment for six to 12 hours or more. Note: In winter, you may need more than 24 hours; in summer, perhaps only six. Test the mixture to know if it’s done. It should have no—or very little—taste.
2. Drain the liquid from the berries into a cup (which you can also drink).
3. Meanwhile, place the coconut, cashews, chia seeds, coconut flour, and salt into a food processor. Pulse for 30 seconds or until everything is finely chopped.
4. Add the drained blueberries, melted oil, lemon juice, and zest, and blend for another 30 seconds, scraping down the sides midway.
5. Finally, roll into balls around a dessert spoon in size. It is easier to refrigerate the mixture for 30 minutes prior to rolling.
Can't get enough bliss balls? Here's a no-bake, gluten-free spiced date walnut bites recipe that won't disappoint:
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