Book Review: Fertility Foods: 100+ Recipes to Nourish Your Body While Trying to Conceive
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I've been (not so) patiently waiting for this book to be released for awhile! After months of counting down and following its authors on Instagram, it's finally here! And I couldn't be more excited to share it with you.
If you know me at all, you know I love books of all kinds, including cookbooks. I'm not ashamed to admit that I read cookbooks from front to back like a novel. So I was beyond excited when the lovely Liz Shaw sent me a copy of her book just in time for my temporary move back to NYC.
For my four-hour bus ride from Alexandria, VA back to NYC, Fertility Foods Cookbook was my companion. Side note- bus rides along the east coast during Autumn are the best! The changing leaves of crimson and gold, the gentle hum of the bus, those comfy reclining seats... So good, soooo good. Now back to this gem of a book.
Fertility Foods Cookbook, written by Liz Shaw and Sarah Hass, is packed with some of the yummiest recipes and beautiful food photos I've seen in a long time. The recipes make use of colorful and enticing foods that are full of fertility supporting nutrients.
Liz and Sarah really have created something magical. Reading it honestly felt like I was lounging on the comfiest couch with a warm cup of tea while my wise friend whipped up some delightful treats in the kitchen and shared stories about her journey to motherhood.
There are a few things that really set this book apart from many of the other fertility nutrition books I've seen out there. For one it's written by women who've experienced infertility and know firsthand what an emotional journey it is. Second, they're RDNs; These ladies have put in the work to really understand the science behind nutrition and fertility. Third, it's not just facts without action steps. It's great to know what to eat but it's not very helpful if you have no clue how to prepare it. Fertility Foods Cookbook equips readers with the what, the why, and the how. The authors offer up some truly delicious options that aren't at all intimidating or time consuming to make.
My absolute favorite thing about this book is Liz's and Sarah's personal stories. They openly and honestly share what their fertility journey has looked like. I also love the little tips sprinkled throughout the book where Liz and Sarah share how they personally handle controversial nutrition topics (like dairy or organic vs conventional produce) when grocery shopping.
I couldn't recommend this book more!
As a special treat, I'm sharing one of my favorite recipes from the book. Give it a go and let me know what you think. I promise, after you try it, you'll want to buy this book to make the other equally delectable recipes.
Heavenly Chocolate Cake with Rich and Creamy Chocolate Frosting
Vegetarian + Gluten* Free
Makes: 9-inch cake, 8 servings, 1 slice each
1½ cups (1 medium zucchini, 5 ounces approximately) zucchini
⅔ cup whole milk
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 ⅔ cups gluten free whole grain flour, sifted
⅔ cup cocoa powder (dark for a richer flavor)
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
⅔ cup granulated sugar
⅓ cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs
⅖ medium (2 ounces) avocado
¼ cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa powder (dark for a richer flavor)
2 tablespoons whole milk
1 ounce Roasted Mixed Nuts or alternative nuts, chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat an 8-inch spring form pan with cooking spray
Peel and shred the zucchini into a small bowl. Set aside.
In a measuring cup, combine milk and apple cider vinegar, set aside for 10 minutes.
In a medium bow, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, add the sugar, oil, vanilla, and eggs. Whisk together until thoroughly combined. Add milk and vinegar mixture to the bowl with sugar and stir. Gently fold in the zucchini. Add the flour mixture until combined.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Place in the oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center. Remove from oven and let the pan cool on a wire rack.
In a small bowl, using a hand mixer on medium speed, blend the avocado until smooth.
On a low speed, mix in the powdered sugar, cocoa powder and milk. Continue to mix until smooth and incorporated. Set aside.
Once cake has cooled, frost cake and garnish with chopped nuts.
Variation: Use an 8 x 8-inch square pan lined with parchment paper. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until wooden pick comes out clean when inserted in the center.
Storage: Place in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Freeze for up to 4 months.
Kitchen Tip: Avocados are a great alternative to butter in baking. They have the creamy consistency of butter but are filled with heart healthy fats!