My dear friend @lovedaphnemae is a mom to three, postpartum doula, and creator of the monthly subscription Nurture who we couldn’t adore more. Today she’s sharing four nourishing, mouthwatering recipes for postpartum and beyond—can’t wait to try them!
I’ve experienced first hand the emotional struggles that can accompany the fourth trimester. I’ve felt them myself after each of my babies, and I only wish I had known I could boost my mood through these simple, sustaining snacks. All of these recipes contain comforting goodness that will nourish our bodies, and our minds, because when we nurture ourselves, we can nurture the little ones who need us.
Lentil + Mushroom Soup
This soup is not only delicious and hearty, but it’s like a warm hug, giving you all the happy feelings…and there is a scientific reason for that! Lentils and carrots, both present in this soup, contain high levels of the vitamin B6, which can increase the serotonin levels in our brains, therefore combatting depression. Mushrooms and lentils also contain selenium, which is a mood boosting mineral. Lentils and kale contain magnesium, which is important for hormone balance, enzyme activity, and neurotransmitter functions that regulate mood.
Combine the following in a large pot with a drizzle of olive oil:
- 1 chopped yellow onion
- 1 tbs of finely chopped garlic
- 1 small bag of baby rainbow carrots-chopped
- 4 stalks of celery-chopped
- 1 carton of cremini mushrooms – chopped
- 2 cups of chopped tuscan kale
Cook these ingredients down until veggies are soft and onions are translucent. Season liberally with garlic salt and pepper, then add two cartons of vegetable or chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then bring heat to simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes, then add:
¾ cup sprouted green lentils
- ½ cup of wild rice
Simmer again for another 30-60 minutes. To serve, drizzle each bowl of soup with 1-2 tablespoons of canned coconut cream.
This avocado hummus is so good in a variety of ways; with veggies, crackers, pita, or tossed with pasta as a sauce! Folate contributes to serotonin regulation in our brains, and chickpeas and avocados are packed with folate, making this hummus not only tasty, but great for boosting our moods as well. The lemon also adds Vitamin C, which is essential for our bodies to make the neurotransmitters that provide mood stability. And bonus….the raw garlic is a great immune booster, so you can enjoy this knowing you are filling your body with mood and immune boosting goodness!
Combine the following ingredients in a food processor:
- 1 can of chickpeas (rinsed)
- 1 large avocado
- 2 tbs tahini
- 1 tbs of fresh lemon juice
- 2 small cloves of garlic
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Small bunch of chives
- 1 ½ tsp of coconut sugar
- 1 tsp rice vinegar
- 1 tsp coconut aminos
Process on high and drizzle in about a ½ cup of olive oil in as it blends. Process until the consistency is full combined into a smooth consistency. This hummus is delicious with pita chips, veggies, crackers, or anything else you can dream up!
Chocolate Cherry Chia Pudding
Sometimes we need a sweet treat, and even better is one that boosts our moods instead of the opposite, like processed sugars can do. This decadent snack is full of plant based omega 3 fatty acids in the form of chia seeds. Studies show that these tiny but mighty adaptogens, improve mood and decrease symptoms of depression. Raw cocoa powder also elevates mood thanks to phenethylamine, which triggers the release of endorphins and dopamine in the brain. The feel good bonus is, there are no processed sugars to bring you down, and no dairy to upset baby’s sensitive new tummy!
Add the following into a glass bowl:
- 1 13.5 oz can of coconut cream
- ½ tsp vanilla
- 2 tbs honey
- 2 tbl fair trade cocoa powder
- Pinch of pink salt
- Open a capsule of probiotics and pour into the mixture
Use an immersion blender or whisk to combine thoroughly, then add the following:
- ½ cup of roughly chopped frozen dark cherries
- 1 tbs of chia seeds
Stir together then place lid on the glass bowl and place in fridge for at least 6 hours.
Brazil Nut Bars
These bars the yummiest snack to keep on hand. We always have a glass jar of them in the freezer for when hanger strikes! Not only are they satisfying and great for your physical body, they also offer mood boosting benefits. They contain brazil nuts, which are full of selenium, a mood boosting mineral, as well as those omega 3 rich chia seeds. Dates contain antioxidants that help us feel our physical best, which translates to our emotional best, and the oats are a low glycaemic index food, which keeps blood sugar and mood stable.
Place all of the following in a food processor…
1 cup raw brazil nuts
1/2 cup almond butter
1/2 cup gluten free oats
1/2 cup pitted dates
2 tbs chia seeds
1 1/2 tbs raw honey
1/2 cup unfiltered coconut oil
1 tsp pink himalayan salt
2/3 cup of allergen free semi sweet chocolate chips
Pulse until everything is combined and begins to ball together. Then empty the mixture onto a parchment lined baking sheet and pat it down with your hands until you have a 1/2 inch thick square. Place in freezer for a few hours until hard. Then take out, cut into bars and keep in a glass mason jar in the freezer. You’ll want to enjoy these straight out of the freezer, as they will “melt” into a nice spread for your sandwich : ).