It might seem unusual that I am suggesting these treats as a beneficial addition to your diet, especially in pregnancy and postpartum but hear me out! First of all, tell me treats don't boost your oxytocin and create a rush of dopamine. I've met people that don't like chocolate so I know they exist, I just cannot relate. At all.
Anyways, these little treats actually pack a little punch with little to be guilty about. If you use high quality ingredients & maintain a little bit of self control you may find these are just what you need at just the right time. If you have ever had a baby before, you know how depleting it is in those first few weeks/months. Add breastfeeding to the mix and your body is straight starving for nutrients, energy and all things edible. Enter: dark chocolate peanut butter cups.
I have upped the nutrient game of these sweet treats to make them not only a quick source of energy but also a sneaky source of necessary nutrients. The key additives are shatavari & hemp seeds. Shatavari is an adaptogenic superfood of the asparagus family. It is considered the queen of herbs for female support, benefitting women through all stages of life. It may help regulate and balance hormones, alleviate symptoms of PMS, support fertility and overall it is just nourishing to the female reproductive system. It's been show to be an aphrodisiac for both men & women, is excellent for digestive health, a major immune booster & packed with antioxidants. It may also improve milk production for lactating women.
Hemp seeds are also a wonderful superfood loaded with nutrients that support women through pregnancy and into postpartum. It is so important for us as women to support our nutrient supplies through a proper diet so that not only our bodies have sufficient nutrients for conception but also to grow a baby, recover physically postpartum and encourage a healthy milk supply. Hemp seeds are high in protein & healthy fats as well as vital vitamins & minerals like iron, magnesium, folate and b vitamins. Shelled hemp seeds are free of THC and much more easily digestible than other plant sourced proteins. Although I don't use a full serving of hemp seeds in this recipe, it squeezes some nutrients in and in my opinion, is a good reminder to be using them more regularly. The more healthy foods are incorporated into our everyday foods, the more likely we'll reach for them. Otherwise, out of sight out of mind.
It's important to be using high quality, ideally organic, foods when making meals in pregnancy and postpartum. This ensures a higher nutrient profile, more sustainable sourcing & greater benefit to your health. Costco sells coconut oil & hemp seeds in bulk at a super affordable price. Chocolate & peanut butter are often laced with unnecessary, not super healthy ingredients. Always look for purity, even if it's not organic. Okay...let's take a look at the recipe!
Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
+ 1 Dark Baking Chocolate Bar (~ 5oz)
+ 2 Tablespoons Organic Virgin Coconut Oil
+ 1/2 Cup Organic 100% Peanut Butter - salted
+ 3 Tablespoons Organic Shatavari Powder
+ 2 Tablespoons Local Honey
+ Sprinkle Himalayan Sea Salt
+ Sprinkle Hemp Seeds
+ mini muffin tin
+ mini muffin cups
Break chocolate bar in half and melt (I melt on stovetop on medium heat). Add in a tablespoon of coconut oil and combine.
Spoon melted chocolate/coconut mixture into each muffin cup and fill about 1/3.
Freeze until solid, about 15-20 minutes.
Mix peanut butter, honey and shatavari until combine.
Spoon peanut butter into cups to fill another 1/3, leaving enough room on top for one more layer of chocolate. Press down to even out with back of spoon.
Place muffin tin back into the freezer while you prepare the final step.
Melt the rest of the chocolate with 1 tablespoon of coconut oil.
Spoon melted mixture into each cup, filling almost all the way, enough to cover peanut butter.
Sprinkle top with hemp seeds & salt.
Freeze for another 15-20 minutes or until solid.
Store in freezer in a glass jar or silicone storage bag (Stasher is a good brand).
Enjoy 1-2 per serving!
+ I use Divine brand chocolate, the one I used had 4g added sugar so really not much sugar if split up 12 ways. You can opt for zero added sugar though.
+ ALWAYS buy local honey. You'd be shocked at the common production practice of mass produced honey. Buying local supports your local farms, helps your local bees and prevents you from putting a bad product onto your shelf. It may also help support seasonal allergies since the honey is sourced from the nutrients of local plants. Honey can be laced with all kinds of things, so pure & local is best. I choose raw & unfiltered but if you're being extra cautious you can find filtered honey locally!
+ Feel free to sprinkle hemp seeds at each layer rather than just on top!
+ Prior to adding anything new, such as shatavari, to your diet...do your own research or consult a local naturopath or ayurvedic practitioner.