Mushrooms are a great fertility-boosting food as they contain beta-glucans that support the growth of beneficial bacteria in our gut, which are fundamental for the detoxification and excretion of excess hormones from our bodies. Not only that, but these substances can also help to balance our blood sugar levels, which in turn can support our hormonal system and reproductive organs.
Mushrooms are anti-inflammatory and contain selenium which is necessary for both thyroid function and sperm viability and motility. In particular, shiitake mushrooms are great for fertility as they contain substances which support healthy blood pressure and circulation – which are both essential for getting those much-needed nutrients to our reproductive organs!
The walnuts in this recipe are a wonderful vegetarian source of omega-3. Omega-3 is anti-inflammatory and studies have shown it can help to improve the quality of our eggs and may also improve sperm motility.
Walnuts are also a great source of vitamin E which the body uses as an antioxidant, and which can also support our cervical mucus levels. Low levels of vitamin E have sometimes been found in men with fertility problems, so there is absolutely no harm in both men and women increasing their dietary source of this vitamin.
With this in mind, the ingredients in this delicious vegan, gluten and dairy-free recipe have been carefully selected to support not only your general health but – most importantly – your reproductive health.
1. You can make oat flour yourself in a Nutribullet or similar, add in your oats and blend until you get a rough flour texture.
2. As the pastry is gluten and dairy-free it is quite fragile both before and after being cooked so be gentle when handling!
3. Can be served with a lentil salad for a delicious side that is rich in nutrients and antioxidants. Lentils are also a wonderful source of protein, which is used throughout the body for building and repairing tissues, and to stabilise blood sugar levels.
4. For all ingredients use organic where possible.
1 cup almond flour
1 cup oat flour
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp coconut oil
3 tbsp cold water, chill in fridge beforehand
Extra virgin olive oil for frying
425g mixed fresh mushrooms (I used 300g white mushrooms and 125g shiitake mushrooms)
¼ cup dried porcini mushrooms
½ cup boiling water for soaking mushrooms
1 small red onion, finely sliced into half circles
2 garlic cloves, crushed or finely chopped
1 cup walnuts
1 cup of fresh parsley, roughly chopped, save a little to garnish
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
Salt and black pepper to taste
Begin by turning your oven to 180°c/160°c fan/gas 4, then put the dried mushrooms in a bowl and pour over the boiling water. Leave them to rehydrate whilst you prepare the pastry.
In a large mixing bowl add the almond flour, oat flour and salt. Using the back of a fork, crumble in the coconut oil and combine until the mix starts to resemble a crumble topping. Add in 1 tbsp of chilled water at a time and use your hands to mix until you can form a firm ball of dough.
Split the ball into 6 smaller balls. Take each ball and press into the tartlet tin. Depending on your tin you might need to lightly grease it with your coconut or olive oil to stop the pastry sticking. Alternatively, on a clean work surface gently press each pastry ball out to form a circle then carefully transfer to your tin. Prick the bottoms with a fork.
Transfer to your oven and bake for 15 minutes then turn up the oven to 200°c/180°c fan/gas 6 and bake for a further 10 minutes or so until the pastry starts to turn golden. Leave to cool slightly before removing from the tins.
Whilst the pastry is baking prepare the mushroom mix. In a frying pan, add the red onion and a dash of olive oil. Cook on a low to medium heat until they are soft and caramelised then put to one side.
In a separate pan, lightly toast the walnuts for a few minutes on a medium heat, then add them to a food processor.
Roughly slice all the fresh mushrooms and sauté in the pan you used for the walnuts with a dash of olive oil. Cook the mushrooms for a few minutes on a medium heat until they start to go soft. Next add in the soaked porcini mushrooms along with their juice. Add in the garlic and cook on a medium to high heat until most of the liquid has evaporated.
Transfer the mushroom mixture to the food processor along with the salt, pepper, nutritional yeast and chopped parsley. Pulse until well combined, but don’t over pulse, you want to have a coarse texture rather than a purée.
Once the pastry is cooked and out of the oven, gently remove each tart from the tin and transfer to a plate. Fill with the mushroom mix and top with the red onion.
Sprinkle over the remaining parsley to garnish.
About the author
Rosie Weston is a registered Nutritional Therapist who specialises in helping women learn how to balance their hormones naturally. Passionate about finding the root cause of her clients’ fertility struggles, Rosie empowers her clients to take control of their own health and make long-lasting and sustainable lifestyle changes.