Recipe: Meno-Loving Rich Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls

Meno loving Rich Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls

One of the common – we won’t call it a sign – side effects of peri and post-menopause is a craving for chocolate for many women. It’s a bit like that chocolate craving some of us used to get prior to our period!

Traditional chocolate is often sugar-laden and if you’re a regular here, you’ll know I’m often banging on about how sugar can play havoc with our meno signs. In my defence, it’s for good reason.

That’s why I’m sharing a deliciously rich recipe for chocolate peanut butter balls with you.

They’re not guilt-free so they are a treat and not meant to be eaten in one go LOL. 😀

Their true beauty is that they won’t cause hormonal havoc for you.

Why Do We Get Cravings?

During peri/menopause our bodies have an even greater need for good nutrition. More antioxidants, more vitamins, more minerals, and if we’re not getting enough – or we’ve got low blood sugar levels due to lack of food (particularly if you’re attempting to lose weight via a low calorie diet) – it can lead to cravings.

And if we succumb to that sugary snack it can trigger everything from hot flushes to anxiety to joint aches and that old chestnut – weight gain.

Why Sugar & Peri/Menopause Don’t Mix

I know it’s hard to bypass it if you love it – but sugar really isn’t your friend through peri/menopause.

It can play havoc with insulin, which is a hormone that’s a major player during peri/menopause. As we move through perimenopause and our estrogen and progesterone levels decline, we may become more insulin resistant which disrupts our blood sugar levels, and as insulin is our fat storing hormone this insulin resistance contributes to weight gain. As well as that sugar can cause insulin spikes which lead to hormonal imbalances and set off unwanted signs like insomnia, night sweats and all of the ones we’ve mentioned above.

Why Dark Chocolate & Peri/Menopause Do Mix

There’s been lots of info around and about for quite some time now about the health benefits of chocolate but let’s be clear. This is dark chocolate, not the milky kind. The dark chocolate that comes from cocoa is packed full of antioxidants, which is something our nutrient-craving meno bodies love.

The good news? Dark chocolate (with low or zero sugar) can actually improve our meno ride by helping to reduce our stress levels, improving blood flow to the heart via flavanols and making us feel genuinely happier due to potentially increasing serotonin.

The recommended serving of dark chocolate is two small squares per day.

I’ve discovered an excellent version at the supermarket. It’s made in Australia and is called Well Naturally No Sugar Dark Chocolate. It contains 70% cocoa, is sweetened with stevia (so you won’t get those insulin spikes refined sugar causes) and it’s gluten-free. You can buy it here.

Well Naturally No Sugar Chocolate

Now onto the recipe! It’s so simple.

Adapted from Ruled.Me.

I used stevia as a sweetener, but you could use erythritol as Ruled.Me did.

Rich Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls

Makes approximately 10

Meno loving Rich Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls

Ingredients:

  • 6 tblsp peanut butter
  • 6 tblsp cacao powder
  • 4 tsp almond flour
  • 2.5 tsp stevia
  • 1 tblsp olive oil
  • Coconut for rolling

Method: 

  1. Measure all of the ingredients into a bowl.
  2. Depending on the temperature it may pay to soften the peanut butter by sitting it in a bowl in hot water first – this makes blending easier.
  3. If the mixture isn’t blending well, add drops of olive oil until you have the desired consistency. You don’t want it too runny.
  4. Pop into the freezer for an hour.
  5. Remove from freezer and taking teaspoonfuls roll in your (lovely clean) palms into balls.
  6. Drop each ball onto a plate of shredded coconut and roll to cover.

Enjoy!

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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.