Hormone Balancing Chocolate Truffles
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Many women today are suffering from hormonal imbalances. Be it pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS), irregular cycles, mood changes, heavy or painful periods, bloating, loss of libido, acne or unexplained infertility. Hormonal balance can be influenced by many factors: taking a hormonal contraceptive, changes in diet or exercise routines, weight gain or loss, transition into menopause, poorly managed stress and endocrine disruptors in our environment. Along with addressing lifestyle factors, diet is one of the most important tools in bringing your hormones back in to balance.
For healthy hormone balance, your body needs stabilised blood sugar levels. This means including good quality, healthy fats and protein in every meal and snack, and keeping sugar content low. Healthy fats are essential for hormone production and should not be feared. Hormones (both our sex hormones like oestrogen and progesterone and stress hormones like cortisol) are produced from fat. A diet devoid in fat leads to hormonal imbalances that may present themselves with symptoms like: PMS, weight gain/loss, low libido, anxiety, depression, acne, painful periods, irregular periods, fatigue, hair loss and digestive problems.
The first step in addressing hormonal balance is improving your diet by increasing your intake of good quality proteins and fats, along with complex carbohydrates (like sweet potato, quinoa, brown rice). This doesn’t have to mean bland, boring meals! These Hormone Balancing Chocolate Truffles are a perfect snack, packed with healthy fats, fibre and protein and are very low in sugar. This means they will leave you satisfied and prevent that blood sugar spike associated with many bliss balls which contain large amounts of dates and other sweeteners.
Nuts and seeds are a great source of healthy fats and also contain vitamin E which boosts skin health. Cacao powder contains magnesium which assists the body’s stress response and reduces PMS and cramps. Cinnamon is a powerful insulin-sensitiser, meaning that it makes it easier for glucose to move from your blood stream in to your cells, thereby reducing high blood sugar levels – an important goal in hormonal balance.
Maca is a root vegetable native to Peru which has been used traditionally to regulate hormones. A recent double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled study found that in early-postmenopausal women, maca significantly reduced or alleviated many menopausal symptoms (like hot flushes) and increased natural oestradiol production (the hormone which drops in menopause and causes many of the unpleasant symptoms) compared with placebo.
These Hormone Balancing Chocolate Truffles are rich, chocolately and perfectly satisfying. I didn’t add any sweetener to mine as I find the maca sweetens it enough, however if you aren’t a fan of super dark chocolate like me, try adding a tablespoon of honey or maple syrup.
Hormone Balancing Chocolate Truffles
- 1.5 cups raw nuts (to be blended in to nut butter) or 1 cup nut butter (I used a combo of almond, cashew and pecan but any mixture will work)
- ¼ cup maca powder
- ¼ cup cacao powder (plus extra for dusting)
- 2 Tbsp tahini
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- Pinch salt
- Optional: 1 Tbsp honey or maple syrup (leave out for a sweetener-free snack)
Takes , serves 10.
- If using whole nuts, add to a high strength food processor or blender and process until forming a nut butter (it will turn to a nut flour at first but keep going until it liquifies – you may need to scrape down the sides a few times)
- Add all remaining ingredients to the blender and process until smooth
- Take small spoonfuls of the mixture and gently roll into balls (they will be very soft at this stage but will firm up in the fridge)
- Place truffles on a plate and dust extra cacao over them using a fine tea strainer or colander
- Place in the fridge to firm up for at least 1 hour, then enjoy your hormone-balancing snack! Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 1 week
What is your favourite hormone-balancing snack? Let me know in the comments below :)