Probiotics is derived from the Greek “probios” which means “for life”. Today the Food and Agriculture Organization / World Health Organization defines probiotics as live microorganisms that confer health benefits on the host when taken in adequate amounts. Probiotics can colonise the gastrointestinal tract and help to maintain healthy intestinal flora by increasing the numbers of beneficial microorganisms. Probiotics also produce numerous anti-biotic, anti-tumor, anti-viral, and anti-fungal substances, and is being studied as an alternative solution to antibiotics in view of the increasing spread of antibiotic resistance. Importantly, the benefits of probiotics, as “living foods,” can only be reaped in the raw state, as cooking and heat destroys the bacteria.
I used probiotic powder as a starter for many fermented recipes, such as coconut yogurt and cultured dairy-free cheese. You could use any brand of probiotic capsule, but they should contain the bacteria of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species. These are the principal colonic bacteria that account for the health benefits of yogurt.
Alternative options to probiotic powder for fermentation are finished water kefir, plain kombucha, sauerkraut or kimchi brine, rejuvelac or the ‘whey’ of store-bought dairy free yogurt. Be creative, explore and use what you have available!« Back to Glossary Index