Satisfy your sweet tooth on National Chocolate Day with a boost of protein and probiotics by making our Chocolate Chai Cheesecake Bites. The tangy kefir, aromatic chai spices, and a hypnotizing swirl of farmer cheese make these bars a decadent way to warm your soul on this chilly October day. Get your ovens started because this is a dessert you are going to want to devour!
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.
- 9 sheets of graham crackers
- 5 tbsp butter, room temperature
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 4oz (8tbsp) cream cheese
- 4oz (8tbsp) Farmer Cheese
- 1/2 cup Vanilla Whole Milk Kefir
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 large egg white
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp ground allspice
- 1/8 tsp ground cardamom
- 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF and spray an 8×8-inch pan with non-stick cooking spray or line with parchment paper.
- Next, place graham crackers, butter, and cocoa powder into a food processor and process everything together until the mixture turns into a crumble.
- Pour the graham cracker crumble into the 8×8-inch pan and press it into the bottom of the pan until it is evenly spread out.
- Bake the crust for 7 minutes at 350ºF and then remove it from the oven.
- Clean the food processor and then blend the cream cheese, farmer cheese, kefir, and maple syrup in the food processor until smooth.
- Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula and then add the egg white and vanilla. Blend until smooth.
- Next, remove 1/2 cup of the cheesecake mixture from the food processor and set aside.
- Pour the remaining cheesecake mixture over the graham cracker crust. Spread the mixture evenly over the crust.
- Melt the chocolate chips and coconut oil together until smooth.
- Add the 1/2 cup of cheesecake batter that was set aside to the food processor along with the melted chocolate and chai spices. Blend until smooth.
- Add the chocolate cheesecake mixture to the top of the plain cheesecake mixture and create a checkerboard design.
- Take a toothpick and swirl the chocolate cheesecake mixture and plain cheesecake mixture together to create a marble effect!
- Place the bars in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let the cheesecake bars cool.