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27 Vegan Gut Healing Recipes

By Lora O’Brien

We’ve all heard the phrase: listen to your gut. It normally refers to going with your intuition, but let’s apply it to your physical health, too. If you’ve been feeling somewhat sluggish lately with indigestion, tummy aches or bloating, it may well be your gut telling you something is a little off.

Why our digestive health is super important

Here’s a weird fact: we are only 10 percent human! Ninety percent of our cells are non-human, microbial cells. Since our diet influences our microbes, it’s not so much ‘we are what we eat;’ it’s more like: ‘we are what we feed’.

If you’ve been having some tummy trouble, the good news is that you can cultivate a new microbiota, a.k.a. gut flora – in just 24 hours, by changing what you eat. And if you’re vegan, the news is even better: gut bacteria really flourishes on colourful, plant-based foods.

Healthy gut bacteria are like little office managers in our bellies: they help our bodies digest and absorb nutrients, synthesize certain vitamins, and rally against intruders, such as influenza and toxic cancer-forming carcinogens. And as if that wasn’t enough, in addition to boosting our immune system, they also maximise the nutrient gain from every single thing we put into our bodies and send messages to our brain and that helps regulate our metabolism. You can pretty much bet that when you see a morbidly obese person, their gut bacteria are essentially non-existent.

What to look out for

When you neglect your gut, you also neglect your overall health, as the functioning of the gut affects many different areas of your body. You may find you develop skin conditions such as eczema, acne and psoriasis, and even your hair can become dry and thin. Another way you can tell if your gut is in need of a little TLC is if your energy levels are suffering: when the bacteria find it hard to digest and absorb nutrients into your bloodstream, you can experience symptoms such as fatigue, tiredness and sluggishness. Some more common symptoms of poor gut health are frequent indigestion, constipation, stomach cramping, gas, bloating, irregular bowel movements and bad breath.

How to cure an unhealthy gut

1. Remove offending foods

Gluten, eggs, dairy, yeast, sugar, processed foods and alcohol are but a few things you should avoid ingesting, as these often irritate the gut. Even worse are genetically modified foods such as soy, corn, papaya (though non GMO papaya is great for the gut), peanuts and specific grains – the fact is that the glyphosate applied to these GMO foods is designed to act as a pesticide by exploding the guts of insects. But guess what? When you eat glyphosate-saturated foods, these kill off your gut bacteria.  

2. Feed your bacteria  

Many people are still under the illusion that they need to consume dairy in order to build a healthy digestive system. But for many, dairy can cause digestive upset, so it’s better to find plant-based probiotic sources instead. There are lots of wonderful gut-healing foods you can enjoy on a vegan diet, such as coconut yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, miso and even vegan probiotic supplements.

3. Learn what foods are good for the body

Many of us are creatures of habit, so it can feel overwhelming changing our diets. But once you’ve removed potentially harmful foods that can spark inflammation, such as processed foods and refined sugar, you’ll need to focus on eating foods that work to heal you. Load your fridge with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, leafy greens and grains that are easy to digest such as gluten-free oats, quinoa and millet. Healthy fats will help sustain your energy levels, and foods such as avocado, chia, hemp seeds, coconut and raw nut butters are rich in these.

4. Get enough rest

You may laugh, but believe it or not, the quality of sleep you get has a big impact on your digestive system. When you sleep, it gives your digestive organs the time to both replenish and restore and detoxify the body to eliminate wastes from the day before whilst you sleep peacefully. Gurgling, gas and bloating are signs you may be not be getting enough sleep at night. You should aim for 8-9 hours of sleep every night, but if this isn’t realistic try to aim for at least 7-8.

5. Manage stress

Stress can have a huge impact on your health and one place that really suffers is your gut. Many of us reach for junk food when stressed, but try to avoid eating at all during these times. Eating when stressed can affect digestions in a negative way, so try to manage stress in an efficient way. Gentle exercise is also a good way to help your bowels move, but even some calming exercises such as yoga and meditation can help to boost your mood. When you do eat, take the time to only eat; don’t be munch away mindlessly whilst sat at your desk working or whilst you’re on the go. Setting aside time each day to eat and see how much better you feel for doing so.

6. Fast before breakfast

The more time you give your gut to rest, the better. So eat something light at dinner time, and make it early. Try to give yourself 12-14 hours of fasting – that means if you have dinner at 7pm, eating breakfast at 9 will give your belly lots of time for the mitochondria that live in there to clean up all the toxins in   your gut and boost your immune system before they get busy digesting again.

Basics to buy

Some stuff you’ll need to have on hand if you want to start making vegan gut healing recipes are:

Kombucha Scoby Live Culture – to make kombucha tea.

Probiotic capsules – to make coconut yogurt.

Tempeh – best to buy fresh, but if you can’t find it in your area, you can order it online.

