This month in celebration of Endometriosis Awareness, we're partnering with the talented Jessica of This Endo Life to bring you healthy, delicious recipes that our endo and period pain-friendly.
This Chocolate Teff pudding is one of my favourite recipes in my book It Starts with Breakfast, mainly because I love dessert and this doubles up as a delicious sweet treat to cosy up with on a Friday night!
I love cacao. Cacao is rich in magnesium, which helps to reduce muscle cramping, has been shown to ease period pain and aids with oestrogen elimination and constipation; all of which can play a part with endo. Cacao is also high in iron, which many of us with heavy periods may be low in. Low iron levels can add to the fatigue we already experience and cause problems with concentration, energy and mood. Finally, cacao is also a wonderful source of antioxidants, which help to reduce inflammation and support our immune health. Because we want to preserve these nutrients, I add the cacao at the end to ensure the heating process doesn’t destroy or lessen their potency.
One thing to note with cacao is that for anyone with painful bladder syndrome (interstitial cystitis), cacao and any chocolate products can be a trigger, so do be mindful of that. It doesn’t mean you have to rule out cacao completely or forever, but you might find an elimination diet helpful in working out how much of a trigger cacao actually is, and then you can make adjustments appropriately.
Teff is a prebiotic and is also high in nutrients like iron, magnesium, protein, amino acids, calcium and B-vitamins. Many of us with endometriosis have gut health issues, and eating enough prebiotics and probiotics is essential to maintaining good gut health and ensuring proper elimination of toxins and old/excess hormones, like oestrogen. We also know that zinc, B-vitamins like B6, iron and magnesium are all essential to helping our hormones to stay in balance, so teff is a lovely addition to a hormone supporting diet.
This recipe is also endlessly versatile. I’ve used cashew butter and milk because they’re subtly sweet and creamy, but I’ve also included hazelnut as an option because obviously hazelnut and cacao together are just a match made in heaven.
The nutty flavour of the grain doesn’t really require any sweetener, so I’ve added in just a tiny bit of Troo inulin syrup to give a hint of sweetness and some extra fibre to help stabilise blood sugar levels. If you can’t find inulin syrup, protein powder can also help sweeten it. A vanilla or chocolate flavoured protein powder, sweetened with a natural sugar-free sweetener like stevia, is perfect. You don’t have to use protein powder, but I do recommend adding some source of extra protein such as hemp seeds, extra nut butter or seeds.
100g/3½ oz teff
2 tablespoons cashew butter or hazelnut butter
475-500ml/2-2¼ cups cashew or hazelnut milk
2½-3 tablespoons raw cacao
2 teaspoons Troo syrup
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
½ scoop protein powder
Optional toppings: Low sugar fruits such as raspberries; cacao nibs, nut butter, nuts, seeds, hemp seeds, chia seeds, etc.
Whisk all the ingredients - apart from the protein powder and cacao - together in a small saucepan; bring to boil over medium high heat.
Reduce to a low simmer and cover for 15 minutes, stirring every few minutes to ensure the teff doesn’t stick to the bottom. Add more milk if necessary.
Once the teff has reached a creamy thickness (it should be like porridge), add to a food processor with the cacao and protein powder, adding more milk if necessary. Blitz until the teff is creamy and smooth – it should still have some grains in, but the texture will be much more pudding like. Taste to check sweetness and richness of cacao, adding more if desired.
Alternatively, you could use a stick blender here if that’s easier and less messy for you, or if you’re happy with the texture and are short on time, you could just leave it as it is! You could always make ahead of time so you have some pots of delicious teff pudding ready to go!
If you’d like to learn more about managing and reducing your endometriosis symptoms, or would like support with making changes to do so, you can book in a free consultation call with Jessica to discuss your symptoms and challenges, and find out how her one-on-one endometriosis health coaching programme could help you. Jessica is currently offering £300 off her regular programme price in honour of Endometriosis Awareness Month, as well as single two-hour one off sessions throughout March. Head to her site to book in.
Jessica Duffin is a women’s health coach specialised in endometriosis. She is the founder of blog and podcast This EndoLife, and is a writer at Endometriosis Net and Endometriosis News.