• Katie Psarou

Pumpkin and Flax Seed Oat Bar (to boost your Cycle's Follicular Phase)

Updated: Sep 7

It is finally here… the most amazing and easy to make snack, especially for those individuals who are trying to conceive! I don’t know about you, but I see a lot of online posts around seed cycling and these bars have been inspired by this new trend!


Seed cycling is a method of introducing certain seeds during the first and second phase of a woman’s menstrual cycle (the follicular and the luteal phase). It is believed that seed cycling promotes a healthy balance of our reproductive hormones oestrogen and progesterone, potentially boosting fertility. While there is limited evidence to suggest that adding seeds to your diet can change the levels of your hormones [1], some small-scale studies have shown that women who add seeds daily in their diet they have regular cycles [2]. Adding flaxseeds, specifically, has been shown to reduce insulin resistance in women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) [3], which can positively impact fertility success.



Pumking and Flax Seed Oat Bar for Seed Cycling
Pumpkin and Flax Seed Oat Bar

Despite there is limited evidence yet to promote seed cycling, this is still the perfect nutritious and delicious snack using pumpkin and flax seeds that can support your fertility. It will boost your fibre and healthy fats with added natural sweetness from the bananas and the dried figs.

Give it a go!


PUMPKIN AND FLAX SEED OAT BAR RECIPE

Makes: 12 bars


Preparation: 10 minutes


Cook Time: 20-25 minutes


INGREDIENTS:


300gr of rolled oats (3 cups)


100gr Soft Dried Figs finely chopped (¾ cup)


60gr Pumpkin Seeds (approx. ½ cup)


60gr Ground Flaxseeds (approx. ½ cup)


2 tbs Ground Cinnamon


2tsp cocoa powder


4 medium ripe bananas


3tbs of milk (45ml)- any type


METHOD:

1. Preheat the oven to 160 C fan (350 F).


2. Line a 20cmx 20cm square tin with baking parchment paper.


3. In a big bowl, add oats, dried figs (I finely chopped these using scissors to save time), pumpkin and flax seeds (you can use ground if you prefer), cocoa powder and cinnamon. Mix thoroughly so that everything is distributed well.


4. In another bowl, mashed the bananas really well- this should be easy if they really soft and ripe.


5. Add the mashed bananas into the big bowl and mix well, so that all the dry ingredients get some moisture. Then add the milk and mix again really well.


6. Fill the baking tin with the mix and press well into the corners with the back of the spoon, making sure it is all levelled.


7. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until firm on the top and a little golden brown.


8. Take out of the oven and leave it to cool for 10 minutes. After that, cut the mixture into 12 equal sized bars and leave it to cool completely on a wire rack.


If you are not keen on this chocolate version (really?), then you can omit the cocoa powder. If you want to adapt the recipe further for the whole family, or if you follow a vegan diet, then check out my Happy Halloween Oat Bar Recipe for suggestions.


REFERENCES:


[1] Domínguez-López, I., Yago-Aragón, M., Salas-Huetos, A., Tresserra-Rimbau, A., & Hurtado-Barroso, S. (2020). Effects of dietary phytoestrogens on hormones throughout a human lifespan: A review. Nutrients, 12(8), 2456.


[2] Levine, L. D., Kim, K., Purdue-Smithe, A., Sundaram, R., Schisterman, E. F., Connell, M., ... & Mumford, S. L. (2020). Urinary phytoestrogens and relationship to menstrual cycle length and variability among healthy, eumenorrheic women. Journal of the Endocrine Society, 4(2), bvz003.


[3] Haidari, F., Banaei-Jahromi, N., Zakerkish, M., & Ahmadi, K. (2020). The effects of flaxseed supplementation on metabolic status in women with polycystic ovary syndrome: a randomized open-labeled controlled clinical trial. Nutrition journal, 19(1), 1-11.

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