Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that can boost immunity, aid digestion and simply put, can help you feel better than ever. You may already know about probiotics (a.k.a. live, active cultures) because yogurt contains these beneficial microorganisms. It’s the probiotics in the dairy that most folks are actually after, and if you don’t eat dairy, all you have to do is create another food “home” for them to flourish, so you can reap the delicious benefits. Cue the recipe for Almond Chia yogurt—your dairy-free yogurt option.
Before we dive into this simple recipe, let’s go over a few things.
Life is all about balance, and that also applies to your gut and its microscopic inhabitants. Good and bad bacteria should naturally coexist in your gut—but you want the good guys to outnumber the bad guys (keeping them in check) for vibrant health.
Every body is different, but probiotics and cultured foods can:
• Improve digestion: fermenting/culturing pre-digests the food before we consume it and directly supplies our digestive tract with living cultures that are key to breaking down what we eat and making sure it assimilates into our system.
• Balance gut flora: say “goodbye” to constipation, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, yeast infections, allergies and ailments like asthma (linked to a lack of good bacteria in the gut)—cultured foods are loaded with the good flora our systems need to thrive (happy blue dudes above).
• Rich in enzymes: properly digest and assimilate the food/nutrients you eat with enzyme-rich cultured foods—don’t just ingest your food, absorbit.
• Increase energy: consuming live, pre-digested foods adds zip to the body instead of depleting it (no labored digestion).
• Boost immunity: when bad bacteria dominates, poorly digested food (and fungus) spread around the body and can lead to ailments like leaky gut syndrome. This increases inflammation, which manifests in numerous autoimmune disorders like arthritis and diabetes. Reset the important friendly bacteria balance, and in turn charge up your immunity.
• Clear skin: friendly bacteria decrease the toxic load on our bodies—since our skin is one of the greatest outlets for toxins, you’ll see your skin repair and glow.
• Improve liver function: rid the body of toxins and help assist the liver in its cleansing functions.
• Detoxify: our beneficial bacteria pals grab hold of toxins like mercury, lead, aluminum and arsenate and makes sure they are removed from our bodies in the form of productive #2s.
• Sharpen thinking/memory: it is known that our guts are our second brain (ie: “what does your gut say?”), heal the gut and say goodbye to mental fog, depression and anxiety.
A couple glass bowls
One probiotic capsule
Try to buy everything organic. Here’s why.
1 1/2 cups raw almonds
1/2 cup raw cashews*
3 cups spring or distilled water (you don’t want chlorine-treated water)
1/4 cup + 1 tbsp chia seeds
*You can substitute equal amounts of sunflower seeds or macadamia nuts for cashews. YU can also try my nut/seed-free yogurt recipe here.
Let’s get started.
Soak almonds and cashews in pure water for 8-12 hours. Rinse well and transfer to the blender.
Add 3 cups of pure water (distilled or spring) and blend until super smooth.
Strain this “milk” through a cheesecloth into a bowl—really working all liquid out of the pulp. Save pulp to make crackers, cereal or chocolate mousse!
Take your probiotic capsule…
… and open it up into your milk.
Stir with a sterilized wood or plastic spoon—no metal (probiotics don’t like metal).
Cover with a clean towel and place in a warm spot in the kitchen, away from direct sunlight.
(Behold, my fermentation station above—kombucha, sourdough starters and other goodies coming to YU soon)
Let the milk culture for 24 hours. After 24 hours, give is a good stir (it will likely separate) and taste it with a clean non-metal spoon to determine if it is ready. It should taste sour like yogurt. You shouldn’t be able to detect sweetness. If there is still too much sweet, give it more time to culture.
Once it’s ready, stir in chia seeds and let them plumpen for about 20 minutes. Transfer to the fridge to chill if you like, or go ahead and enjoy some room temp with fresh chopped berries and maybe a drizzle of maple syrup or honey. Try it topped with homemade Blueberry Cherry Granola, make a potato salad with it. Have fun and share what you try out with us.
– – –
HUNGRY FOR MORE? Get monthly video recipes and a 5-day meal plan with shopping list and prep sheet.