The perfect way to celebrate Halloween is to take a bite out of our Vampire Red Velvet Cupcakes. With a farmer cheese frosting and a kefir batter, these fangtastic kefir cupcakes are oozing with flavor. Get your ovens ready and your fangs sharpened because this recipe is one that you won’t want to miss out on.
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.
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp fine salt
- 1 cup Organic Plain Whole Milk Kefir
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp natural red food coloring, plus a drop for the filling
- 2 tsp cider vinegar
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 large egg, at room temp
- One 3-ounce semisweet chocolate bar
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- 1 cup raspberry jam
Farmer Cheese Frosting:
- 4oz cream cheese, at room temp
- 4oz, at room temp Farmer Cheese
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter, cubed, at room temperature
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- For the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
- Sift the flour, granulated sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Whisk together the kefir, oil, natural food coloring, vinegar, vanilla, and egg in another large bowl.
- Add the kefir mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just incorporated. Divide the batter among the cupcake liners. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out with a few moist crumbs, 16 to 18 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from the tin and cool completely on a wire rack.
- Microwave the chocolate and coconut oil together in a small microwave-safe bowl until mostly melted, about 1 minute. Stir, then microwave again until completely smooth, about 15 seconds more.
- Use a small sharp knife to cut out and remove a plug from the middle of each cupcake, making sure not to go all the way to the bottom and leaving a 1/4-inch border around the side (eat the plugs). Brush the holes with the melted chocolate and place in the freezer until the chocolate hardens, about 15 minutes.
- Whisk together the raspberry jam, 1 drop of natural red food coloring, and 1 tbsp water in a small bowl until completely smooth. Spoon 1 tbsp of the jam into each of the chocolate holes; set aside.
- For the cream cheese frosting: Meanwhile, beat the cream cheese and farmer cheese in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Gradually beat in the butter until smooth. Add the confectioners' sugar and vanilla and beat until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Scrape into a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip. Pipe on top of the cupcakes so the jam is covered.
- Poke 2 holes into the frosting on each cupcake using the end of a straw to resemble vampire bites, making sure you hit the cupcake and not the jam-filled hole. Drizzle the remaining jam into the holes to resemble blood.