I loaded up this gut health forward vegan queso with prebiotics, namely resistant starch. Resistant starch isn’t digested in the small intestine so it makes it all the way to the large intestine where it’s then fermented, feeding our good bacteria and increasing microbial diversity. People on the microbiome forums I read that eat ridiculous low carb/keto diets see massive improvements by just adding even a teaspoon of potato starch to their diet everyday.
While this queso is pretty healthy, above all it’s just super, super tasty and incredibly satisfying. A large portion of my diet growing up was some form of chips + cheese so I’m really familiar with all sorts of quesos and this one is perfect, something you’d still finish the whole bowl of even if it were unhealthy because it’s just that good. Burton said just one bite makes his stomach feel instantly better. I serve this alongside cassava flour tortillas (also really high in resistant starch!) which are mind-blowingly good fresh.
The western diet is starving our microbiomes, which run exclusively on fiber, leading to dysbiosis (an imbalance where bad bacteria takes over) and increasing our susceptibility to inflammatory diseases, insulin resistance/type 2 diabetes, hypertension, a weakened immune system, Alzheimer’s, allergies, liver disease, autoimmune diseases and anxiety. 95% of Americans don’t get enough fiber – and that’s just at the recommended daily value of 25g per day! That is already ridiculously low considering humans evolved over millions and millions of years eating 100g per day, and it’s only been in the last blink of an eye that we’ve been consuming next to no fiber whatsoever. When ramping up your fiber intake, it’s best to do so slowly. Bloating/discomfort/gas is a sign that you consume so little fiber it’s now foreign to your body. Some tips for going from ~15g a day closer to 70g+ is to consume digestive bitters before and after a meal, prepare your food with lots of spices like ginger, fennel, mustard seed and chase your meal with a cup of peppermint or licorice tea.
Plant diversity is the key to a healthy gut! Aim for at least 30 different plant varieties per week!
Gut Health Vegan Queso
(serves 5 well)
1 cup boiled potato
3/4 cup raw cashews
1/2 cup oats
2-2 1/2cups of boiling water, depending on how thick you want it
1/4 cup diced roasted hatch chilis (or any pepper of choice)
3 tbsp nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp cumin
1-2 tsp chili powder
1-2 tsp smoked paprika
2 tbsp tapioca or potato starch
2 tsp salt
2 tbsp ground flax
1 tbsp light miso
*for a lower fat/higher fiber version, you can replace some of the raw cashews with an extra oats
*to triple the resistant starch in potatoes, boil then cool overnight in the fridge. I like to make a huge batch at once to grab from throughout the week
Add all ingredients to a blender cup and blend until smooth, at least 1 minute. Serve immediately.
Cassava Flour Tortillas
(makes 12 street taco sized tortillas)
1 cup cassava flour
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
2/3 cup plus 2 tbsp warm water
Mix the dry ingredients then pour in the warm water and mix well, forming a tight dough ball. Roll a small piece, slightly less than 2 tbsp, into a ball. Press using a tortilla press between two pieces of parchment paper, then cook over medium heat 1 minute per side in a skillet with no oil.