Hormone Healthy Holiday Recipe: Quinoa Sweet Potato Stuffing
It’s hard to imagine a holiday season without a serving of stuffing (or five). However, traditional stuffing is often made with refined carbs and processed ingredients—especially if you go for the boxed stuff. It’s also usually lacking in the nutrient department, which can be a bummer if you’re trying to eat more whole foods.
Enter quinoa sweet potato stuffing, an easy dish made with whole grains and veggies. Thanks to the real ingredients in this recipe, you can fuel your body with the nutrients it needs while supporting hormone health.
HORMONE HEALTHY RECIPE: INGREDIENT SPOTLIGHT
Quinoa is a complex carb, so it’s slowly digested by the body. This means it gives you a steady source of energy and keeps you full for a long time. The whole grain is also rich in fiber and B vitamins, aka a group of nutrients that’s essential for managing PMS symptoms. But what makes quinoa super unique is its protein content; it’s one of the few plant-based complete proteins! Plus, it’s naturally gluten-free, making this recipe perfect if you have celiac disease.
Sweet potato is high in vitamin B6, a nutrient that’s essential for turning tryptophan into serotonin, a mood-regulating hormone. This is especially important right before your period, when serotonin fluctuates and causes emotional PMS symptoms. The root veggie is also a complex carb and offers antioxidants like vitamin C and carotenoids. (Fun fact: Carotenoids are also plant pigments that give sweet potatoes their rich orange color.)
Spinach, like other leafy greens, offers vitamin K, folate, fiber, iron, magnesium, *and* calcium. Specifically, magnesium is a cramp-fighting mineral that can be a lifesaver during your luteal phase, while calcium is a must for regulating anxiety and mood changes.
Avocado oil has a high smoke point, so it’s ideal for roasting the sweet potatoes and apples in this recipe. In other words, you can use avocado oil at high temperatures without diminishing its nutritional value (or totally burning your food). Avocado oil is also a stellar source of healthy fats called monounsaturated fats, which is always a plus.
Pecans are high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, along with fiber, magnesium, and zinc. Not nutty about pecans? You can also use almonds, cashews, or walnuts for a satisfying and delicious crunch.
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