• Amy Lippert, NTP

Seed Cycling Brownies (Paleo, Whole30)

Updated: Nov 24

Chewy, fudgey, and oh-so good for you raw seed cycling brownies are the most delicious and decadent way to treat yourself and support your hormones, naturally! I'm so excited to partner with Manski's Wellness Seed Cycling Blends to bring you this Paleo and Whole30 friendly, hormone-loving dessert! Use code Happyhormones10 to get 10% off your first purchase.



Seed Cycling Brownies Recipe

What is Seed Cycling


Seed cycling is a natural way using whole food seeds to support the delicate balance of a woman's hormones. When this balance becomes off balance due to diet, environmental toxins, lack of sleep, stress, exercise, medications, or illness it can lead to an array of chronic symptoms such as PMS, headaches, irregular menstrual cycles, PCOS, acne, mood swings and more.


One of the easiest and most natural ways you can support your body's reproductive hormones is with seed cycling. As I have told many clients, your body is this amazing machine that has the ability to restore and heal when given what it needs. So let's dive into seed cycling some more!



 

How does Seed Cycling work to Balance Hormones

Follicular Phase

The first 14-days of a woman's cycle begins the day her period starts, this is considered the follicular phase and is when a woman's body is working to build up the endometrium (uterine lining). This phase of a woman's cycle is more estrogen dominant and seeds such as pumpkin and flax support the body's estrogen levels due to the phytoestrogens that are found in the seeds. The lignans found in flax seeds help to support the body's estrogen levels by preventing excess estrogen by binding to it, while pumpkin seeds are high in zinc, a mineral that is necessary in progesterone production in the luteal phase (days 15-28) of your cycle.


Flax seeds


Omega-3's: An essential fatty acid that is necessary in the body's anti-inflammatory pathways


Fiber: There are more benefits to eating the flax seeds, they are full of fiber to support a healthy and optimized digestive tract! They contain both soluble and insoluble fiber:

  • Insoluble fiber: Works to keep things moving along and helps with toxin and waste elimination.

  • Soluble fiber [1]: Soluble fiber works to support a healthy microbiome and supports healthy blood sugar regulation.

Vitamins

  • Vitamin B1 (thiamine): A water soluble vitamin that is essential in glucose metabolism and supports health heart and nervous system function.

  • Vitamin B6: A water soluble vitamin that is essential in metabolic pathways, RBC production, and in the production of neurotransmitters.

  • Vitamin B9 (folate): A water soluble vitamin that is essential during pregnancy in the formation of the neural tube [2].

Minerals

  • Copper: Essential mineral in the formation of red blood cells and in supporting cardiovascular health and immune function [3].

  • Iron: Necessary in the formation of hemoglobin and maintaining proper body temperature. Plant sources of iron and are considered non-heme, which is not as easily absorbed, pairing non-heme iron rich foods with foods rich in Vitamin C increases absorption.

  • Manganese: Essential mineral in supporting blood sugar regulation, glucose metabolism, and supporting healthy brain and nerve function [4].

  • Magnesium: The fourth most abundant mineral in the body, it support healthy nerve functions, healthy blood pressure, and detoxification.

  • Phosphorus: Supports healthy teeth and bones, muscle recovery after working out, and detoxification.

  • Selenium: Supports thyroid health [5] and supports your immune system.

  • Zinc: Essential in digestion, thyroid health, and a healthy immune system.

Pumpkin Seeds


Pumpkin seeds are a great source of protein, which is the source of the amino acids your body needs for every function that support you from immune health to the synthesis of hormones. Pumpkin seeds contain all nine essential amino acids, making this one of the few complete plant protein sources you can find [6].


Vitamins: You will find Vitamin K1, which is essential in supporting your body's ability to clot. Vitamin K1 is converted to vitamin K2 by your microbiome, which helps to support your bones health, brain and heart health [7].


Minerals: Full of essential minerals that support many of the functions and processes in our bodies, these include Copper, Manganese, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Iron and Zinc.


Luteal Phase

The luteal phase of a woman's cycle begins after ovulation has occurred and is typically during days 15-28. During this phase, the corpus luteum begins to release progesterone, a sex hormone that supports the thickening of the uterine lining in order to support the implantation of an embryo. The nutrients in sunflower seeds and sesame seeds assist with the production of progesterone and more. Sunflower seeds are rich in the fat soluble vitamin E, which boosts the body's natural progesterone production, and selenium, an essential mineral that supports the detoxification of excess estrogen within the liver. Sesame seeds contain plant lignins, which are a polyphenol, that work by supporting estrogen levels from increasing too high, and zinc, a mineral that supports the production of progesterone.


