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Unlock the Secret to a Happy, Healthy Gut

By Dylan Bailey, MS Candidate

A Happy, Healthy Gut

Here at Libby’s, we understand the importance of enjoying family meals together, and a crucial component of that is having a happy and healthy gut. After all, can you truly enjoy a delicious meal with loved ones if your GI system is out of whack? We think not. Although this issue is now being researched and discussed more openly, most of us still remain in the dark about how we can improve it. That changes today! Read on to learn the key to unlocking a healthy gut.

Let’s start with the basics. Your gut flora – scientifically speaking – is the complex and diverse community of microorganisms that live in your digestive tract. The tract is home to some 39 trillion bacteria, which is more than the number of cells that make up the human body! These invisible heroes are vital to a happy, healthy gut, and can have huge impacts on your overall health.

So, who are these heroes? There are three types of functional substances you should know about:  

Sauerkraut, cucumber pickles and yogurt


  • Prebiotics are foods with “non-digestible” components that help strengthen and grow your gut flora. Essentially, they’re food for your gut. Examples of prebiotics include vegetables—like corn or peas—as well as whole wheat, grains and fruits, like apples or bananas.


  • Probiotics, on the other hand, are the live bacteria that can be ingested as part of whole foods (like in yogurt or sauerkraut) or even in supplements. They play a major role in helping us enjoy all the scrumptious meals we eat by fighting off diseases and assisting in digestion.


  • What do you get when you combine prebiotics and probiotics? The answer is simple: synbiotics! These bacteria combine both pre- and probiotics and stimulate the healthy bacteria in your large intestine.

Get Happy, Gut Happy

Pork, Sauerkraut & Potato Skillet Supper


Fortunately, properly nourishing your gut can be simple, budget-friendly and most importantly, tasty! Set yourself on a path towards optimal gut health with this recipe for savory and wholesome Pork, Sauerkraut & Potato Skillet Supper. Made with Libby’s® Potatoes and Libby’s® Sauerkraut, the dish combines apples, sauerkraut, and potatoes, providing both food and new friends for your existing gut flora community. From our table to yours, we wish you happy mealtimes – and happy gut health! 

Delicious & Quick Recipes for Oktoberfest Entertaining

Labor Day has come and gone, but don’t unpack your Halloween decorations just yet – there’s another seasonal event to celebrate first: Oktoberfest! Oktoberfest is the world’s largest Volksfest (aka beer festival and travelling funfair), held annually in Munich, Germany and celebrated in smaller capacities in cities around the world and across the United States. Oktoberfest festivities typically run from mid or late September to the first weekend in October and feature traditional Bavarian drink, food and entertainment. Can’t make it to Munich (or your closest local Oktoberfest celebration) this year? Not to worry – we’ve got three super easy Volksfest-inspired recipes to help you create that Bavarian magic at home.

Succulent Supper 

Sauerkraut (finely cut, fermented cabbage) and potatoes are two major staples in Oktoberfest cuisine. Grab a few cans each of Libby’s® SauerkrautandWhole White Potatoes to make this Pork, Sauerkraut & Potato Skillet Supper. It’s a hearty, succulent one-pot meal that keeps for up to a week in the fridge. Make an extra big batch and stretch out your Oktoberfest celebrations over multiple days. You’ll be just like revelers in Munich, where festivities last from 16 to 18 days.

Super Speedy Sauerkraut

Tight on time this Oktoberfest season? The solution is in this Skillet Ham and Sauerkraut, an authentic and delicious seven-ingredient dish that can be pulled together in less than 30 minutes – no joke! Libby’s® Sauerkraut plays the starring role alongside juicy ham and softened apples. (Fun fact: apples play a big role in Oktoberfest entertaining as well, both in savory dishes like this and in sweet desserts!).

Sausage Symphony 

Yet another star ingredient in Oktoberfest dining? Sausage. Instead of eating the meat by itself—which is how it’s usually consumed at Oktoberfest festivals—combine it with your favorite Libby’s® products in a veggie-laden stew! This Vegetable Sausage Soup brings together a delectable combo of spices (think: oregano, basil and marjoram), healthy veggies (we’re talking Libby’s® Cut Green Beans, Sliced Carrots, Whole White Potatoes green peppers) and of course, sausage, for a meal that’s bottom-of-the-bowl-licking-good. Freeze leftovers and enjoy the taste of Oktoberfest throughout the year!

Hungry Minds: The Best Brain Foods

By Kristin Kessler, RD

Food can feed your belly, food can feed your soul, but did you also know that food can feed your brain? While an overall healthy diet is important to keep your brain functioning at top speed, certain foods can boost brain function. Try some of our favorite brainy foods to make sure you’re getting all of the nutrients your hungry mind needs.


