One of the most beautiful things about being a part of the holistic community is connecting with other like-minded individuals. Today, Almila Kakinc-Dodd of the holistic lifestyle site Thirlby, shares her sweet, super-food enrinched helva recipe. A hormone-balancing helva adaptation inspired by her Mediterranean roots, a nod to her late grandmother & reclaiming women's health. Enjoy!

A | Helva is a powerhouse desert to simultaneously chip away at that sweet tooth that aches during our cycles and meet our body's' increased nutritional needs. As we lose blood during menstruation, we also The increase in insulin release during menstruation results in cravings for carbohydrates and sweets, particularly chocolate. This is a recipe to allow you to never deny your body's natural instincts but to respond to them in a nourishing and intelligent manner.

The hormonal fluctuations that lead to intense cravings are balanced through the ingredients in this recipe. The sesame seeds provide healthy fats, protein, and balances libido. The vitamin E that sesame seeds contains has been researched to support pre-menstrual symptoms such as fatigue and bodily aches, more specifically breast tenderness.

Bee pollen is a complete protein and is high in vitamin Bs, which promote sustained energy when menstruation causes drainage. Maca powder flushes excess estrogen out of the body, supports the entire endocrine system, and balances mood. Astragalus revives the body by pulling its energy flow upwards, preventing its loss through menstruation. Hemp hearts are a source of additional fat and complete protein that is easily assimilated when our digestive system might be off during menstruation.

I N G R E D I E N T S:::

Paleo / Vegan / Gluten-free / Dairy-free / Refined-sugar free

1/4 cup hemp hearts

1/4 cup sprouted nuts, I prefer brazil nuts

3/4 cup raw tahini, I prefer this sprouted one or this raw, organic one

1 tablespoon bee pollen*

1 tablespoon lucuma powder*

1 tablespoon mesquite powder

1 tablespoon maca powder, I recommend gelatinised for easier digestibility

2 tablespoons astragalus

1/2 teaspoon vanilla powder*

1/4 cup sunroot syrup / raw honey / coconut syrup

5 tablespoons coconut oil

1/4 teaspoon stevia powder, I prefer bitter-free Omica Organics

D I R E C T I O N S:::

  1. Place the nuts and hemp hearts into a high-speed blender, such as a Vitamix or Blendtec, to blend into a fine meal. Set aside into a bowl.
  2. Add the remaining dry ingredients into the meal and incorporate well.
  3. Add the wet ingredients and mix to combine.
  4. Place the helva in a parchment-lined rectangular mold to freeze for four hours or longer if you'd like a firmer texture—check at the four hour point.
  5. Once ready, slice, and serve! I love to serve it with homemade coconut milk ice cream in either raspberry rose or matcha flavours.
  6. To make the ice cream, simply blend 1 can of full-fat BPA-free coconut milk with 1 1/2 cups of frozen raspberries, 1 tablespoon dried rose petals, and 1/4 cup of raw honey or maple syrup in a high speed blender. Then pour it into your ice cream machine and follow according to manufacturer's directions. For the matcha version, I like this recipe.

Almila Kakinc-Dodd is a trained Medical Anthropologist, a Holistic Health Practitioner, and the author behind the wellness destination The Thirlby. She created it as a result of her autoimmune diagnosis and to offer an aesthetically pleasing platform where wellness is through and accessible—not crunchy granola. Her upcoming book will be published in Spring 2018 by Prestel/Random House and will be available wherever books are sold.