Scientific fact: When PMS hits, you’re more likely than ever to crave something fudgy and sweet. Wouldn’t it be nice if once a month someone just showed up with a plate of treats that not only satisfied your cravings but actually gave your body a boost? That’s exactly the concept behind Devon Loftus’s subscription service, Moon Cycle Bakery (which benefits from the monthly marketing opportunity that is menstruation).
The customizable treat delivery service—which ranges from $15 to $30 a month—gives subscribers a way to track their period using a handy app and pre-order themselves some yummy goodies to arrive right when you need them. Think: matcha coconut bites made with hormone-balancing adaptogens.
Want a taste of what they have to offer? Whip up these gluten-free hazelnut brownies, a favorite of Loftus’s. “I love them during my cycle because they are so decadent,” she says. “Rich, fudgy, and just the right amount of hazelnut to give that cozy, earthy feel.”
Their secret, symptom-busting powers come from boron and magnesium, says Loftus. Boron (found in hazelnuts) is an anti-inflammatory nutrient that can help reduce the severity and duration of menstrual pain. Meanwhile, cacao is high in magnesium, a mineral that’s depleted during your cycle thanks to rising hormone levels, and it some experts say it can help reduce constipation, headaches, bloating, and other painful period symptoms.
At the end of the day, go with your own flow, advises Loftus. “The beauty of self-care is that it looks different every day and is different for every person, so listen to your body and trust in its intelligence—and eat a brownie while you’re at it.”
Bake away period blahs with this PMS brownie recipe.
Gluten-free hazelnut brownies
Makes 12 brownies
2/3 cup chopped 70% cacao dark chocolate
5 Tbsp avocado oil or coconut oil
1/3 cup coconut sugar or maple syrup
2/3 cup almond flour
2 Tbsp unsweetened cacao powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp pink Himalayan sea salt
1 tsp of hazelnut extract
3/4 cup chopped hazelnuts
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8×8 baking pan with parchment paper or spray with coconut oil.
2. In a small saucepan, melt chocolate and oil over low heat until smooth. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs, and maple syrup until mixed well. Set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: almond flour, cacao, baking soda, and salt.
4. Whisk the mixture into the saucepan of the melted chocolate until it’s smooth. Stir in the hazelnut extract. Stir in the dry ingredients and mix until fully combined, then fold in the chopped hazelnuts. Pour the batter into your brownie pan and smooth the surface.
5. Bake at 350 degrees 25 minutes, or until edges are set and the center is still slightly underdone. (The center will set as it cools.) Slice into squares and serve.
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