Opt for Omega-3 Fatty Acids


With all of the positive press, it should come as no surprise that foods containing a high amount of omega-3 fatty acids are number one on this list! Feed your brain with this light and refreshing Salmon & Dill Green Bean Salad, perfect for warm summer nights. If you’re not a salmon fan, substitute another fatty fish such as mackerel or tuna. If you’re a vegetarian or don’t like fish, pick up flaxseed oil or walnuts during your next trip to the grocery store.

Eat Probiotic-Rich Foods


Have you ever heard of the gut-brain connection? It may sound like something from a science fiction movie, but recent research has taught us that our gastrointestinal system and brain are much more connected than we thought. Keep your intestines happy and healthy with gut-friendly bacteria called probiotics, which can be found in fermented foods such as yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut and miso. For your next dinner, try out this Chickpea and Kraut Pasta Toss. To maximize intake of probiotics, avoid heating the sauerkraut too much or serve it on the side at room temperature. Your gut and brain will thank you!

Whole Grains for the Brain

You can literally feed your hungry mind by opting for whole grains throughout the day. The brain’s favorite supply of energy comes in the form of glucose. Whole wheat bread or pasta, brown rice and oatmeal are rich in whole grains and release glucose slowly into the bloodstream, helping you to keep you feeling happy and mentally alert throughout the day. The brown rice in this Creamy Coconut & Veggie Brown Rice Pilaf with Honey Roasted Pecans will help keep you sharp as a tack.

For the Love of Lunch

Who has time for a delicious and inspiring lunch with everything else you need to accomplish in a single day? Whether you’re taking care of the kids, running errands or dashing around an office, it’s easy to find yourself in a “lunch rut.” Fortunately, with a few small tweaks you can take your mid-day meal from disinteresting to delightful!

If you’re tired of turkey sandwiches, try…

Grilled Turkey Reuben Wraps!

The traditional corned beef and sauerkraut deli sandwich, the Reuben, gets a modern update as a wrap. Homemade Russian dressing and Libby’s® Sauerkraut give it extra punch – use leftover roasted turkey in place of the deli turkey, if you desire.

If you need a change from Chicken Caesar Salad, try…

Kale and Black Bean Salad with Avocado-Caesar Dressing!

This salad is packed with super foods to keep you going all day long. Libby’s® Organic Black Beans provide the protein, kale covers the vitamins, and avocado has the healthy fats!

If you can’t stop snacking, try…

Sweet Pea Dip!

Many people find themselves munching throughout the day instead of eating a real meal at lunch-time. Surround yourself with convenient and healthy snacks. Just a few simple ingredients like Libby’s® Sweet Peas and fresh lemon juice create this delicious, quick dip, perfect for dunking fresh veggies and pita wedges!

How do you combat the lunch-time blues? Share your favorite lunch tips and recipes with us on Facebook or Twitter!

Building A Better Burger

It’s officially mid-summer, the peak time for beach weekends, outdoor family activities and backyard barbeques. Summer grilling doesn’t need to consist of plain old hamburgers. Adding veggies to classic barbeque dishes is a great way to elevate flavor and add extra nutrition. Your kids may not even notice the healthy additions!

Before your next big cookout, check out these recipe ideas for building a better burger this summer.

Bring on the Black Beans

Black beans are fiber-rich, which means they will help keep your appetite satisfied for longer and are a healthy alternative to meat. Black bean patties aren’t just for vegetarians; even meat-lovers will enjoy this dish when topped with traditional condiments and a fresh bun. Use two cans of Libby’s® Organic Black Beans from Food Network personality Sandra Lee’s Black Bean Burger recipe.

Crazy About Corn

Have you ever considered adding canned corn to your burger patty? Mix corn with your favorite seasonings such as salt and pepper and onions, and add into your patty mixture for a new spin on a classic dish. This recipe is equally delicious for beef, turkey and black bean patties.

Pile on the Toppings

If your burgers are typically dressed with only ketchup and mustard, add some more veggies, fruit and herbs for a pop of flavor and tasty texture. Libby’s® Crispy Sauerkraut adds a bit of crunch and zest to a juicy burger. Other unique combinations include feta and fresh dill or avocado, lime juice and cilantro.

Australian Inspiration

Did you know that beets are a common burger topping in Australia? Take a note from our friends down under and try adding this super food to your meal. Truly authentic Aussie Burgers will also be topped with a fried egg, but you can also try a gourmet variation such as Libby’s® Sliced Beets and goat cheese.