HAPPY GUT Blog

Happy Gut Pomegranate Spritzer Holiday Mocktail

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Serves: 4

The holidays can be a really challenging time of year when it comes to overindulging. And I don’t mean just food. (Drinks galore!)

Some cocktails are especially decadent and creamy, others are loaded with sugar and even bottles of wine may be offered at a fancy holiday party.

Alcohol can certainly disrupt gut health, but also impair your sleep, affect weight and even contribute to food cravings. That’s why I’ve got the perfect mocktail for you to try. Even as adults peer pressure is real and sometimes you probably don’t even want the drink but feel forced to just “let loose.”

So instead of giving in this year to the booze, try this alternative. This is a gut-friendly option and along with diet, another way to stay in check and balanced this holiday season.

This mocktail obviously has great taste, but also gives your gut a rest from the typical effects of alcohol and added sugar that can disrupt the microbiome.

It’s hydrating, sneakily packed with nutrients, and contains delicious pomegranate. This fruit contains antioxidants, promotes digestion and has anti-inflammatory benefits. It will only take you a few minutes to make and is an eye-catching drink that your guests will definitely want to try as well.

Ingredients

1 cup pomegranate juice (no added sugar)

24 oz sparkling mineral water

4 drops organic stevia

1 orange, freshly squeezed

1 orange, wedged (optional)

¼ cup pomegranate seeds

1 handful fresh mint leaves and stems

4 highball glasses

Step 1

In a pitcher, mix mineral water with pomegranate juice and juice from the orange. Add drops of stevia. Then stir.

Step 2

In each glass, add a few cubes of ice. Pour a few ounces of the drink into each glass.

Step 3

Top with a small spoonful of seeds and add mint leaves with the stem. On each glass add 1-2 orange wedges on the rim if desired.

Photo by Fábio Alves on Unsplash

Happy Gut Winter Salad with Pickled Carrots

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Serves: 4

I am super excited to provide you and your family with a Happy Gut menu for the holiday season. This particular dish is a winter salad and highlights some delicious vegetables with simple, yet tasty spins to their normal preparation.

Salads in the winter can be a drab and usually, you just want something hot and creamy to cuddle up to. I promise you this, you will absolutely want to indulge in this salad.

I’ve got all the requirements covered when it comes to enjoying a salad in the winter. Plus, it has amazing benefits for the gut.

Aside from the fiber-rich veggies for gut health, the homemade shallot dressing provides healing benefits as well. Shallots are an antioxidant and rich in antimicrobial and antifungal properties. These anti-inflammatory benefits help to support microbial balance and build up a defense to foreign invaders, especially as we enter flu season.

This salad is beautiful and truly takes on the spirit of the holiday season with the vibrant colors and root vegetables.

Ingredients

1 head romanesco, sliced vertical one inch thick (looks like trees)

1 head cauliflower, florets

4 carrots, sliced diagonal into 3 inch thick slices

1 carrot, cubed

½ cup apple cider vinegar

2 medium avocado, sliced

1 small shallot, minced

⅓ cup olive oil

⅓ cup avocado oil

2 cups brussels sprouts, halved

¼ cup parsley, chopped

Sea salt and pepper

 

Step 1

In a small jar add ⅓ cup apple cider vinegar with cubed carrot. Add the cover and let sit in the refrigerator overnight and “pickle.”

Step 2

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On one sheet pan, place romanesco slices, drizzle with avocado oil, salt, and pepper. Roast for 20-25 minutes or until lightly brown.

Step 3

On a separate sheet pan, place Brussels sprouts and cauliflower florets. You may need an additional sheet pan. Drizzle with remaining avocado oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 20-25 minutes or until lightly brown.

Step 4

In a separate bowl, whisk shallot with ¼ cup apple cider vinegar and olive oil.

Step 5

When vegetables are done, allow to cool. Then plate romanesco on the bottom, top with cauliflower, brussels sprouts and roasted carrots. Add avocado slices on the side, top with pickled carrot slices, parsley and drizzle dressing.

 

Creamy Filled Chocolate Cookies

DF GF SF V VG

Serves: 12

When it comes to the holidays, most people first dread the thought of overeating sweets, yet once everything is in plain sight, the cravings for dessert kick in. Maybe you even tell yourself ahead of time that you will under no condition eat those holiday cookies. Then you find yourself three deep and reaching for more!

Sugar is addicting, so don’t be so hard on yourself. But (but!) have a healthier alternative on hand. This could save you from excess winter weight gain and bombarding your gut with processed sugar. Excessive sugar can lead to unfavorable growth of things like yeast or other unwanted microbial strains.

I’ve concocted the perfect holiday cookie, rich with flavor and melts in your mouth! It just takes a few simple ingredients. There is no processed sugar or refined grains. I’ve kept out all inflammatory ingredients so that you can beat the bloat and excess GI discomfort. Keep this recipe on hand for any other future celebrations too!

Ingredients

2 cups almond flour

2 eggs

¾ cup cashew butter

⅓ cup cacao powder

¼ cup maple syrup

2 tbs coconut oil, melted

½ tsp baking soda

Pinch sea salt

Step 1

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Step 2

In a bowl, mix the egg, maple syrup, and coconut oil together. In a separate bowl mix almond flour with baking soda and sea salt. Then add wet ingredients to almond mixture and stir until everything is evenly distributed.

Step 3

Grease a baking dish with a bit of coconut oil. Then take a little larger than a golf ball size of almond flour mixture. Flatten it to the dish, then make a small circle in the middle, pushing the remaining batter to the edges. It should look like a very small volcano.

Step 4

Repeat this until you have no more batter. Bake for 7-8 minutes or until thoroughly cooked.

Step 5

While cookies are cooling, in another bowl combine the cacao powder with the cashew butter.

Step 6

Add a teaspoon amount of cashew butter mixture to the center of each cookie where you created the hole. Repeat this until every cookie is filled. Store in an airtight container until you are ready to serve.

Photo by Charles Deluvio 🇵🇭🇨🇦 on Unsplash