Miso paste – perfect for creating a vegan version of ‘bone broth’.

27 Vegan Gut Healing Recipes

1. Turmeric Tonic

Turmeric is a natural anti-inflammatory and is a great ingredient to add to recipes to help heal your gut, whilst ginger helps aid digestion. Both turmeric and ginger have been used within  Ayurvedic medicine and Indian cooking for thousands of years. This warm turmeric milk is a popular home remedy in the subcontinent.

Get the recipe here.

2.  Berry Beauty Smoothie

I always know when I’ve neglected my gut because my skin lacks life; that’s when I pull out my Vitamix and whip up a beauty-boosting smoothie, much like this recipe. The hydrating coconut water and romaine lettuce will give your skin a boost of moisture, whilst also helping to aid your digestion with helpful enzymes. The berries and kale also add fibre, which is fabulous for digestive support.

Get the recipe here.

3. Easy Two Ingredient Coconut Yogurt

Yogurt is a really great way to maintain gut health. This recipe has just two ingredients; coconut milk and probiotic capsules. Once combined, you allow the yogurt to activate for 48 hours and you’re left with a thick, tangy yogurt that’s creamy, probiotic-rich and most importantly, gut healthy!

Get the recipe here.

4. Apple Banana Smoothie

Bananas work to maintain harmony among microbes in the bacterial community, known as phyla. This is one reason bananas are a standard prescription for an upset stomach. Bananas may also reduce inflammation, due to high levels of potassium and magnesium. To make this vegan, just replace the yogurt with the coconut yogurt recipe, above.

Get the recipe here.

5.  Banana Flax Turmeric Overnight Oats

Once again, the banana in this recipe can help reduce inflammation and rolled oats (use gluten-free) are an energising  carbohydrate whilst providing gut-friendly fibre. Flaxseed and almond milk provide healthy fats, and the yogurt gives you probiotics, while the turmeric tops it off with its  anti-inflammatory and healing properties.

Get the recipe here.

6.  Sweet Miso Porridge

Think miso is just for those savoury dishes? Nope! Adding sweet miso to dishes like porridge adds a natural hint of salted caramel, which works super well when paired with sweet fruits such as banana and pear. This porridge is a really great way to use miso in your dishes, and add in some nuts such as pecans, walnuts or almonds for an even bigger health boost.

Get the recipe here.

7. Vegan Baked Buckwheat Banana Pancakes

Who doesn’t love a stack of delicious pancakes? These are great for gut health because they’re made using a naturally gluten-free grain, buckwheat –   and there’s zero dairy or eggs added in! And instead of being sweetened artificially, they get their sweetness from fruit – healthy AND tasty! If you’re on a candida-free diet, nix the syrup and add berries on top instead.

Get the recipe here.

8.  Gluten Free Vegan Buckwheat Bread

Bread can be a nightmare if you suffer with digestive issues, and it can cause conditions such as IBS to flare up, which can be a real pain, literally! But gluten-free bread is actually pretty easy to make. This recipe uses buckwheat flour, chia seeds, almond meal and apple to stimulate digestion. Simply toast the bread and top with whatever you desire! My personal fave? Chia seed jam, yum!

Get the recipe here.

9. 3 Ingredient Sauerkraut Salad

This simple vegan sauerkraut salad is a staple side dish in Eastern Europe and Asia. It’s not only got loads of flavour, but also health benefitting, probiotic qualities. This super juicy and super crunchy salad can easily be used as a great sandwich filler or as an ingredient in a super healthy Buddha bowl.

Get the recipe here.

10. Quinoa & Vegetable Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

Though you may assume the contrary, beans have long been well known to assist gut health. Here, Portobello mushrooms are stuffed with a mixture of quinoa, black beans and vegetables before being topped with a  chimichurri sauce. It takes next to no time to make, and will leave you feeling truly satisfied.

Get the recipe here.

11.  Napa Cabbage Kim Chi

Kimchi is a staple in Korean cuisine, and is something that accompanies most meals. It’s basically fermented vegetables that are spiced with Korean hot pepper powder, garlic and other seasonings. It can be made with almost any vegetable, but napa cabbage is a popular choice. Serve it with salads, in sandwiches – however you like!

Get the recipe here.

12. Quick Green Goddess Fig Nourish Bowls

This green goddess salad has lots of gut healing foods in it, such as leafy greens, cabbage, apples and nuts. Nourishing bowls like this are a great way to pack in lots of goodness, and the sweetness of nature’s candy – the fruit and figs – really steal the spotlight.

Get the recipe here.

13. Veggie Packed Soup

If you suffer from IBS, then this recipe is a great way to nourish and heal your body whilst being kind to your digestive system. Quinoa bulks this soup out and adds nutrition, whilst lots of other ingredients add to its delicious, savoury flavour. Of course, you can switch around some of the ingredients to suit your taste buds!

