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6 Easy Recipes That Will Help Heal Your Gut

These recipes ditch refined sugars and embrace fermented foods and fiber, which help a healthy microbiome thrive.

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Try working these gut-health recipes into your week to jump-start microbiome healing. These recipes are tailored specifically to provide your gut with the nourishment it needs to thrive (fiber, prebiotics, fermented foods)—and none of what it doesn’t (added sugar, processed grains).

RELATED: Want to Make Your Gut Microbiome Happy? Start with These 8 Steps

 

A plate for miso-glazed cod and a bowl of Moroccan quinoa
Left: Miso-glazed cod with spicy orange baby bok choy, right: Moroccan lentils and quinoa Photo: Beata Lubas

Moroccan Lentils & Quinoa

Makes 2 servings

This incredibly flavorful dish is one-pot (seriously, only one dish to clean), high in protein, and plant-based. And the best part? It comes together in less than 20 minutes. It’s great on its own as a light meal (the high fiber helps make it filling), but we recommend serving it up with some skillet-crisped tofu and baked squash for a gut-friendly dinner that delivers on the energy runners need.

  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • ½ cup chopped sweet onion
  • ½ cup roasted red pepper, diced
  • ¼ cup quinoa, rinsed
  • ¼ cup red lentils, rinsed
  • 2 tsp. lemon zest
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp. smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp. ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp. sea salt
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  1. Heat a medium saucepan over medium-high. Add all ingredients except cilantro. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes, until tender.
  2. Divide between 2 bowls and top with chopped cilantro for serving.

Miso-Glazed Cod with Spicy Orange Baby Bok Choy

Makes 2 servings

As far as gut-health recipes go, this one covers all the bases. Cod is glazed in miso, a paste made from fermented soybeans, before being broiled in the oven. Bok choy, flavored with orange zest and pepper flakes, makes a spicy, flavorful side.

  • 3 Tbsp. coconut aminos, divided
  • 1 Tbsp. white miso paste
  • 1 Tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp. raw honey
  • 1 tsp. toasted sesame oil, divided
  • 8 oz. boneless, skinless cod, cut into 2 portions
  • 3 baby bok choy, halved
  • 2 tsp. orange zest plus 2 Tbsp. fresh orange juice (from 1 orange)
  • 1 tsp. arrowroot flour
  • ½ tsp. red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 2 tsp. black sesame seeds, for garnish
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk 2 tablespoons coconut aminos, miso, vinegar, honey, and ½ teaspoon oil until smooth. Add fish to bowl and spoon marinade on top to coat both sides. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. Heat oven to broil on high. Place a rack over a sheet pan and place fish on rack. Broil for 4 minutes. Turn oven to 350°F and bake for an additional 8 minutes, until fish flakes easily with a fork.
  3. In a large nonstick skillet on medium-high, heat remaining 1⁄2 teaspoon oil. Add bok choy, cover, and cook 3 to 4 minutes.
Plate of Herbed Chicken Meatball Marinara with Zoodles & Pesto is a gut-healthy recipe
Photo: Beata Lubas

Herbed Chicken Meatball Marinara with Zoodles & Pesto

Makes 4 servings

To help bulk up this recipe and provide some carbs, we recommend adding 8 ounces of pasta. Go for whole-grain or even chickpea-based noodles, which also add protein, important for stabilizing blood sugar and supporting training.

Meatballs

  • 4 oz. cremini mushrooms, halved
  • ¼ cup roughly chopped sweet onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 ½ tsp. avocado oil
  • 1 lb. ground chicken
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 Tbsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1 Tbsp. ground flaxseed
  • 1 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
  • ½ tsp. each sea salt and ground black pepper
  • 3 cups marinara sauce

Pesto

  • 1 cup fresh basil
  • ¼ cup raw unsalted walnuts
  • 1 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon zest plus
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ¼ tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. avocado oil

