Nourishing & Energising Treats For Labour & Pregnancy

At the end of my Pregnancy Calm & Relax Mini Retreat last week I loved to share a little something edible and homemade to restore and give energy back to the mama's to be. After an afternoon of letting go, relaxing and nurturing body, mind and baby it's lovely to revitalise with something delicious to eat. They are also perfect for energy in labour too. 

So I made a selections of goodies - a gluten free almond & clementine cake, some dark chocolate discs (full of iron) with goji berries, bee pollen and raspberry, and some super nutritious raw chocolate brownies. Along with some watermelon & strawberry smoothies and some cooling delicate orange blossom iced tea. I was so pleased that they went down so well with everyone. It's so lovely to share food that's made with love. And in the spirit of sharing I wanted to share the recipes with you (I've had a number of requests) as they are yummy and pretty simple too, and they would be great for an energy boost in labour too:

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Super Raw Brownies

These taste richly chocolately, but are so full of goodness and satisfy sugar cravings. The cocoa has lots of iron, and the dates release lots of energy slowly, and there's more energy from the honey. The nuts are of fulls of nutrients too. Adapt with what you have in the store cupboard (or what you like to eat best - eating good food releases oxytocin, so another reason these are great in labour).

Ingredients:

  • 100g Almonds, with skins on if possible.
  • 250g Pitted Dates, chopped (Medjool if you can get them. If not, just soak for 10 mins in hot water then drain before adding)
  • 2 Tablespoons Set Honey (raw honey is good)
  • 75g Cocoa Powder (again raw is good, but any unsweetened is fine)
  • 1/2 tsp Salt flakes
  • 50g Chopped Pecans

To Make: Put the almonds in a food processor and whiz to a coarse powder. Add the chopped dates, honey, cocoa and salt - then whiz again for around 1 minute until it comes together into a dough like ball. If it seems to dry to do this add a splash of water. Turn the mixture out onto a board and gently kneed in the chopped pecans.

Line a 20 cm square baking tray with parchment, turn the mixture into it and press down with your fingers or back of a tablespoon to get an even layer. Put into fridge to chill of at least 15 minutes before cutting into squares. These will keep for up to a week....if you can manage to not eat them all before!! (if its hot outside keep in the fridge).  Recipe by Anna Jones, in A Modern Way To Eat.

Variations:

You can adapt this in SO many ways. Use different nuts, or a mix of nuts and seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, flax seeds are all great). Use a mix of dried apricots (great for iron) and/or sultanas instead of all dates. You can also roll these into balls to make your own 'energy balls', and roll in some coconut, cocoa or flax seeds - much cheaper that shop bought ones.

Orange Blossom  Iced Tea

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This is a really refreshing and energy boosting yet cooling tea, with a delightful light and floral flavour (add more or less orange flower water to suit your taste)

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 litres water
  • 2 Earl Grey (decaf) tea bags
  • 200g honey or sugar syrup (mix 125g runny honey or sugar and 125ml hot water in a pan, bring to nearly boiling then stir to dissolve. Use 200g of this for the recipe)
  • 2 teaspoons orange blossom water
  • sprigs of mint (optional)

To make:

Boil 1.5 litres water in a pan, add the 2 teabags, stir. Take off heat and leave to steep and cool for 15 minutes. 

Remove teabags from the cooled tea, mix in honey/sugar syrup.

Add the orange blossom water, stir to mix.

Decant into a jug/bottles. Add the mint spring if using.

Chill for an hour or so in the fridge, or serve with masses of ice. enjoy.

Recipe from Honey & Co - Food From The Middle East.

Of course do let me know how you find them, and your own flavour adaptations too

Susan xx