Gut-health cuisine popping up at restaurants everywhere

Today, many chefs are striving to meet the needs of diners by developing new dishes that are both tasty and promote gut health.

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January 19, 2018 4 min read

Students enrolled in culinary arts certificate programs online should always keep an eye on the latest trends in diets and healthy living. After all, restaurants that can cater to the dietary restrictions and special requirements of their patrons are more likely to be rewarded with repeat business and positive word-of-mouth. Today, many chefs are striving to meet the needs of diners by developing tasty dishes that promote gut health.

These gut-friendly foods are items that either contain healthy bacteria or stimulate its growth in your body. In turn, the microorganisms may aid in digestion and many enthusiasts believe they have a range of additional health benefits. If you can find interesting and delicious ways to incorporate these bacteria into great meals, you may be on your way to creating the next healthy-eating sensation.

Understanding probiotics

“The gut is home to large, complex populations of bacteria.”

In humans and many other animals, the gut is home to large, complex populations of bacteria. The composition of gut flora can shift due to age, changes in diet and general health. Many people strive to improve how their gut functions by consuming probiotics, which are living microorganisms, and prebiotics, which are non-digestible fiber compounds meant to cause the growth of good bacteria.

There is still a great deal of research to be done on the effects of probiotics and how they work, but clinical evidence supports claims that they are beneficial. According to the National Institutes of Health, scientists are investigating a variety of possible uses for probiotics, including treating digestive orders such as diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome and intestinal infections. The bacteria may also be capable of making colds or flus less severe and reducing the severity of symptoms from allergic disorders like eczema or hay fever.

The Food Network pointed out that the most common dietary sources for probiotics are foods that are cultured or fermented. These items include yogurt, tempeh, kefir, buttermilk and sauerkraut. Some of the carbohydrate-rich foods that contain prebiotic fiber are raw vegetables such as onions, leeks, garlic and asparagus, as well as bananas.

Spicing up gut-friendly cuisine with kimchi

For chefs ready to prioritize gut health in their recipes, kimchi is a great way to start. This classic standby of Korean cuisine consists of salted and fermented cabbage with seasoning, and it can be great as a side dish or incorporated into everything from a stew to french fries. Epicurious provided a traditional recipe so you can make your own batch.

Dissolve a cup of salt in half a gallon of water, and soak wedges of Napa cabbage for three to four hours. Mince a combination of garlic, ginger and fish sauce in a food processor. Move the mixture into a large bowl and toss with radish, mustard greens, green onions, chili powder, salt and sugar.

Rinse and drain the cabbage, squeezing out as much water as you can. Starting from the outer leaves, push the vegetable mixture into the cabbage. Wrap a larger leaf around the stuffed pieces of cabbage and place in glass jars, pressing down to remove air. Leave the jars in a cool place for two to three days before serving.

Chefs can find inspiration in meeting the needs of health-conscious patrons.Chefs can find inspiration in meeting the needs of health-conscious patrons.

Enjoying the protein-packed benefits of tempeh

Tempeh is a probiotic-filled soy product that makes a great meat substitute. Minimalist Baker suggested a version that’s marinated in peanut sauce and baked to caramelized perfection. Start by steaming the tempeh for 10 minutes to eliminate its bitterness and cutting into small, triangular pieces.

Prepare the marinade by whisking together a bird’s eye chili pepper, peanut butter, sesame oil, tamari, lime juice and maple syrup. Marinate the tempeh for at least two hours. Then, bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 22 to 30 minutes.

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