Probiotics are one of the best “nutrients” you can give your gut. These microorganisms, found in fermented foods like yogurt, keep our digestive tract running smoothly by breaking down tough foods (think vegetables, beans, and meat). Certain gut bacteria also help destroy malignant cells, while others create vitamins during digestion. However, it’s not always easy to get probiotics from your diet if you don’t like fermented foods or struggle to remember your daily probiotic pill. If you’re looking for a fun, alternative way to boost your gut health, consider mixing a probiotic powder into your baked treats instead.
The idea comes from the brand Live Conscious, which creates a pre- and probiotic-rich powder supplement called Beyond Brew. Beyond Brew, which also contains cacao and a blend of organic mushrooms, can be mixed with hot water to create a nutritious morning beverage or added to chocolate-y baked goods (like brownies). And the probiotic in this blend, bacillus coagulans, is heat resistant, so you don’t have to worry about the cooking process destroying the bacteria. Learn how to make them below.
The Benefits of Bacillus Coagulans
B. coagulans is considered a “good” bacteria because the body needs it for proper digestion. Located in the small intestine, it produces lactic acid, which helps the body absorb nutrients like iron and flavonoids, or plant compounds with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. In addition, B. coagulans may help relieve diarrhea, gas, and indigestion. The body doesn’t produce this bacteria on its own, so it’s important that we get it from our diet.
How To Make Your Own Probiotic-Rich Brownies
To make probiotic brownies, here are the ingredients you’ll need and the steps to follow.
- ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- ¼ cup olive oil, sunflower, or safflower oil
- 2 cups sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 4 teaspoons probiotic powder
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease an 8 x 8 or 9 x 9-inch pan with oil or butter.
- Combine ingredients in a bowl and mix. Pour batter in pan and spread.
- Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean (moist crumbs are okay). Remove the pan from the oven. Let cool completely before cutting into squares.
Note: If you don’t have a probiotic powder on hand, use ¼ cup of plain or Greek yogurt instead of oil, and don’t add anything extra in place of the powder. Yogurt contains bacillus coagulans, so while many of the other probiotics in it will die during baking, a few bacteria strains will stay alive.
Probiotic Brownies: My Taste Test
This brownie recipe was easy-peasy, and it took me about 10 minutes to do all the prep. Though I didn’t have the right size pan (mine was 7 x 11) and the brownies were thin as a result, they came out deliciously moist and rich. The probiotic powder gave them a bit of a winter holiday flavor (probably due to the small amounts of cinnamon and ginger). Still, I can’t wait to enjoy these year round.
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