Recipe: Hormone Friendly Raw Chocolate-Almond Cups

almond-chocolate

Did you know chocolate is one of the top cravings for Meno Women? Would you agree? Are you a chocolate fiend?

While that’s OK sometimes, a lot of chocolate these days is filled with not-so-great ingredients. As well as lots of refined sugar which is not kind to our insulin, our waistlines or our hormones. So this makes grabbing the nearest, most inexpensive bar (or block) you can find a pretty bad idea.

I’ve been through periods of doing just that and learned it doesn’t grant me any favours. In fact, I’ve found that since I’ve chosen to ditch refined sugar I feel better and our energy levels are peppier(!). Another bonus? If I don’t go off my good behaviour, my fibromyalgia (or whatever it is) doesn’t flare.

Do you experience the energy lags, brain fog, irritability, depression, anxiety and joint pain that can accompany menopause? These can sometimes be exacerbated by sugary foods and I highly recommend experimenting with giving sugar a miss. The first three weeks aren’t easy, but after that, you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it earlier.

If you want more info read our sugar series here:

The good news is that eschewing sugar doesn’t mean chocolate has to leave your life. Why not try these yummy little delectables? You can have your choccy fix and keep your hormones happy. Win, win!

chocolate is one of the top cravings for Meno-She's Click To Tweet

Prep Time

30 minutes

Cooking Time

60 minutes

Yields

6-8 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw almonds, ground
  • 2 tbsp raw almond butter
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 3 tbsp quinoa flakes, ground
  • 2 tbsp raw honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp fine Himalayan salt
  • 1 cup raw cacao powder
  • ½ cup coconut oil, melted
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Whisk cacao powder into coconut oil in double-boiler until smooth.
  2. Turn off heat and add salt and vanilla extract. Set aside in bowl.
  3. Grind almonds and quinoa flakes in food processor and add to bowl.
  4. Add coconut oil, raw honey, vanilla extract, and salt.
  5. Combine well with a spoon until thick paste forms.
  6. Line small muffin tray with paper cups.
  7. Drizzle one tablespoon chocolate into the bottom of each liner then freeze for 15 minutes or until firm.
  8. Remove from freezer and top with one teaspoon almond mixture then another tablespoon of chocolate.
  9. Return to freezer after 20–30 minutes or until mixture is firm.
  10. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator.

Credit
Used with permission from The Integrative Nutrition Cookbook, 2016
Main image via pixaba

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Post-menopause


This is the time when menstruation is well and truly over, the ovaries have stopped producing high levels of sex hormones and for many ladies, perimenopause symptoms subside.

Estrogen has protective qualities and the diminished levels mean organs such as your brain, heart and bones become more vulnerable. It’s also a key lubricant so your lips may become drier, your joints less supple and your vagina might be drier. In addition, your thyroid, digestion, insulin, cortisol and weight may alter.

At this juncture, a woman might experience an increase in the signs of reduced estrogen but she should have a decrease of perimenopause symptoms. That said, some women will experience symptoms like hot flushes for years or even the rest of their lives.

Perimenopause

Peri = ‘near’

Most females begin to experience the symptoms of perimenopause in their mid-forties. Your progesterone levels decline from your mid-30s but it’s generally from around 40 that the rest of your sex hormones begin to follow suit. 

Perimenopause is a different experience for every woman and some women may barely notice it. The first indicators are usually changes to the monthly cycle. This means that for some ladies, this can be accompanied by things like sore breasts, mood swings, weight gain around the belly, and fatigue as time goes on.

For those with symptoms it can be a challenging time physically, mentally and emotionally.

Importantly, perimenopause lasts – on average – four to 10 years. The transition is usually a gradual process and many women enter perimenopause without realising.