Probiotic & Prebiotic Vegan Mango Lassi
Plant-based yoghurts or, rather, anything as an alternative replacement sours the faces of many. As the founder of Ripple Foods Neill Renninger shared, formulations have undeniably improved, but some plant-based yogurts still have a “gelatinous” and “weird” quality. More frankly and in not mincing words, “some of these products are terrible,” a claim we agree with as avid testers of alternative products. Yet the new market entrant Lavva, a plant- based yoghurt formulated uniquely with the pili nut, offers something that truly delivers on taste and texture. Not only so, they do it also on accessibility and additional health benefits.
What struck me about Lavva personally was its mythical presence in the alternative food space, as the line is made up of only real food ingredients without added sugars or stabilisers such as gums. Each small cup has 50 billion pro- and prebiotics that work synergistically to support digestive health. And nourishing the gut over demonising it as New Year’s resolutions do this time of year is our kind of cup.
What are Prebiotics?
Note: all the bolded & italicised notes are clickable links that lead to the research that supports the statements made in this article.
Lavva uses young plantains for subtle sweetness and body, giving texture and creaminess without having to use stabilizers or thickeners. Plantains are high in resistant starch, a type of fiber or prebiotic that’s resistant to being digested in your stomach and small intestine. Because of this, it makes it intact all the way to your large intestine to be broken down by your gut flora, acting as a powerful prebiotic. There are a variety of food sources of prebiotics—unripe bananas, cooked then cooled white rice, garlic, onions, and chicory root to name a few—which are thought to offer a range of health benefits from weight stability and satiety to increased insulin sensitivity and colorectal cancer protection. It can even improve sleep through improving the non-REM part or the restorative of the sleep cycle.
According to further research, "resistant starch acts more like a prebiotic than a typical starch. A prebiotic is what your good gut bacteria or rather the probiotics eat. So once the resistant starch arrives in the colon, your good bacteria feeds on the starch, producing something called butyrate (butyric acid). Butyrate is a short-chain fatty acid that strengthens your brain and your gut.
A Recipe to Incorporate Pre- & Probiotics
We have a revamped version of the Vegan Mango Lassi featured in the book The Thirlby: A Field Guide to a Vibrant Mind, Body, & Soul. This one incorporates the mango-flavoured Lavva yoghurt, which is available across grocery stores such as Wegman’s, not just mostly-inaccessible specialty health ones.
The original recipe is zero-waste, so feel free to flip to the recipe in the book to make that version instead.
½ a frozen banana, ideally green-skinned, or ½ cup steamed then frozen Japanese sweet potato
1 cup of BPA-free can of coconut milk
Sweetener to taste, we like monk fruit extract or raw honey
1/8th teaspoon of turmeric powder
Blend all ingredients in a high-speed blender and serve to enjoy immediately.