Get the recipe here.

14. Easy Baked BBQ Tempeh

Never heard of tempeh? It’s a savoury patty made of fermented soybeans. When you buy it plain, you can marinate it and pretty much make it taste the way you want – kinda the same situation with its cousin, tofu. Due to its fermented nature, tempeh contains probiotics which will give a boost to both the gut and immune system. This BBQ tofu is delicious on its own, tossed into a salad or used in wraps.

Get the recipe here.

15. Kimchi Hummus

Looking for new and exciting ways to enjoy kimchi? Why not turn it into hummus?! This is a simple dish with only 5 ingredients, and you can whip it up any time in about 10 minutes. Use it as a dip, or in sandwiches and burgers for a boost of flavour.

Get the recipe here.

16. Kimchi Bowl with Spicy & Sesame-Scallion Wild  Rice

This bowl is salty, spicy and savoury. The soft, hearty rice works perfectly against the delicious spiciness of the kimchi. This is such a simple recipe to make, but one that will make your body feel both nourished and healed.

Get the recipe here.

17. Noodle Bowl with Crispy Tofu

Think tofu is boring? Just crisp it up with some spices to make it more exciting, and serve alongside noodles, sesame seeds and kimchi, all bathed in a gut-healing miso based vegetable broth.

Get the recipe here.

18. Mom’s Sauerkraut Avocado Sandwich

Black German pumpernickel bread isn’t easy to find, but it’s well worth it – it should be gluten free, and high in fibre. Fill it with some hot, probiotic rich sauerkraut and creamy avocado, and you’ve got yourself one hell of a delicious sandwich!

Get the recipe here.

19. Lemony Quinoa with Turmeric

Quinoa is wonderful on its own, but if you’re looking to give it a new lease of life, you need to try this recipe for a burst of fresh, new flavour – namely curry, turmeric, cumin and lemon. You could eat this on its own or serve it as a side dish. Either way it’s delicious, and will taste just as good as leftovers the next day.

Get the recipe here.

20.  Gut Healing Vegan ‘Bone Broth’

Who needs an actual bone broth when this vegan broth provides vitamins, zinc, essential amino acids and prebiotics? In fact, there are many reasons why this is even better than a bone broth – just take a look right here to see why. There’s tons of flavour thanks to the Shiitake mushrooms, fibre in the spinach, and good fats due to the coconut oil.

Get the recipe here.

21.  Tempeh Hash with Brussels Sprouts

Here’s the perfect gut-healing brunch recipe: Yukon potatoes are hashed until crispy and golden, and are them mixed with the sprouts and probiotic tempeh that’s been marinated in a smoky tahini, maple and dijon sauce. Delish!

Get the recipe here.

22. Creamy Sweet Potato Noodles with Garlic Tempeh & Kale

Sweet potatoes are not only incredibly delicious, they’re a great source of fibre, too. This recipe also includes kale, which is packed with nutrients including vitamins A, C, E, and K, as well as folate, potassium, sodium, and magnesium. Throw in some garlic tempeh, a fermented food that’d loaded with probiotics, and this bowl will truly nourish you from the inside out.

Get the recipe here.

23. Vegan Jota

This warming soup is more like smoky bean and sauerkraut hot pot. It’s super simple to make, and the perfect hearty meal to make in minutes. This recipe is also great if you’re new to the wonders of sauerkraut, and not quite daring enough to eat it on its own.

Get the recipe here.

24. Chili Garlic Cauliflower

I love replacing rice with cauliflower ‘rice’! It’s not only healthy, but it’s oh-so-easy to make (simply pulse cauliflower down until it reaches a rice texture). It’s also easily seasoned to really bring it to life. Here, the cauliflower is cooked in a nut milk and then a creamy chili and garlic sauce is drizzled on top. Perfection!

Get the recipe here.

25.  Fermented Unicorn Zebra Cheesecake

How fantastic do these look? They almost look too good to eat. You probably think a recipe like these is packed full of all kinds of nasty ingredients, but it’s actually the opposite! There is so much goodness in this recipe, and the cheesecake filling is made from fermented cashew cheese – which is great for gut health!

Get the recipe here.

26. Raspberry Kombucha Tea

Kombucha is great for supporting healthy gut bacteria and has become increasingly more popular over recent years. If you’ve not tried it before, it’s a fermented drink that’s a bit fizzy, and a little sour. Some recipes use cups of sugar to sweeten the kombucha, but it’s not always needed, especially when you use organic fruit like raspberries.

Get the recipe here.

27. Simple Cashew Yogurt

If you’re looking for a gut-healing dessert, this simple yogurt will do the trick. Berries add some sweetness without much sugar, and this recipe is also perfect for anyone who’s not a fan of coconut based yogurt.

Get the recipe here.

Main image: Green Goddess Gut Healing Soup. Get the recipe here.

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