(An Ayurvedic Exploration)
Last month I made Guinness cupcakes with Bailey’s frosting for my brother’s birthday. In honor of St. Patty’s Day I’m going to share this recipe with all of you fine folk trying to get healthy.
Uhhh… how can I get healthy with Guinness cupcakes?
Technically speaking, you can’t. Not really. The point in highlighting this fun recipe is three-fold:
- Health is individualistic. What is healthy for you is not necessarily healthy for the next person. Ayurveda advises an optimal diet based on the individual’s unique body-mind type, kind of like the DNA of Ayurveda. There is no one ideal body type, one ideal weight, one ideal diet. Optimal health is achieved through individuated, differential routine.
- Foods can be “healthy” or “unhealthy” depending on your health goals and needs. Just like how you may taper your diet depending on your individual needs for certain minerals or vitamins, the same can go for food “qualities” which signify that different foods can be used to address specific imbalances. If you’re trying to achieve a healthy weight (for you!) then incorporating specific spices into your diet may be helpful for you in order to break down the heaviness of excess fat. Conversely, those same spices could be detrimental to an individual who already has an excess of “fire” in the body manifesting as hyper-acidity or skin rashes, for instance.
- You don’t need to be perfect. Consistent moderation versus sporadic extremes will result in more balance in the long run. Also, emotions tie just as much into the state of physical health, if not more, than actual physical factors such as diet and lifestyle. If you’re feeling anxious or constrained in your health regiment with little room for flexibility then you may be doing yourself more harm than good.
In this spirit, don’t kick yourself for indulging in what you have deemed to be unhealthy. Rather, focus on cultivating awareness for what is healthy for you as an individual and finding self-acceptance which enables you to make flexible choices and still feel empowered.
That said, let’s get to this recipe (courtesy of Nook & Pantry Blogspot), shall we?
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and butter or line with paper cups 2 12 count muffin tins.
In a large bowl briefly whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or with a hand mixer, beat the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add one egg and beat until evenly mixed and fluffy, make sure to scrape down the mixer bowl once in a while. Add the second egg and vanilla extract and beat again until light and fluffy.
- Add the sour cream and beat in, then with the mixer running, slowly pour in the Guinness.
- Sift the dry ingredients into the batter and slowly stir the batter until it is evenly mixed and there are no streaks of flour. Make sure to stop the mixer frequently to scrape down the sides and make sure to mix up any flour pockets hidden on the bottom of the bowl.
- Divide 1/4 C of batter into each muffin cup, you’ll get about 20 – 24 cupcakes.
- Bake at 350 degrees F on the middle rack for 20 – 25 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake in the middle of the pan should come out clean. Make sure to rotate the pans halfway through baking. Set on a rack to cool to room temperature before frosting.
- For layer cakes: baking 25 – 30 minutes, rotate the pans around halfway, a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes should come out clean.
In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or with a hand mixer, add the cream cheese, butter, and confectioner’s sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Slowly drizzle in the Bailey’s and beat until completely mixed into the frosting.
The trick with “healthy” eating, as much as it exists as a general concept in Ayurved, is to eat NATURAL food. For instance, cream cheese is not the most natural of foods since it is very much processed. The closer you can get to shopping around the periphery of the grocery store for unprocessed, whole foods and cooking fresh food, the more so you’ll be on a path to balanced health.
Enjoy and Happy St. Patrick’s Day!