Cookbook Review: Drink Your Way To Gut Health

Cookbook Review: Drink Your Way To Gut Health

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By Natalie Rizzo, MS Contributing Blogger

Probiotics is one of the hottest nutrition trends right now. Also known as good bacteria, probiotics have been linked to improved digestion, reduced cholesterol, sustained weight loss, and possible mental health benefits. It’s no wonder that the popularity of probiotics is on the rise! But, with popularity comes confusion about what foods naturally contain probiotics and how to incorporate them into your diet. Molly Morgan’s, RD, CDN, DSSD new book Drink Your Way To Gut Health explains the many health claims about probiotics while offering 140 easy and cost effective probiotic smoothie and drink recipes!

About the Cookbook
Drink Your Way To Gut Health, by Molly Morgan, RD, CDN, DSSD, uses a scientific approach to explain probiotics. She cites research that suggests adding food forms of probiotics to the diet positively boosts intestinal healthy by improving the availability of vitamins and minerals in the gut. Morgan promotes a “food first, supplements second” approach, and she lists tools and foods needed to make your own probiotic rich beverage at home. Staple ingredients for simple home probiotic preparation include Greek yogurt, buttermilk, miso and pickles. But some ingredients, like lassi (cultured coconut milk yogurt) or filmjolk (a Swedish drinkable yogurt), are a bit obscure and may be difficult to find in your local supermarket.

Next, it’s onto the recipes! Although probiotics may be a foreign concept or a bit intimidating, Morgan’s recipes are easy and applicable to everyday life. The book begins with basic recipes for probiotic rich ingredients, such as kombucha, ginger beer, kefir, coconut water, and homemade yogurt, almond milk, and vanilla lassi. These recipes are not for the faint of heart, as the preparation process includes many steps and a good amount of time. However, Morgan offers the option to purchase these ingredients instead. The recipes appear in categories:

  • Immune-Boosting
  • Energizing
  • Healing
  • Nutrient-Rich
  • Detoxifying
  • Refueling
  • Thinning
  • Cocktails and Shakes

 

Incorporating science once again, the Immune-Boosting section uses fruits and vegetables rich in vitamins A and C, and zinc. The Refueling beverages contain ingredients to help the body replenish muscles after a workout. The Thinning smoothies are aptly named because of their low-calorie or high fiber content. My favorite part of the book is the “Cocktails and Shakes”, which lets you indulge in alcohol and frozen yogurt while still getting your probiotic fix!

Molly was kind enough to share a recipe with us for her Blueberry Cinnamon Crush:

 

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Serves 2 (1 cup each)

Ingredients
1 cup low-fat or nonfat plain Greek yogurt
½ cup low-fat or nonfat milk
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 tablespoon agave nectar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 or 5 ice cubes

Directions
1. Combine the yogurt and milk in a blender and blend until smooth. Add the blueberries, agave, cinnamon, and ice cubes. Blend until icy and smooth.
2. Divide between 2 glasses and serve, or store in the refrigerator for up to 3 or 4 days.

It is best to enjoy smoothies immediately after making, although they can be saved in the refrigerator for up to 3 or 4 days. Before serving, stir the smoothie well.

Nutrition Facts (per serving): 180 calories, 1 grams fat, 1 gram saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, <5 milligrams cholesterol, 80 milligrams sodium, 29 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams fiber, 25 grams sugar, 15 grams protein, 4% vitamin A, 10% vitamin C, 20% calcium, 2% iron

Should You Buy It?
Drink Your Way To Gut Health is great for anyone who has tummy troubles or just wants to add more probiotics to their diet. Although the recipes for some ingredients are time consuming, these products can easily be purchased at the grocery store. The smoothies are delicious, easy to make and add many health benefits to your diet!

Natalie has a Master’s of Science in Nutrition and Exercise Physiology from Teachers College, Columbia University, where she also recently completed a Dietetic Internship. Natalie will soon be taking her Registered Dietitian exam and is excited to join the professional world of dietetics! Natalie believes that healthy food should be tasty food, and she is passionate about living an active lifestyle. Follow Natalie on Twitter or visit her blog for her healthy recipe creations and fitness and nutrition tips.

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