Monday, February 10, 2014

Baby Makers

I have a fun story to go along with todays post. When my husband and I decided we were ready to have kids, I have to admit I was nervous we might have trouble. So, being a scientist, I did some research on how to increase fertility. Regular sleep and moderate exercise of course, and also eating a balanced diet. In addition to those things (which were already a part of our lifestyle) I also found that certain foods were supposed to help. So I started adding them in large quantities to our diet. Once we got pregnant, which didn’t take any time at all, I told my husband what I had been up to. He smiled, told me I was crazy, and said he’d wondered why we were eating so many pumpkin seeds lately. Pumpkin seeds are rich in zinc, which is important for regulating your hormones, sperm production, and ovulation.  Maca root, which you will normally find dried and ground into powder, is thought to balance hormones and promote sexually function such as increased libido and decreased stress.  It is also delicious and tastes reminiscent of peanut butter. Now I don’t really think we got pregnant so quickly because of some pumpkin seeds, but it made me feel more at ease that I was being proactive, and one the greatest factors in fertility is stress management! So if babies are on your horizon then make some of these for you and your significant other for V-day. If babies aren’t on your horizon then make them anyway, but better call them maca cups!

Baby Makers

Gluten free, Vegan
Makes 6 plus extra filling

1 cup raw pumpkin seeds soaked in salt water overnight
3 medjool dates, pitted
2 tbl coconut oil, softened
3 tbl maca powder
1 tbl maple syrup

1/3 rounded cup dark chocolate chips
1 rounded tbl palm shortening

Soak the pumpkin seeds overnight in salted water and then drain and rinse. Put the seeds into a small food processor and blend until the seeds are finely broken up, scrape down the sides as needed. Add the dates , maple syrup, and coconut oil and blend until the dates are incorporated and the mixture is mostly smooth. You will have to stop and scrape down the sides several times. I didn’t worry about getting mine completely smooth but it did take about 10 minutes total to get the texture I liked.  To make the cups, melt the chocolate and palm shortening together. I put mine in the oven for a few minutes then mixed. Line a cupcake pan with 6 liners and add about 1.5 teaspoon of melted chocolate to each. Gently turn the pan to coat the sides about ¼ inch up. Set the pan in the freezer for a few minutes to harden the chocolate. Once hardened scoop about 1 tablespoon of the pumpkin/maca mixture into each cup and press down slightly, but not all the way to the edge. Top each with enough chocolate to cover the filling and tap the pan to smooth. Put them back in the freezer for about 2 hours to firm up. Store in the freezer, the chocolate will be very soft at room temperature.

Notes and Substitutions

  • You will have plenty of filling leftover. I made some ‘truffles’ by rolling the filling into balls and then tossing in cocoa powder. You can also make more cups, eat it straight, or smooth it into a small pan and let it set up in the freezer and then slice it.
  • For the chocolate sauce, you can use coconut oil instead of palm shortening; it will just melt faster at room temperature.

Do you know other fertility boosting foods?

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