Buddha bowls are fun to prepare and yummy to eat. But when it comes to your well-being, not all meals-in-a-bowl are created equal. While most offer a balanced combination of healthy carbs, proteins, and fats, the best Buddha bowl recipes also serve up a hefty dose of disease-fighting probiotics. Wondering how you can spot the winners? It’s easy. Just look for the Buddha bowl recipes that include fermented vegetables, salsas, and sauces.
Buddha bowls, also called hippie, macro, Yum Yum, or nourish bowls, are plant-based, single-dish meals that provide all the macronutrients your body needs. The reference to Buddha may reflect his bowl-like belly or be reminiscent of a time when generous villagers filled monks’ bowls with whatever foodstuffs were available. Today, however, no one could possibly confuse Buddha bowls with yesterday’s leftovers.
If Instagram or Pinterest are your reference points, then Buddha bowls qualify as beautifully composed edible artwork: finely sliced and diced, colorful foods carefully arranged in a Picasso-like mosaic. However, if your stomach is doing the talking, then a Buddha bowl is simply a good excuse to eat your way through the food pyramid, layer by layer.
All it takes to build a Buddha bowl is a basic knowledge of the important food groups and a little imagination. Start with a wholesome grain (rice, quinoa, millet, or buckwheat). Add lean proteins (tofu, eggs, beans, falafel, or meats), and seasonal vegetables/fruits (sweet potatoes, broccoli, avocado, cucumbers, tomatoes, pumpkin slices). Drizzle with a tantalizing dressing (creamy Green Goddess, nutty Tahini, or a slow-burning sriracha). Top with nuts, seeds, dried fruits or better yet, a spoonful of spiced kimchi or sauerkraut. And voilà! You’ve created the culinary version of heaven in a bowl.
Fermentation is a natural process that preserves foods and infuses them with a distinctive tanginess and zest. More importantly, a by-product of fermentation is the growth of helpful bacteria, known as probiotics. Probiotics improve our body’s immune function and help regulate our weight, as well as contribute to our digestive, heart, and mental health. Every fridge should be generously stocked with a wide-ranging selection of these digestive superfoods, as each contains a different type of health-inducing bacteria. Fermented probiotic-rich foods, such as kimchi and sauerkraut, harbor billions of beneficial microbes that strengthen your gut’s microbiome. A healthy gut helps break down foods, making essential minerals and vitamins more bioavailable, while at the same time discouraging the growth of bad bacteria that can lead to a slew of autoimmune diseases.
Whether you’re new to the Buddha bowl scene or just looking for a way to change things up, you’ll want to check out the web’s best Buddha bowl recipes captured below. Shared by some of our favorite chefs and food bloggers, each carefully curated bowl features a particular nutrient-dense, probiotic-rich fermented food that’ll do wonders for your gut, as well as your taste buds.
Bowls with Kimchi – High in dietary fiber and low in calories, kimchi is a traditional Korean side dish of fermented vegetables that supports your body’s absorption of essential vitamins, calcium and iron. At wildbrine, we rely on a wholly natural process called wild fermentation to prepare our fish-free and gluten-free Japanese and Korean kimchi toppings and sides. Organic, garden-fresh veggies, such as napa cabbage, daikon radish, carrots, and horseradish root, are infused with ginger, garlic, chili peppers, orange peel, and other spices to create unique Asian-inspired flavor profiles.
Bowls with Sauerkraut – German for “sour cabbage,” sauerkraut has long been a staple in many Central and Eastern European cuisines. High in antioxidants and low in calories, sauerkraut is a good source of dietary fiber and essential vitamins and minerals. Our unpasteurized wildbrine sauerkraut is raw, completely vegan, and gluten-free with flavor combinations you’re absolutely going to want to try: Caraway Apple, Jalapeno Lime, and Dill & Garlic.
Bowls with Sriracha – Often used as a condiment in Thai and Vietnamese cuisine, sriracha is a hot sauce that pairs well with a wide assortment of foods, including eggs, meats, fish, and veggies. Sugar-free, vegan wildbrine srirachas are made from fresh, organic pureed veggies, fresno peppers, garlic and tomatillos.
While delicious is good, delicious and healthy is even better. So, as you continue your search for the best Buddha bowl recipes, keep an eye out for bowls that highlight the nutritional and probiotic value of fermented foods. Feeling good is a process that begins with the food you eat. Remember, happy gut, happy you!