Valentine’s Day makes a person think about sexual health. It’s a holiday about love and romance (and cards and candies), but it can also serve as an opportunity to check in with ourselves about our sexual health. And when I say sexual health, I mean all of the factors and concerns that contribute to the complex tapestry: hormones, reproduction (fertility, contraception, menstruation, menopause), but also stress, pleasure, emotional well-being, self-love (not that kind, although, that kind too), and of course, libido.
Libido is an important part of vitality. It’s about sex yes, but also about energy and vibrancy and appetite for life.
Think about the movie Chocolat, in which Juliet Binoche arrives in a sleepy French village and sets up a magical chocolate shop. She offers the villagers an array of chocolate possibilities, including one variety that are said to “awaken the passions.” Those specific chocolates re-kindle the romantic spark for one couple, even as her entire shop of chocolates serves to ultimately remind the villagers about pleasure, joy, being open-hearted and open-minded, and having a passion for life. The movie captures the spectrum of libido as sexual appetite to libido as the lust and energy for life.
So, as my homage to libido, vibrant living, fuelling passion and aliveness, and chocolate, I offer you Chocolate Maca Truffles – my contribution this year to Valentine’s Day.
Why maca? Well, maca is a wonderful addition to your life if you’re looking for a superfood that, in addition to being antioxidant-rich and nutrient-dense, offers hormone and libido-supporting benefits. Below is some of what maca offers.
- Maca can help balance hormones, which makes eating these truffles a gift to yourself and your hard-working hormones. Maca is considered an ‘adaptogen’ and I love adaptogens as much as I love chocolate. Adaptogens help your body adapt to stress and stabilize where needed. So instead of dosing your body with something to cover up or chemically correct an imbalance, they help your body function optimally with the tools it already has, especially during stressful times. Maca may also be particularly useful in balancing estrogen, making it helpful for managing conditions like estrogen dominance or PCOS.
- Maca may also be an aphrodiasic, which makes eating these truffles ALSO a gift to your sex drive. Some studies have shown maca to have a positive effect on libido and sexual function (for both women AND men).
- Maca is rich in antioxidants, making it a protective addition to your diet.
- Maca supports healthy energy without the detrimental effects of caffeine or other substances.
- Maca is rich in fibre, protein, minerals, and vitamins, adding to a nutrient-dense diet.
- Maca is naturally gluten-free, as in its unprocessed form it is a South American tuber. This makes it appropriate for anyone who needs to follow a gluten-free diet, or who has otherwise eliminated gluten from their diet.
- Quick side note for digestion: look for a gelatinized maca for easier digestion. Some people find they have trouble digesting maca, but purchasing it as a gelatinized powder can help alleviate any digestive issues.
And separately, because it bears repeating, dark chocolate also has benefits for libido: it’s also rich in antioxidants, magnesium, and iron, which all help counter the effects of stress and fatigue – two major libido killers. Coconut milk is also rich in healthy saturated fat, an important building block in hormones.
So if you’re looking to give yourself and your libido a loving gift this Valentine’s Day, consider Dark Chocolate Maca Truffles. Let them boost your hormone health, your sense of pleasure, and your appetite for life.
Libido-Boosting Dark Chocolate Maca Truffles – paleo, vegan, gf
- ½ cup of your choice of quality, semi-sweet dark chocolate (ideally 70% or darker for maximum health benefits)
- ½ cup full-fat coconut milk (theoretically this is equal chocolate to coconut milk – 1:1 is the simplest way to make a chocolate ganache).
- 3 tablespoons (raw, gelatinized) maca powder
- Raw cacao or cocoa powder, for dusting
- Heat the coconut milk and maca powder together, over a low gentle heat, whisking as needed.
- Over a double boiler (a bowl sitting atop a saucepan with a small amount of water heated to boiling), melt dark chocolate, stirring occasionally to help melting process.
- When the chocolate is melted, remove the bowl from the heat and whisk in the coconut milk until you have a nice smooth chocolate blend.
- Store in the fridge until hardened.
- About one hour before you make the truffles, remove your ganache from the fridge. If after an hour or so it feels fairly soft and rollable, you’re good to go. If not, you could try to whip it up a little by hand with a spoon, or more easily, with a stand mixer, just until a bit softer and smooth. Ideally you want it sort of tacky, so you can roll it.
- Roll into balls and place into a small bowl with cocao powder for dusting.
- Store in the fridge until ready to eat, and ideally, let come to room temperature before eating.
If you’re interested in adding maca in other ways, try these other recipes:
- Vegan GF Chocolate Maca Macaroons
- Creamy Vanilla Cinnamon Breakfast Smoothie with Cashew Butter
- Rich and Creamy Collagen Hot Chocolate with Raw Cacao
- Homemade Chocolate with Pumpkin Seeds and Goji Berries
© Emily Joldersma, R.H.N. Eat Well, Live Vibrantly