Our Favorite Endo-Friendly Sweet Treats
It’s fair to say our love was founded on sugar and strengthened by caffeine. If endometriosis weren’t a factor, most of our weekends would be spent nestled up in some coffee shop with a cake and an excellent flat white.
But pretty soon into our relationship, we realized things had to change when Jess’s endometriosis returned. Sugar, a well-known inflammatory, turned out to be Jess’s worst endometriosis trigger that would worsen her periods and cause flare-ups. So, while Jess went decaf and Chris stayed caffeinated, we’ve spent the past seven years of our relationship refining our sweet tooth – without the sugar.
Endo-friendly sweet treats
We love nothing more than curling up with decaf tea and a sweet treat on the weekends, and today we’re sharing our favorites.
Jess: There is not much I love more in this world than chocolate. It’s my number one sweet treat and my favorite period comfort food – just without the sugar!
Chocolate, especially raw chocolate or chocolate made with cacao, is rich in anti-inflammatory antioxidants, magnesium, and iron. All nutrients we need more of when we’re bleeding also play a role in lowering inflammation, hormone balance, and energy production.
Chris: We will often go for Absolute Black from Montezuma's or a high percentage like 90% dark chocolate from someone like Lindt. These are low in sugar and free of milk, soy, and other additives.
Just be careful with some of the 100% dark varieties, these can have high caffeine content, and if Jess overeats on her period, she will notice a rise in pain.
Jessica: Popcorn is our go-to Friday afternoon snack.
Whole grains can spike blood sugar levels for some; skipping the sugar can make a difference. I find that using inulin syrup or stevia and some fat from coconut oil or a delicious nut butter drizzle helps to keep my levels stable.
Regarding carbohydrate-rich grains, be guided by what your body tells you, as people tend to respond to them differently. Remember, high blood sugar levels can lead to inflammation, so we want to try and keep them stable as often as possible.
Chris: We keep it really simple making this popcorn. Just heat a tablespoon of coconut oil till it's hot enough to pop a test kernel, then throw the rest in. Keep the pan moving and the lid on while the other kernels begin to pop. Once the popping has slowed, we drizzle with inulin syrup and a pinch of salt. It's best eaten warm, and the syrup makes for a sticky snack.
It can also be adapted to other flavors with nut butter, cacao, and maybe even date paste if you're at a point in your cycle where you can tolerate more sugar.
Chris: After years of practice, we perfected the endometriosis cake during the lockdown. We adapt recipes from the Sweet Laurel cook book, replacing the maple syrup with our favorite sugar-free inulin syrup and replacing the eggs with flax eggs. Icing and cream are made using cashews, and we sweeten any icing with inulin syrup or stevia drops. We've made chocolate, pistachio, and classic Victoria sponge, amongst others, and these cakes are satisfying and delicious.
Jessica: I love these cakes because they're rich in vitamin E, zinc, other antioxidants, protein, and healthy fats. Topping it off with berries is the cherry on top (pun intended) because they’re anti-inflammatory.
I’ve tested my blood sugar levels after this, and they barely change! The most hormone-friendly cakes in the world? Maybe, just maybe.
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