Magic happens when you bake. You get to create, relieve stress, and share some sweetness with those you love. Release the feel-good endorphins this National Dessert Day by baking our Apple Cider Donut Holes. With sugar, spice, and everything nice (like our kefir and apple cider), this recipe brings the flavors of autumn into your home. Discover how you can make these by scrolling down!
Your Gut Matters
Eating habits also play a role in mental health. Research has shown that probiotic-rich foods decrease anxiety and boost the mood. That makes kefir a great wellbeing tool because it contains 12 live and probiotic cultures. Psychiatrist James Greenblatt explained that “‘the gut is really your second brain. There are more neurons in the GI tract than anywhere else except the brain.’” As research continues to develop, it’s becoming more and more apparent that there is a link between the gut and the brain. What was once suspected as one-way communication (brain to gut) is now understood to be more of a two-way system. Thus, the health of our gut may directly impact the health of our minds.
Prebiotics + Probiotics = a Healthy You
Prebiotics are non-living, non-digestible carbohydrates naturally found in a variety of foods. Your body actually can’t digest prebiotics, so they’re what probiotics feed off of to remain actively working in your digestive system. They help the digestive system by promoting the growth of good bacteria. Prebiotics and probiotics work together in balance to make sure our digestive system stays on track and regular. Research has found that consuming a variety of prebiotic and probiotic food sources may improve your body’s natural functions, including both your immune and digestive system.
With increasing research linking the correlation between probiotics, gut health, and immunity, it’s no secret that the integrity of our gut is vital to our health. Although additional factors such as stress, antibiotic usage, and individual health conditions can contribute to the condition of our gut, a focus on healthy food choices is one of the easiest ways to support the microbiome.
Several studies have shown a strong association between the gut-brain-microbiota. Probiotics introduced to the gut have been found to support immunity, improve allergies, and improve digestion.
Apple Cider Donut Holes
- 1 cup apple cider (reduced to 1/2 cup)
- 1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 and 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup plain Organic Plain Whole Milk Kefir
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 large egg (room temp)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
Cinnamon Sugar Coating:
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- To make the donut holes: Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 24-count mini muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
- Add the apple cider to a saucepan and heat over medium heat. Bring to a boil and allow to boil for 8-10 minutes or until the apple cider has reduced to 1/2 cup. Remove from the heat, pour the apple cider into a bowl, and allow to cool for at least 10-15 minutes.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the cooled reduced apple cider, kefir, brown sugar, egg, vanilla, and melted butter until fully combined. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined.
- Distribute the batter between all 24 spaces of the muffin pan. You can use a piping bag or just use a ziplock bag with the corner cut off.
- Bake at 350°F for 11-14 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the donut holes comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for about 5 minutes. Carefully remove from the pan and transfer to a wire rack to cool.
- To make the cinnamon sugar coating: Add the melted butter to a small bowl and set aside.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the granulated sugar and cinnamon until well combined. Take each donut hole and dunk it into the melted butter, making sure it is fully coated. Then dip it into the cinnamon and sugar mixture, making sure to coat well. Repeat.