(4 Simple Guidelines & 3 Useful Recipes)
Cooking for Pregnancy really isn’t that different from Cooking For the Rest of Your Life. You just cook good food – perhaps following some of the guidelines from our articles the last two months. So here’s just my excuse to share some of my favorite nutritional and/or medicinal recipes, which I’ve chosen to rename for just this occasion: heartburn tea and chocolate pregnancy milkshake, and coconut milk mango omega-3 ice cream.
(And yes, the rest of the family will be more than happy to share!)
But first, just a few thoughts and/or suggestions.
- Sprinkle a few nuts and/or seeds on everything.
- Eat some of every Or at least everything good. Dietary diversity fills nutritional gaps. It also decreases the risk your baby will develop food allergies
- Use red palm fruit oil as your cooking oil at least twice a week. Rich in tocotrienols, which support healthy cell division.
- A day with three eggs in it is a good day!
Chocolate Pregnancy Milkshake
This is a wonderful way to start the day. Rich in protein, magnesium, calcium, healthy omega-3 fats, probiotics, prebiotic fiber, potassium… and so much more. Plus it’s easy. Plus it’s easy to digest. Plus it supplies most of the pregnancy nutrients you’re looking for above and beyond a good prenatal. PLUS – it’s chocolate.
MAKES 2 SERVINGS:
- 1 ripe banana
- 2-3 tbsp healthy nuts and/or seeds (almonds, pecans, walnuts, filberts, hemp seeds, etc.)
- 500 ml coconut water
- 500 ml water
- ¼ cup or more unsweetened cocoa powder
- a serving of probiotics (powder, or break open your capsule)
- 2 Tbsp lecithin powder
- 1 Tbsp fish oil – I like the Natural Factors “grapefruit punch” flavor
- 1 Tbsp sesame tahini
- Two servings cold-processed grass-fed whey protein
- 1 Tbsp chia seeds
- 1 Tbsp bee pollen granules
- A shake of Himalayan pink salt
- 1 Life Extension vitamin K capsule, squeezed into the blender
- vitamin D drops as needed
- Optional: 1 Tbsp blackstrap molasses (strong flavor, but a good source of iron)
- Optional: a few pitted dates, for added sweetness
- Optional: a shake of cardamom powder, a splash of rose water or vanilla extract
- Freeze the banana the night before. (Peel the banana before freezing it!)
- Put the banana, and everything else except the chia and pollen in your blender, and blenderize.
- Add the chia seeds after you’ve turned off the blender, because you want them intact.
- Pour into two glasses, sprinkle the bee pollen on top, and serve.
This tea uses slippery elm bark, a traditional and effective soothing agent in throat lozenges and heartburn teas. It isn’t a “medicine” in the normal sense of the word: it doesn’t get absorbed into the bloodstream, or do anything to your cells. It just coats and soothes what it touches.
We add some licorice root to sweeten the tea, and also to coat and soothe. However, please be aware that licorice is a medicine, and it can raise blood pressure. Only use it if you have healthy blood pressure to begin with, and are not at especial risk of preeclampsia.
Makes ½ gallon. Keeps at least 5 days in the fridge.
- 3 heaping Tbsp slippery elm bark shavings
- 1 scant tablespoon licorice chips (omit if you have hypertension, or are at especial risk for preeclampsia)
- And then whatever else you want for flavor! See below…
Pour boiling water over your herbs. Let it sit at least 2 hours before serving. The longer it sits, the more it extracts. By day 2, the slippery elm will have thickened the water to a fair degree. Strain it to drink.
What to add for flavor? You don’t have to add anything. However, please have fun! You can throw in a few tea bags of your favorite pregnancy-appropriate herbal tea – really whatever you want. Rose hips are a good source of vitamin C that add tartness and may discourage varicose veins. Ginger is always nice. Cinnamon… Linden flowers are a mild enough calmative they can be used during pregnancy. Raspberry leaves add almost no flavor, and are a traditional remedy to strengthen the uterus. Some people find that citrus peel helps control heartburn; for others, it has the opposite effect. I like throwing the coarsely chopped peel of one lemon or half a large orange right into the tea. Of course if you’re using the peel, be doubly sure you buy organic.
Mango Coconut Milk Omega-3 Ice Cream
I swear this is delicious! Even though, yes, it contains fish oil…
I came up with this recipe one day when I decided to try out our new $10 (used) ice cream maker while my wife was overheating in the 90-degree weather in her second trimester. We’d been out of a the smoothie habit for a week or so, so I wanted to find another way to get fish oil in the diet…
For some reason, I’ve never felt comfortable pasteurizing egg yolks (I’m always afraid I’ll cook them solid). So I used coconut cream instead. That’s not a bad idea. While omega-3 fats are often a focus in pregnancy (and rightfully so), coconut fats also contribute something. I added some lecithin powder as an emulsifier, and to help the ice cream stay creamy. And because it’s a rich source of choline and phospholipids to help brain development.
Makes 3 pints
- 1 liter coconut cream
- 1 cup lemon juice
- Zest of 2 lemons
- 1 cup honey
- 1/3 cup lecithin granules
- 1/3 cup fish oil
- Chill everything for at least four hours.
- Blenderize everything
- Make ice cream from it.