BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

17 September 2014
Accessibility help
Truth About Food

BBC Homepage

In Human Body & Mind:


Contact Us

You are here: BBC > Science & Nature >

The Prebiotics Vs Probiotics Test

The Cowboys' Diet

The cowboys in our probiotic group ate one probiotic yoghurt every day for five days. Alternatively, if you want to follow the prebiotic diet you will need to eat roughly 7g of inulin a day to get your good bacteria working more efficiently.

Foods high in inulin include dandelion leaves, Jerusalem artichokes, chicory, bananas, garlic, onions and leeks. The recipes below were what we feed our cowboys for five days, once a day. It is worth noting that inulin high foods can have a rather gassy effect in the first few days, especially for those unaccustomed to eating foods containing a lot of inulin.

Artichoke soup for four

  1. 25g Onion
  2. 7.5g Flour
  3. 250g Jerusalem artichoke
  4. 1tbs Lemon juice
  5. 7.5g Butter
  6. 70ml Milk
  7. 35ml Cream
  8. Salt and pepper to taste
  9. 50ml Vegetable stock

Wash peel and slice the vegetables, squeezing lemon juice over the artichokes to keep their colour. Melt the butter in a saucepan and toss the vegetables in it for about 5 minutes, with the lid on, shaking to prevent them sticking or getting brown pour on cold stock, bring to the boil and simmer gently until all vegetables are soft and tender. Blend if possible then add the milk mixed to a smooth paste with flour. Bring to the boil, stirring continually. Boil for 5 minutes. 35ml of cream can added after it has cooled slightly.

Inulin content: approx 7.8g per serving

Dandelion leaf salad for four

  1. 210g Young dandelion leaves
  2. 50g Leeks
  3. 1tbs Lemon juice
  4. 1tbs Olive oil

Chop the leaves and leeks, mix together and dress with the lemon juice and olive oil.

Inulin content: 7.9g per serving

Leek and artichoke soup for four

  1. 300g Leeks
  2. 30g Flour
  3. 284mls Milk
  4. Salt and pepper
  5. 100g Jerusalem artichoke
  6. 1 Onion
  7. 30g Butter

Melt butter in a saucepan, stir in the flour and cook for a few minutes, then gradually add the milk, stirring it as it comes to the boil. Add the water and the leeks, artichoke and onions cut small. Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Blend if possible, return to the saucepan, reheat, season and serve. If the soup is too thick, thin it with a little milk.

Inulin content 6.4g per serving – plus two bananas on this day to give 7.4g inulin

Asparagus soup for four

  1. 455g Fresh asparagus
  2. 160g Chopped onion
  3. 50g Butter
  4. 30g flour
  5. 315ml Water
  6. 630ml Hot milk
  7. 4g Salt
  8. 0.8g Ground white pepper

Break off and discard tough asparagus bottoms. Break off tips; set aside. Coarsely chop stalks. Cook over medium heat with onion in butter, salting lightly, for 8 to 10 minutes. When onions are clear, sprinkle with flour. Continue to stir over lowest possible heat 5 to 8 minutes. Slowly add water or stock, stirring constantly. Cook 8 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until thickened. Cool slightly. Blend if possible. Return puree to pan. Add1 teaspoon salt, pepper and heat gently. As soup heats, cook asparagus tips in boiling water until tender, but still very green, about 2 minutes; drain. Add whole pieces to soup.

Inulin content per person 3.1g – serve with garlic bread.

Garlic bread for four

  1. 335g All-purpose flour
  2. 80ml Warm water (45°C)
  3. 10g White sugar
  4. 10g Active dry yeast
  5. 10g Salt
  6. 120ml Warm water (45 ºC)
  7. 30ml Olive oil
  8. 3-1/4 Cloves garlic, minced
  9. 5g Cornmeal

In a medium bowl dissolve sugar in 80ml warm water, stir in yeast and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes in a warm place. Preheat oven to 40 °C. Warm an oven-safe bowl in the oven. Mix flour and salt together. Add the yeast mixture, the 120ml water and the olive oil. Mix until dough ball cleans the sides of the bowl. If dough is too wet add a little flour, or if too dry, add a little more water. Transfer dough to the heated bowl. Cover with a plate or plastic wrap. Let rise for 1/2 hour in a warm place. In a small bowl, combine minced garlic. Set aside. Once dough has risen transfer dough to a lightly floured board. Make an indentation in the dough and place garlic mixture inside. Knead dough 10 times. Bulk of mixture should remain in middle of dough. Form dough into a log or round loaf shape. Sprinkle cornmeal onto greased baking sheet and place loaf on top. Turn oven to 150ºF (65°C) for 2 minutes and then turn off. Let dough rise in warm oven for 1/2 hour, or until light and puffy. Remove loaf and increase oven temperature to 350 º F (175 ° C). Bake bread at 350ºF (175°C) for 30 minutes or until loaf sounds hollow when tapped. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.

Inulin content 2.9g per person



Science Homepage | Nature Homepage
Wildlife Finder | Prehistoric Life | Human Body & Mind | Space
Go to top



About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy