It’s no secret that we tend to crave sugary foods around that time of the month, particularly chocolate! Excessive consumption of sugar however, is known to cause inflammation, which can make PMS issues like cramping worse.
I like to reach for a lower sugar, indulgent alternative, like these fudgy and rich nettle and ginger dark chocolate truffles! The addition of nettles and ginger provides a comforting, warming depth to these truffles.
Leading up to and within the first few days of my period I like to incorporate stinging nettles and ginger into my diet as much as possible. Ginger is anti-inflammatory with pain-relieving properties and has been shown in studies to decrease the severity of period pain.
Nettles are one of the most accessible nutrient-dense foods we can find in the UK, and many other parts of the world too. They have started growing in my garden this year, which is a sure sign to me that I need them!
Full of protein and essential minerals like iron, calcium, magnesium and potassium, they can replenish our stores which become depleted when we bleed. Nettles have also been known to ease swelling, reduce excessive bleeding, help the body to rid itself of toxins and so much more.
They are one of my favourite plants for helping my menstrual cycle be a much easier ride...
So not only is the dark chocolate in these truffles satisfying those moontime cravings, but the added infusion of nettles and ginger is a delicious way to get more of these herbal allies into your diet!
I particularly like to enjoy these with a spicy ginger and lemon tea or Wild Nettle Hot Chocolate for when those cramps and cravings start creeping in.
- 2 nettle tops (pinch the top two leaves off the stems of your nettles)
- 1cm slice fresh ginger
- 50ml full fat coconut milk
- 1/4 tsp good quality vanilla extract
- 100g good quality dark chocolate
- 2 tbsp Wild Nettle Hot Chocolate, or cocoa powder
- Optional: nettle seeds
Makes around 10 truffles. The eagle-eyed amongst you will see there's only 8 truffles on my plate, and that's because I couldn't resist eating two of them before I took a photo!
- Add 50ml coconut milk to a pan and heat until it barely starts to boil.
- While this is heating, cut a 1cm slice off your ginger root. Dice the ginger and nettles into pieces to increase the surface area. Take the coconut milk off the heat and add in your two nettle tops and ginger. Leave to infuse with the lid on for 15-20 minutes.
- While your herbs are steeping in the coconut milk, chop up your dark chocolate into small pieces.
- Strain the coconut milk through a sieve, pushing down on the herbs to make sure all the coconut milk passes through.
- The milk needs to be warm for the chocolate to melt, so reheat gently then pour into a small bowl, add your chocolate pieces and vanilla extract and mix thoroughly until chocolatey, glossy and thick.
- Cover the bowl tightly and place in the fridge until it is thick enough to scoop with a spoon or melon baller. I find the mixture is ready after 1-2 hours for me, but all fridges are different. You don’t want it to get too hard so it’s difficult to scoop, so keep an eye on it!
- Scoop small balls of your chocolate ganache and shape with your hands. I like to run my hands under cold water then dry them before shaping the balls, and I repeat if necessary throughout the process to keep the chocolate from melting too much.
- Place the truffles on a plate or tray lined with baking paper. The truffles can be refrigerated at this point but I like to add Wild Nettle Hot Chocolate or cocoa powder to a bowl, then roll the truffles around the bowl until coated with a light dusting of the powder.
An additional bowl of dried or fresh nettle seeds (which you can gather from nettles in late summer) for dusting adds a nice touch. Nettle seeds add an energising boost to these truffles, and I would recommend eating the ones coated in nettle seed truffles in the morning or afternoon, not in the evening for this reason.
- Pop them in the fridge and take them out when ready to serve and enjoy!
Any leftover Wild Nettle Hot Chocolate you have in the bowl, don’t discard it or put it back in the jar! Keep it for your next comforting hot chocolate or add it into a recipe that calls for cocoa powder.