Fertility

Vegan Recipes to Fuel Fertility – Our Top Picks

Eloise Edington  |  23 May 2020


 

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So you’ve decided to give plants a chance!

Changing your diet is an important option to consider whilst TTC, if not only to give you some relief from the stress of the medical side of fertility. It should be something fun you can take into your own hands (under the supervision of a nutritionist), not a chore. Fertility nutrition advice is an important component of the holistic support available, and is a beneficial aspect of the journey for many of our readers in terms of mental wellbeing.

Hopefully, if you’re seriously considering giving the vegan diet a go full-time, you’ve done your research and decided it’s right for you and could benefit you when trying to conceive.

If not…

Check out this fantastic article by our partner and fertility nutritionist, Kirsten Oddy. Here, she answers all the hard-hitting questions when it comes to veganism and fertility:

  • How does a vegan diet impact fertility?

  • What food helps fertility?

  • What is a vegan diet?

  • How can I optimise my vegan diet for fertility?

We all know it’s important to eat a varied and balanced diet in general. Sticking to a healthy vegan diet can be very beneficial for your health and thus your fertility. Eating lots of fruits and vegetables while scrapping the junk food (and being consistent) will help improve your BMI.

But, it’s important to recognise that switching to a plant-based diet doesn’t automatically mean you’re making healthier choices of food which helps fertility in particular. Without proper meal planning, it’s easy to get stuck eating lots of refined carbs like white bread and pasta, which can have an adverse effect on your fertility. Similarly, as Kirsten mentions, there are an abundance of vitamins and nutrients greatly important for fertility that are only found in animal foods, but, with proper planning, it’s possible to incorporate them in a plant-based diet!

It’s understandably challenging to research, plan, prepare and implement a completely new diet with everything else going on whilst TTC. Not to mention everything else happening in the world right now! How am I supposed to find chia seeds when I have to queue for 2 hours to get into the shop, and they haven’t had flour in 2 months…?!

That is why we’ve collated our top picks of simple vegan recipes that you can try at home!

No planning… No Pressure… No commitment… Just give them a try!

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Berry & Banana Fertility Smoothie

What easier way to ease into a plant-based diet than with a delicious nutrient-filled smoothie?

You should find all the ingredients for this smoothie at your local supermarket and health & supplement store.

Even if you decide that switching to a vegan diet full-time isn’t for you, this is a glorious way to sneak in those much-needed vitamins and nutrients.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 banana (The riper the better)

  • 1 handful of spinach (Top tip – if buying spinach for smoothies, freeze it)

  • 125g/1¼ cups fresh or frozen berries

  • 125ml/0.5 cups coconut water

  • 1 tbsp pumpkin seed butter

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1 tsp ground flax powder

  • If you’re wanting to turn the smoothie into more of a meal, you can add 27g (one sachet) of rolled oats

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Mediterranean Pasta Salad

The benefits of the Mediterranean diet are well-documented. Whilst not necessarily vegan, there is an emphasis on eating fresh fruit, whole grains, plant foods, olive oil and beans, whilst limiting dairy, meat and sugar. All good foods to support fertility, and useful things to be incorporating into your life whilst TTC (if structured correctly). This recipe includes some common ingredients you’re likely to have in your cupboard, to create a unique dish full of vitamins and nutrients.

Another benefit of this recipe is being able to let your mind drift to a time when you weren’t confined to your house. Shut your eyes and imagine you’re sitting at a charming beachside restaurant in Greece, Italy or perhaps southern France. Slightly tongue in cheek, but it’s important not to understate the impact a positive change in diet can have on your mental wellbeing.

Read an article here on keeping positive and happy during lockdown / social distancing

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups/200g gluten-free pasta (penne or fusilli ideally)

  • ⅓ cup/120g vegan yoghurt

  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar

  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning

  • 1 can chopped tomatoes

  • ½ medium cucumber

  • ½ cup/100g garbanzo beans

  • 1 tsp olive oil

  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley (optional)

METHOD

  1. Cook pasta in boiling water with salt according to package instructions.

  2. Remove and drain the pasta, add the olive oil to prevent sticking, and place in the fridge to cool.

  3. In a bowl, mix the Greek yoghurt, white wine vinegar and Italian seasoning.

  4. Strain the chopped tomatoes to release about ½ a cup of liquid. Remove pasta from the fridge and combine remaining tomatoes.

  5. Chop the cucumber into cubes and add to pasta along with the garbanzo beans.

  6. Mix in the vegan yoghurt dressing and give it a good stir.

  7. Garnish with chopped parsley if desired, season to taste, and enjoy!

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Green Tacos

These tacos are wonderfully indulgent and taste truly authentic. This recipe also gives a great introduction into some vegan combinations that can be used over and over again. It’s high in protein, includes an array of vitamins and nutrients and is surprisingly light! Feel free to switch the lettuce leaves for standard tortilla wraps or turn it into a salad.

Whilst there is a lengthy list of ingredients there, let your creativity flow! This meal is great when trying to get rid of leftovers or clearing out the fridge for the next big shop.

INGREDIENTS

For the ‘meat’ :

  • 1 cup/100g uncooked green lentils

  • 1 cup/125g walnut pieces (toasted)

  • 1 tsp dried oregano

  • 1 tsp ground cumin

  • 1 tsp chilli powder

  • 1 ½ tbsp/22ml extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 tbsp/30ml water

  • Salt and pepper to taste

Wraps and Toppings:

  • 1 large bell pepper

  • 1 large onion

  • Diced tomatoes or salsa

  • Romaine lettuce for the wraps

  • Coriander/cilantro, avocado, cashew sour cream, hot sauce, lime juice (optional)

METHOD

  1. Cook the lentils – Follow package instructions.

  2. Toast the walnuts: Preheat oven to 150 degrees (300 F). Toast them on a baking sheet for 10-13 minutes until golden and fragrant. Keep an eye on them!

  3. Cook pepper and onion in 1 tablespoon of oil until translucent (about 15 minutes on medium)

  4. Add the lentils and all the toasted walnuts into a food processor and pulse until it resembles taco meat/mince. Mix in the oregano, cumin, chilli powder, salt, oil and water until well combined.

  5. Take a large lettuce leaf and fill it with your toppings. You should get 8 tacos out of the ingredients.

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Don’t worry if those recipes aren’t to your fancy!

Here are a couple more indulgent vegan treats that our readers love:

Vanilla Peanut Butter & Cacao Chip Bliss Balls

Pumpkin and Coconut Curry

If you’re vegan or thinking about making the transition, it’s extremely important that you work with a nutritionist to ensure you meet your dietary needs and optimise your chances of a healthy conception.

For 20% off nutritional programmes with Kirsten, join our Fertility Gold VIP Members section.

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