Sugar is not your Fertility Friend
I’m sure you will have all heard me say how refined sugar is definitely not your fertility friend. There are many reasons for that, namely that sugar causes inflammation in the body. Sugar can also negatively impact hormone balance. So it’s really important that you cut sugar out of your diet when trying to conceive. That can feel very difficult and so having some alternative sweet treats up your sleeve is really important.
I think that unfortunately, sugar is hidden in so many foods and is such a massive part of our diet, it can be so difficult to cut it out because we are all so addicted to it. Sugar is actually more addictive than cocaine, so sugar is the most consumed addictive substance around the world and it’s wreaking havoc on our health.
The current stats:
Just to put our sugar consumption rise in perspective here are some stats taken from the book called Sweet Poison by David Gillespie (which is a fantastic read if you want to learn more on the subject):
The average inhabitant of the UK was consuming 15lb (about 7kg) of sugar in 1817 per year. By 1955, their intake was almost 110lb (50kg). It’s now estimated to be a staggering 150lb a year which is 20 times as much as those living in the 1800’s!!! no wonder its a massive problem for our health. It’s out of control and definitely out of balance.
Today I thought I’d share two simple recipes for sweet treats you can make at the weekend and then keep in your bag and desk at work to nibble on at those moments when you crave a biscuit or a chocolate bar.
Caroby fruit and nut balls
10 tablespoons of carob powder (65g)
1/4 teaspoon of sea salt
3 tablespoons butter, softened, or coconut oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2-3 tablespoons of raw honey
100g almonds (crispy and activated see notes)
100g pecan nuts (crispy and activated see notes)
50g sunflower seeds (crispy and activated see notes)
50g raisins, sultanas or dried cranberries
Notes: soak the nuts and seeds in double the volume of water overnight or for a minimum of 8 hours, rinse, drain well and then pop in the oven set at the lowest temperature for a minimum of 12 hours to crisp up). You can also use cocoa powder instead of carob, but if you do reduce the butter to 1 tablespoon. You could also do half cocoa and half carob but you may need to adjust the honey as Carob is naturally sweeter than Cocoa.
- Line a baking tray with baking parchment
- Place all the ingredients in the small bowl of a food processor and pulse until roughly chopped
- scoop up single tablespoonfuls of the mixture and shape into balls, then place on the prepared baking tray and chill in the fridge until set. Serve chilled. Store in an airtight container in the fridge or freeze until needed.
1 cup pitted Medjool dates (about 12)
3/4 cup raw cashews
3/4 cup dried blueberries
3/4 cup rolled oats (gluten-free)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon lemon juice
pinch of salt
For the Coconut maple glaze:
3 tablespoons of melted coconut oil
2 tablespoons of maple syrup (bought from a health food shop and ideally organic)
- Add dates, cashews, blueberries, oats, vanilla, lemon juice and sea salt into your food processor and pulse until a dough forms. You may need to stop the machine and scrape the sides once or twice, but this should take about 5mins.
- scoop dough from food processor and roll into small balls using your hands. Freeze for 20-30mins
- In a shallow bowl, mix melted coconut oil with maple syrup
- Roll each ball into the coconut oil and maple mixture and place back in the freezer to harden. Continue to coat the balls and re-freeze until each ball has a gooey glaze. Store blueberry balls in your fridge.