Have you heard of the microbiome? If you haven’t, you need to get the 411 STAT! Gut health is all the rage right now and rightfully so. As more promising research emerges, the topic is only going to become more popular.
Since so much of our immunity is rooted in our gut, this months Recipe Redux challenge was to create a delicious dish that promotes good gut health. I focused on probiotics such as sauerkraut and yogurt in a previous blog post, so I instead decided to focus on prebiotics for some good gut health.
Probiotics, or good gut bacteria, that live in our colon, are needed for a healthy gut, but those bacteria need food to eat so they can thrive. They don’t eat just any food. They eat prebiotics. What’s a prebiotic? So glad you asked! Prebiotics are typically foods that contain certain types of indigestible fibers that pass through the small intestine and ferment in the colon. These fibers have names such as inulin, oligosaccharides, fructooligosaccharides, beta-glucan and resistant starch.
Popular foods that contains prebiotics are:
~Onion and garlic
~Jerusulum artichokes (also called sunchokes)
~Banana (more so in underripe bananas)
If you have IBS, or are on the FODMAPS diet, it’s best to talk to your Registered Dietitian first before going crazy with prebiotics, as some of these foods may aggravate your condition.
I am obsessed with persimmons, particularly the fuyu variety. This is the type of persimmon that looks like an orange tomato rather than a tear dropped shaped fruit. The latter is called a hachaya persimmon and you must wait until it’s mushy gushy to eat. Those are bests for baking while the firm and crunchy fuyu can be eaten like an apple, skin and all.
I never cook with persimmons because they usually end up in my belly as raw hand fruit. So, for The Recipe Redux, I restrained myself and kept a couple to cook with. Voila! Roasted Leeks and Persimmons with Goat Cheese.
This recipe solves two problems:
1.) How to get more prebiotics in your diet (both leeks and persimmons contain prebiotics)
2.) What to do with the fuyu persimmons besides just eating them raw!
Looking for a savory way to cook with persimmons? Look no further than this veggie + fruit side dish, topped with rich and creamy goat cheese. Not only are getting vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, but you're also eating gut-healthy prebiotics!
- 4 Leeks, dark green leaves and stem removed
- 2 Fuyu persimmons, about 1/4" thick slices (leave skin on; do not peel!)
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 2 Tablespoons soft goat cheese
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone baking mat.
- Prepare trimmed leeks by removing 2-3 of the top papery layers. Cut in half lengthwise and wash well under running water. Dry leek halves and cut into large chunks, about 1-1/2" in length.
- Place leeks and sliced persimmons on lined baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Make sure everything gets coated evenly with the oil and salt.
- Roast in oven for about 20 minutes.
- Divide leeks and persimmons among 4 plates and sprinkle 1-1/2 teaspoons of goat cheese over each of the four portions.
Trader Joe's sells trimmed leeks in packs of two. They're almost cleaned of all dirt and only need a quick rinse.