By: Danielle Case
When you start a diet change it can often feel like you have to get rid of all your favorite foods and can only eat salad all the time. I felt a bit like that when I tried to clean up my diet to improve my endo and fertility. I went through weeks of eating quinoa salads, which although can taste nice with a good dressing get a little boring. So I started experimenting with my cooking and trying to cook some of my favorite treats without sugar, dairy, and processed vegan meat substitutes (I’ve been a vegetarian since I was 11). Below are three of my favorite recipes that I’ve adapted from recipes I’ve found along the way to make them friendlier to a fertility/endo diet.
The curry is great because firstly it’s super tasty, secondly its full of a variety of fertility veggies and thirdly it uses coconut milk instead of dairy milk. Win, win, win!
Vegetable Kerala Curry
400g chickpeas/butter beans/black eyed beans
1 tbsp. rapeseed oil
1tsp mustard seeds
2 tsp. cumin seeds
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 tbsp. ginger, peeled and finely chopped
2 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. ground fenugreek
1 tsp. turmeric
1 green chilli, deseeded and chopped
1 large sweet potato, peeled & cut into 2.5cm chunks
1 large carrot, peeled & cut into small chunks
1 cup green beans
¼ cauliflower, cut into florets
200ml vegetable stock
400ml coconut milk
10 curry leaves
1tbsp garam masala
1tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the mustard and cumin seeds. Gently fry for 1 minute. Add the onion, garlic, ginger, coriander, fenugreek, turmeric, chilli and sweet potato and fry for a further 3 minutes until the onion is soft.
Stir in the sweet potato, carrots and green beans. Then add the coconut milk, vegetable stock, and curry leaves.
Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat and cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the garam masala, cauliflower, and chickpeas and cook for another 15 minutes uncovered until the vegetables are tender and the sauce has reduced.
Garnish with green chilli and fresh coriander.
Ginger and Oat Cookies with a Chocolate Drizzle
Makes about 20 cookies
125g coconut oil
175g coconut sugar
2 tbsp. maple syrup
1 chia egg (1 tbsp. of ground chia seeds mixed with 3 tbsp. water, let it sit for 5 mins for the seeds to soak up the water)
½ tsp. bicarbonate of soda
Pinch of salt
¾tsp ground ginger
3 finely shredded balls of stem ginger (drained)
150g wholemeal buckwheat flour
150g rolled oats
70g dark chocolate
Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 4, 180°C, fan 160°C. Line 2-3 baking sheets with non-stick baking paper.
Melt the coconut oil and stir in the sugar. Then mix in the maple syrup, bicarbonate of soda, salt, ground ginger, stem ginger and chia egg until all well combined. Then add the flour and rolled oats to form a firm dough.
Divide the dough into 20 and roll into rounds. Space them out on the trays and bake for 12-15 minutes, until lightly golden. Leave on the trays to firm up for 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.
Melt the chocolate in a bowl suspended over a pan of barely simmering water (do not let the bottom of the bowl touch the water). Drizzle the biscuits with the melted chocolate, using a spoon, and then place on a cooling rack until the chocolate has set.
Chocolate Almond Milkshake
1 tbsp. almond butter
1 tbsp. raw cacao powder
1 tbsp. hemp powder or seeds
1 tbsp. maca powder
2 tbsp. oats
1 dessert spoon chia seeds
200ml unsweetened almond milk (add a little more or a little less depending on the consistency you like)
Topping: tsp of desiccated coconut
Chuck it all in a blender and blend until smooth. If you’d like it ice cold add a few ice cubes to the mix before blending but use a bit less milk so it is still thick and luscious! Once smooth pour into a glass and sprinkle with the desiccated coconut.
I have developed quite a sweet tooth, my wife loves biscuits and it’s totally rubbed off on me but biscuits you buy in supermarkets are usually gluten based and full of refined sugar. I developed this recipe by cleaning up a recipe I found online. It’s not perfect because it uses coconut sugar which is still sugar at the end of the day so should be eaten sparingly. The difference is coconut sugar still has nutrients in it and has a lower GI rating than regular sugar. If you want to completely avoid any sugar you could use applesauce as a replacement but I haven't worked out how much you’d need, so suggest starting with 100g and taste test it as you go. I love this recipe for breakfast or as a snack after a workout. It tastes like it’s naughty but it’s actually full of goodness and fertility enhancing ingredients like maca which is hormone balancing without containing any hormones. Delicious chocolaty goodness!