Bacteria. Not exactly "the other white meat". These little buggers have been stirring up trouble in the human body since creation. And yet, some of them are vital to our survival.
Take acidophilus bifidus, for example. According to Allstarhealth.com, it is just one of many "species of bacteria classified as probiotics, or 'friendly' intestinal bacteria". These good bacteria help to maintain a healthy pH level in your colon, which is important when it comes to keeping bad bacteria, fungi, yeasts and parasites out of your digestive system. Nacie Carson of eHow.com also states that, " Eating a diet that's high in fat and carbohydrates and low in lean meats and dairy products can [...] reduce numbers of the bacteria."
So, what does this mean for you? Certain dairy products, especially yogurt, are made with active bacteria cultures and some are even made with probiotics.
Keep that in mind the next time you have a bowl of müesli for breakfast. Though you can't see it, good bacteria is hard at work to keep you healthy.
Try this treat on for size: it was modified from an old recipe of my mother's to take out a bit of the original fat and substitute more healthy ingredients. It may be cake, but it's cake made with some darn important, microscopic ingredients that might just take the edge off the guilt you feel at having a second slice. Bon Apétit!
Nancy's Yogurt Cake, v. 2.0
3/4 c. brown sugar
1/2 stick of butter
1 ripe banana
2 tsp. vanilla
1 c. vanilla yogurt (preferably made with probiotics)
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. whole-wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 T cinnamon
In a medium-sized bowl, cream together the sugar and butter. Once fluffy and well-blended, mix in the banana, eggs and vanilla. Fold in the yogurt and set aside.
In another bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients until the flour mixture is the consistency of powdered sugar.
Make a well in the center and pour in the banana mixture and combine well.
Bake at 350F in either a 13x9" or two 9" round cake pans for 30-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Unmould from the pan(s) and let cool. If desired fill/top with the following filling:
2 c. powdered sugar
1/4 c. vanilla or banana yogurt
Mix together until sugar has dissolved in the yogurt. Spread between layers and/or drizzle on top of cooled cake.
Sprinkle with 1/2 c. crushed walnuts, if desired.