Pink Waffles for Fertility!
Updated: Jan 25
For Valentine's or anytime, I've transformed my favourite pancake recipe into the prettiest pink waffles using one of my favourite fertility superfoods: beets! Don't worry, these beauties don't taste strongly of beetroot, but they do pack a real punch in the fertility nutrition department.
Beets: Ancient Roman Aphrodisiac!
Apparently in ancient Rome, beet juice was considered a powerful aphrodisiac, and I'm guessing it was for the following reasons:
This trace mineral is found in high concentrations in beets. It plays an important role in the productions of sex hormones, and studies have found supplementation with boron to increase testosterone in men, and estradiol in women. Boron also increases the biological half-life and bioavailability of vitamin D, which plays a huge role in fertility (to be discussed in another blog post!).
We know how important folate (vitamin B9) is in the prevention of neural tube defects in a developing fetus. But the folic acid in most prenatal vitamins is a synthetic form that the body has a hard time converting. Getting plenty of folate from FOOD is absolutely crucial in the preconception period. Beets are one of the best sources of this important nutrient.
Beets contain a wide variety of antioxidant nutrients including vitamin C and betalains (which give beets their deep red hue). Antioxidants need to be consumed several times each day in order to protect and repair damaged cells. Both eggs and sperm are highly susceptible to oxidative damage, and the powerful antioxidants in beets do a great job of protecting our reproductive organs.
Preparing for pregnancy is a time of reducing our "toxic load" so that we don't pass so many toxins on to our babies. The liver does a great job of detoxification (it also needs to detoxify excess hormones) but it can benefit from certain foods that provide key enzymes necessary for the process of neutralizing toxins. Beets are one of those foods that aid the liver in performing it's many functions.
Although animal products (namely red meat) are the best sources of iron, beets contain an impressive amount of iron too, for a plant! Iron is necessary in the diet to provide oxygen to all of our cells, including the reproductive organs. What's more, iron deficiency is very common in pregnancy so it's wise to ensure iron stores are high beforehand.
Nitrates in beets are converted to nitric oxide in the body, which increases circulation. Increased blood flow to the uterus may help with thickening the uterine lining.
Of course, there is also a ton of fiber, magnesium, anti-inflammatory properties and MORE but I can't go on about beets all day ;)
Recipe for Pink Waffles for Fertility:
1 ripe banana
1/4 cup raw cashew nuts
2 cups warm water
2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 cup raw beets (I sliced them thin, so they'd blend up easily)
1 large egg
Place 2 cups of water in a kettle and turn it on, but don't let it boil. Just let the water reach a warm temperature. Meanwhile, place the cashew nuts in a dish. Once the water is warm, pour it over the cashews to soften them. Allow them to soak while you gather the rest of the ingredients and put them in a blender.
Place everything in a blender except the egg. Blend until smooth, then drop the egg in and only blend until incorporated.
Cook the batter according to the directions on your waffle iron.
Top with yogurt, raspberries, and chocolate chips for a fancy brunch, or any other toppings you prefer! I like to serve sweet breakfasts like this one along with a side of nitrite-free bacon. Yes, I eat bacon. And it can probably be a part of your fertility diet as well. But that's another conversation for another post ;)