The holidays are a time for soirees, formal dinners, and informal parties galore. With so many opportunities to play the host for family, friends, and co-workers, you have to make the best of the time at hand by planning in advance. Once the holiday decorations are up and the good cutlery is laid out, you need to think about what you are going to serve, too. Holiday finger foods are the perfect appetizers to kick start a hearty meal. So whether you are looking for something to bring to a potluck or to serve healthy probiotic rich foods to your hungry guests during the holidays, finger foods are your go-to winner. Most traditional holiday foods tend to be fattening and loaded with sugar. This holiday season, consider serving holiday finger foods packed with probiotic goodness – your guests and their guts will thank you. Here are a few options to get you started.

Tempeh Tacos

Originally from Indonesia, tempeh has now become a worldwide food phenomenon. This fermented soybean product makes for a tasty meat substitute that packs a high protein and probiotic punch. The process of fermentation reduces the amount of phytic acid in soybeans making it easier for your body to absorb the minerals from your food. It also produces Vitamin B12 that is generally found in meat, fish, and eggs. If you want to add a fun probiotic-rich surprise to your holiday menu, tempeh tacos are a great choice. Sauté tempeh, some taco seasoning, diced onions, and water until cooked. Dress the taco up with this filling, lettuce, beans, guacamole, salsa, and your favorite taco toppings for a crunchy starter your guests will love.

Fermented Cranberry Sauce

Give the traditional cranberry sauce a probiotic twist by whipping up a lacto-fermented sauce instead. Blend fresh cranberries, honey, cinnamon, whey, sea salt, apple or grape juice, and some orange juice together in a food processor. Once you get the right consistency, add orange zest and pour the mix into a canning jar. Leave at least an inch of space free, close the lid tight, and leave the sauce to ferment for at least two days in room temperature. After the fermentation process is done, refrigerate the sauce and it will stay good for two months. The process of fermentation causes some gas buildup inside the jar, so make sure you open the lid slowly.

Sourdough Bites with Honey Mustard Sauce

Make a lukewarm water mixture of butter, salt, sugar, and water. Add this mixture to sourdough starter and flour to make a stiff dough. Store the dough for 2-4 hours in a greased bowl. Bring salted water to a boil, and drop in bite-sized pieces of the dough for about 30 seconds once they rise up to the surface. Bake the bites for 15 minutes till they are golden brown. These sourdough bites are best complemented with probiotic-rich honey mustard sauce. Just whisk together raw honey, smooth Dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, and some kombucha to make a yummy dip.

Spicy Fermented Indian Cauliflower

Press down layers of bite-sized cauliflower pieces, spice mix made of curry powder, chili powder, cayenne pepper, turmeric, garlic, and sea salt in a mason jar. Pour some whey or vegetable starter on top of the layers, fill the jar with water, put the lid on and shake the jar to mix it all up. Unscrew the lid a little and let it rest for 3-5 days at room temperature. Your delicious probiotic veggie is ready to serve.

Baked Sauerkraut Balls

Mix ground meat of your choice, sage, thyme, pepper, sea salt, red pepper flakes, and ground nutmeg. Add sauerkraut and egg to this mixture, and shape it into balls. Bake the sauerkraut balls for 20 minutes, and serve with yogurt-based honey mustard sauce.

Fermented French Fries with Probiotic Hot Sauce

Wash potatoes and slice them into fries with the skin on. Soak the fries in cold water for half an hour, drain and rinse the fries before placing them in a jar with water and salt. Generally, you use 8 grams of salt for every pound of fries. Make sure the potatoes stay dunked in the water and close the lid tight. Keep it air tight for 3 days. Rinse the fries and pat dry thoroughly before deep frying. To make the probiotic hot sauce, chop your favorite hot peppers into rings, add smashed garlic cloves, and top the jar off with room temperature brine made of water and salt. Store this away for 2-3 days, and stir it once a day. Once the mixture turns cloudy and smells sour, blend it until smooth. Your probiotic hot sauce is ready and can be stored for several months in the refrigerator.

Spread Holiday Cheer With Us

Making fermented probiotic-rich holiday finger foods may require some advance planning but the results are well worth the wait. While taking a daily probiotic supplement is a great idea if you want to ensure the health of your gut, these finger foods are packed with enough probiotic goodness to help you tide over the holiday season. Switch the regular sugary eggnog with probiotic eggnog or add a new twist with festive drinks like ginger grapefruit kombucha and cinnamon kefir smoothie to get even the most health-conscious guest on board this holiday season. Keep your gut healthy and reap the benefits of probiotics while you satiate your taste buds.
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