It's not everyday that you get to write about a book your friends published. So talking with you today about the Fertility Foods Cookbook: 100+ Recipes to Nourish Your Body by Elizabeth Shaw and Sara Haas is more than an honor and privilege.
If you have followed my own story then you know how near and dear this topic is to my heart. I met Liz last year when we had just shifted from fertility treatments to adoption. Liz is the sunshine behind the site Bumps to Baby, a community where women struggling with infertility come together to share stories, hope, support and so much more. When I say sunshine, I mean she is the smiles and the laughter, the cheerleader in everyone's corner and without a doubt this community is what has helped get me to where I am today with a LOT more grace and maybe a few less tears even. I was featured on her Warrior Wednesday series on the blog and the rest was history. We were instantly the best of friends. Liz herself has been experiencing her own bumps for over 4 1/2 years and as a dietitian, she always wanted to support women who were struggling by helping them get the right nutrients. Thus was born, Fertility Foods.
As for Sara, the energized chef that she is if you ever watch her Instagram stories, we connected over shared stories of loss. She has been through quite an uphill battle these past months, but through the storm, she has also created a beautiful rainbow and has started an Instagram profile for other women experiencing loss called Hope After Miscarriage. Sara is a Registered Dietitian and has a background in culinary arts. That is just the tip of the iceberg of all that she does, believe me. This woman has quite the long list of accomplishments in the nutrition and food world.
So needless to say, when these two women came together, magic happened.
This cookbook was a passion project for both Sara and Liz. Both of them have experienced the pain of struggling with infertility. Not only is this a cookbook, but it is their story, their hope and their passion all rolled into one.
The Author's Note says it all as it begins with a quote from good old Mother Teresa, "I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish He didn't trust me so much." If you have struggled with infertility I would have to say it probably feels a lot like this.
Before I go any further, perhaps you are saying, Lorie, I don't have any issues here so what does this have to do with me? Well, these recipes are really for anyone. The recipes add a Fertility Focus as to how they can each help support your journey, but these recipes are for anyone who likes to eat. I mean, one look at the Carrot Cake Pancakes or the Dark Chocolate Cherry Almond "Bonbons" and you will be drooling.
Recently, with all the detoxes and cleanses going on in the new year, I was thinking, what if we all treated our bodies the way we did when we were pregnant, or trying to get pregnant? It would certainly be a whole new ballgame, and it wouldn't involve any sort of diet. It's important to note that this book is not a diet or a set of rules. Fertility Foods is a guide with the bonus of Scientific research as to nutrients and foods that can give your fertility a boost.
Today I wanted to share a recipe of my own that was inspired by this book. As I was skimming through it, one recipe in particular caught my eye. It was a Tropical Chia Rice Pudding. I love chia pudding and I love rice pudding so the combination just makes sense. Their recipe is topped with chopped pistachios and a big pile of juicy pineapple. And it was a super simple recipe which you know is always up my alley. I was pleasantly surprised by the texture, and it made me think of those who are starting off trying chia pudding. This might be a safer way to start if they are worried about texture.
This Maple Cinnamon Chia Rice Pudding reminds me of some of my favorite rice puddings. I don't have them often, but when I do, I always think, why don't I have this more often? Letting it sit overnight really brings out the flavor. And the toppings, as always are where it's at for me. I crushed up pecans and added raisins. It has the perfect hint of cinnamon to round it out. And, to be fair, this could easily be a breakfast if you wanted. I have eaten my fair share of chia puddings for breakfast, so why wouldn't I eat a chia rice pudding as well? Lots of good stuff in it and plenty of protein and whole grains to start the day. As far as the Fertility Focus according to Liz and Sara, "Chia seeds are an excellent way to add Omega-3 fatty acids into your diet, especially if you don't like seafood. Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to help boost your mood, something we know we need every and now and then on this journey!"
If you are interested in the tropical version, or perhaps a Parmesan Portabello Burger, or maybe a Berry Basil Bruschetta--then you will want to get your hands on this book, and fast! I promise you, it won't disappoint one bit!
- 1 1/4 c cooked rice still warm is best
- 1 c milk of choice I used whole, but dairy free will work as well
- 2-3 T pure maple syrup
- 2-3 tsp cinnamon
- 3-4 T chia seeds If you like it thicker, use 4, thinner, 3
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Dash of sea salt
- Chopped pecans and raisins optional
- In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients and stir to mix well.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, overnight if possible.
- Enjoy with your favorite toppings!