Great Gut Blog

Ward off the Winter Chill with Chili (and Make Your Gut Happy, Too)!

Posted by Brad Dennis, Ph.D. on

Ward off the Winter Chill with Chili (and Make Your Gut Happy, Too)!

Winter’s definitely here, and with cold temperatures, foods like soup and stew are a great way to warm up from the inside out.

Did you know that homemade chili is packed with prebiotics? Which makes it the perfect go-to recipe for winter; you can stave off the cold weather and feed your gut’s healthy bacteria at the same time!

Neanderthin’s recipe for a meat-based chili is a great place to start…

…but if you really want to up your prebiotic game, here’s how to kick it up a notch.

1lb dried kidney beans
You could use other beans like pinto or black or even use several types for variety. Beans are a fantastic source of both soluble (aka prebiotic) and insoluble fiber, so just by adding beans to chili, you can turn it into a fiber powerhouse that will not only feed your good gut bacteria, but also help to clear out your intestines and colon.

Rinse and check the beans before putting them in a large pot with water to soak overnight. Make sure you add enough water – cover the beans with the water at least 2-3 inches higher than the beans.

The next morning, dump the water (use it to water your houseplants to avoid wasting water) and fill the pot with fresh water, this time a good 4-6 inches above the beans, and put on to boil. Then, let them simmer for 2-4 hours, stirring occasionally. Add more water if needed to keep the liquid well above the level of the beans.

If you have a lot of trouble with gas when consuming beans, then after 3 hours, you can again pour off the water (don’t pour it on your plants, it will be too hot!) and repeat the process of adding fresh water a second time.

Once the beans have started to soften, add the rest of the ingredients:

2 large cans of chopped or diced tomatoes
I like one of each, but go with whatever your preference is in terms of the size of chunks of tomatoes you want

1 or 2 large onions
We’ve talked about onions and how they are one of the best natural sources of prebiotic fiber—and that they retain their full prebiotic fiber effect even after cooked. So pile on the onions in your chili. In addition to the ½ cup cooked in with the meat, add another chopped onion (or two, if you really like onion)

Neanderthin meat mixture

Spices to taste 
Because we’re adding more ingredients, you’re going to need to add more spices to give it that delicious chili taste and kick. How much is up to you – if you like your chili milder, you may find you don’t need to add more at all. If you like a real spicy kick, try doubling the spice amount.

After adding everything to the pot, give it a good stir, and then again let it simmer for at least another 1-2 hours. Stirring frequently is important, as this is when the beans can start to stick to the bottom of the pot, which you don’t want! This is not the time you want to walk away and not check on the pot.

Once the flavors have melded and the beans are at a firmness/softness you like, it’s ready to eat!

Serve yourself up a big bowl – and if you want even more of a prebiotic punch, add a scoop of our GreatGut Prebiotic Fiber! You’ll never know it’s there—your gut will thank you!


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