Zoodles

  • 2 Tbsp. avocado oil
  • 4 zucchini, spiralized
  • Sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  1. Prepare meatballs: Heat oven to 350°F. To a food processor, add mushrooms, onions, and garlic; pulse until minced. In a small nonstick skillet on medium-high, heat oil. Add mushroom mix; sauté for 4 minutes. Transfer to a large mixing bowl; set aside to cool. Wipe out processor.
  2. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment. To mushroom mix, add chicken, egg, Italian seasoning, flaxseed, nutritional yeast, salt, and pepper. Use your hands to thoroughly combine. Scoop out 2-tablespoon meatballs onto prepared sheet. Cover with marinara sauce. Bake for 20 minutes, until cooked through.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare pesto: Pulse all pesto ingredients, except oil, in food processor to finely chop. With motor running, add oil and process 30 seconds.
  4. Prepare zoodles: In a large nonstick skillet on medium-high, heat half of oil. Add half of zucchini and season with salt and pepper; sauté 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and repeat with remaining oil and zucchini. Toss pesto with zoodles then top with meatballs.
gluten-free gut-healthy Blueberry Almond Breakfast Cookies
Photo: Beata Lubas

Blueberry Almond Breakfast Cookies

Makes 6 cookies

Blueberries and banana naturally sweeten these gluten-free cookies, making them a great no-sugar-added breakfast base. We like these with Greek yogurt, which is probiotic- and protein-packed and a creamy complement to any baked good.

  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 Tbsp. ground flaxseed
  • ½ cup almond flour
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • Pinch sea salt
  • ¼ cup blueberries
  • 2 Tbsp. slivered almonds
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Whisk together banana, egg, flaxseed, almond flour, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt. Fold in blueberries. Spoon onto a parchment-lined baking sheet using a 2-tablespoon measure per cookie, making 6 cookies. Sprinkle with almonds. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes, until puffed up and resembling a muffin top.
A tall stack of green banana pancake sandwiches next to glass bowls of chocolate chia seed pudding, two gut health recipes
Left: Green banana pancake sandwiches, right: chocolate chia pudding Photo: Beata Lubas

Green Banana Pancake Sandwiches

Makes 4 servings

Go beyond dinner and incorporate gut-friendly foods throughout your day. The use of green banana flour here makes these not only tasty, but also adds potassium and prebiotic benefits. If you can’t find it (we recommend Amazon), whole-wheat flour is a good substitution.

  • 1 cup green banana flour
  • ½ cup plain unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 banana
  • 1 Tbsp. ground flaxseed
  • 1 tsp. raw apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp. coconut oil
  • ¼ cup almond butter
  • 2 Tbsp. plus 2 tsp. no-sugar-added jam
  1. Add all ingredients except oil to a blender; blend until smooth. In a large nonstick skillet on medium-high, heat 1 ½ teaspoons oil. Add batter, 4 pancakes at a time, using 2 tablespoons batter per pancake; cook for 6 minutes, flipping halfway. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with remaining oil and batter, making 16 pancakes total.
  2. To make sandwiches, spread 1 ½ teaspoons almond butter on top of one pancake and 1 teaspoon jam on another and combine.

Chocolate Chia Pudding

Makes 2 servings

For a pretty presentation, line the jar with banana slices before adding the pudding. Whole-milk kefir is key here as it provides satiating fats and fermented probiotics. And don’t skip the collagen powder: Aging, genetics, environmental pollutants, and nutritional deficiencies deplete collagen; adding it to your diet can help soothe and protect the gut lining and build new tissue. Collagen also acts as a protective covering for body organs like the kidneys and is present in our hair, skin, and nails.

  • 1 cup plain whole-milk kefir
  • ¼ cup ground chia seeds
  • ¼ cup raw cacao powder
  • 2 Tbsp. unflavored collagen powder (such as Vital Proteins)
  • 1 Tbsp. raw honey
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 2 tsp. cacao nibs, for garnish
  1. To a blender, add kefir, chia, cacao powder, collagen, honey, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt; blend until smooth.
  2. Transfer to 2 small Mason jars and place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours to thicken. Garnish with cacao nibs before serving.

These recipes originally appeared in Clean Eating magazine. For more superfood recipes, visit cleaneatingmag.com.