I was reading an article from The Chalkboard mag the other day about the notion of seed cycling in regards to your [menstrual] cycle. The premise of the article was to eat specific foods-in particular seeds-as a way to support your body’s hormonal function during the distinct phases of your cycle. The phases are broken up into two parts: the follicular phase, and the luteal phase. For the follicular phase of your cycle, some of the seeds recommended were: flaxseed, and pepitas (also known as pumpkin seeds). Fish oil, in addition to the other seeds was also advised during this phase. All of these foods are high in omega-3 fats. With that said, I already take a daily dose of fish oil in capsule form, so how to be more consistent with the other two?
The inspiration for this granola was really prompted by all the recent changes in my life; all good changes, but nevertheless changes. Some of which include: marriage, releasing from the military, and moving to a new city, all in the span of a couple of months. Fewf! Even with good change, comes stress. For me, my stress shows up in form of PMS in the days leading up to my menses. Another thing that I have noticed is that I have been deferring my breakfast until later and later in morning, also not good. I decided the easiest way to tackle both issues simultaneously was to make a delicious batch of granola which includes flaxseed and pepitas. Please note that this recipe is more conceptual than medicinal, healthy yes, but in a more practical way, i.e. as in my case, I am a busy mother and still require a nourishing breakfast posthaste.
Back to the recipe. I was fairly intentional with all the ingredients. I used rolled oats and almonds for the base, coconut oil to help bind and maple syrup to sweeten (also helps bind), and cacao nibs for a hint of chocolaty sweetness. The two main health stars are the flaxseed and pepitas. Finally, I added cinnamon to help offset the hint of fishiness that can sometimes be detected in omegas such as flaxseed. So there you go, granola for your menstrual cycle!
Next week, I will introduce the recipe for luteal granola for the second phase of your cycle, again inspired by seed cycling. I would highly recommend reading the original article written by Kristin Dahl, as it goes more into detail about the notion of seed cycling. And lastly, let me know if you make this granola, and what you think of it? Feel free to comment. Now for the recipe!
Follicular Moontime Granola
1 cup quick cook oat flakes
1/2 cup raw almonds, finely chopped
1/3-1/2 cup pepitas, chopped
2 tablespoons flaxseed, freshly ground
2 tablespoons raw cacao nibs
3 tablespoons cold pressed virgin coconut oil
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of fine sea salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, and set aside. Chop the almonds and pepitas as specified. Grind flaxseed until fine (I used an electric coffee grinder specifically for this). Add all ingredients to a medium sized bowl, including the chopped almonds, pepitas and ground flaxseed. Mix all the ingredients until well combined. Next, pour all the contents from the mixing bowl onto the baking tray that you lined with parchment paper, and spread evenly. Bake until golden for about 10-12 minutes, stirring granola halfway through. Allow granola to cool on tray fully before transferring into an airtight container for storage. Granola tastes delicious with either almond mylk (or other milk of your choice), cereal or sprinkled over yogurt. Enjoy!