Sunflower Seeds


Vitamins

  • Vitamin B3 (niacin): Essential in healthy metabolism, supports healthy cholesterol and blood pressure [1].

  • Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid): Supports metabolic pathways and plays a role in making red blood cells.

  • Vitamin B6: There are many benefits from a diet rich in vitamin B6. It plays a role in our immune health, metabolism, and brain health. Vitamin B6 is essential in creating neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin, which play a role in emotional health and sleep [2].

  • Vitamin B9 (folate): Essential nutrient during pregnancy that supports the development of the neural tube.

  • Vitamin E: Powerful antioxidant that supports healthy vision, immune function, reproduction, and may help to lower C-reactive protein levels [3].

Minerals

  • Iron: Necessary in the formation of hemoglobin and maintaining proper body temperature.

  • Copper: Essential in the production of red blood cells.

  • Magnesium: The fourth most abundant mineral in the body, it support healthy nerve functions, healthy blood pressure, and detoxification.

  • Manganese: Essential mineral in supporting blood sugar regulation, glucose metabolism, and supporting healthy brain and nerve function [4].

  • Selenium: Supports thyroid health [5] and supports your immune system.

  • Zinc: Essential in digestion, thyroid health, and a healthy immune system.

Fatty Acids

  • Linoleic Acid: Supports healthy cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and heart health

Antioxidants

  • Chlorogenic Acid: Supports healthy blood sugars, blood pressure, weight, and mood balance.

Fiber

  • Sunflower seeds are full of fiber to support a healthy and optimized digestive tract that helps to keep things moving along, rids the body of toxins a supports a healthy microbiome and healthy blood sugar regulation.

Sesame Seeds


Vitamins

  • Vitamin B1 (Thiamine): A water soluble vitamin that is essential in glucose metabolism and supports health heart and nervous system function, Vitamin B3, B6 and Vitamin E.

Minerals

  • Calcium, Magnesium, Manganese, Selenium, Zinc

Antioxidants

  • Lignans: Antioxidant/phytoestrogen that reduces free radicals and oxidative stress, supports healthy cholesterol [6], supports uterine and ovarian health, and reduces hot flashes in menopausal women.

Fiber


There are more benefits to eating the sesame seeds, they are full of fiber to support a healthy and optimized digestive tract! They contain both soluble and insoluble fiber:

  • Insoluble fiber: Works to keep things moving along and helps with toxin and waste elimination.

  • Soluble fiber [7]: Soluble fiber works to support a healthy microbiome and supports healthy blood sugar regulation.

So grab some ground seeds and let's get cooking!



What are the Benefits of Seed Cycling*


Seed cycling can have a positive impact on various symptoms of hormonal imbalances in as soon as a few weeks to months after starting including

  • Hormonal balance

  • Reduction in PMS symptoms: bloating, cramping, headache, mood swings, sugar cravings, fatigue

  • Improving and regulating your cycle and flow

  • Can help stimulate menstruation if absent

  • Supporting fertility

  • Improving symptoms associated with PCOS, ovarian cysts, fibroids, and endometriosis

  • Improved libido

  • Improved sleep

  • Improves symptoms during peri-menopause and post-menopause

* There is not a lot of scientific data that supports these claims, however, there are many testimonials, mine included, that support seed cycling and its benefits.


How to Start Seed Cycling


Seed Cycling is one of the easiest ways to add more nutrients to support a healthy hormonal balance. During the follicular phase (days 1-14), you will eat 1 Tablespoon each of pumpkin and flax seeds each day. During the luteal phase (days 15-28), you will eat 1 Tablespoon of each sunflower and sesame seeds each day.


Days 1-14: Follicular Phase, starts the first day of your period

  • Eat 1 Tablespoon of Pumpkin Seeds: ground

  • Eat 1 Tablespoon of Flax Seeds: ground

Days 15-28: Luteal Phase

  • Eat 1 Tablespoon of Sunflower seeds, ground

  • Eat 1 Tablespoon of Sesame seeds, ground


Seed Cycling for Hormonal Balance

Seed Cycling FAQs


Q: When should I start seed cycling?

A: If you are menstruating, start on the first day of your next period. If you are peri-menopausal or post-menopausal and are experiencing amenorrhea, start with the seed cycling anytime you like and follow the timeline of the 14-day rotation.


Q: What if my cycle is shorter? Longer?

A: Not everyone has a cycle that is 28-days, many of us are less than that and many of us are longer. Everyone is different, and that's okay.


If you cycle is shorter than 28 days like I was, then stop the luteal phase seeds and restart the follicular seeds when your period starts. Over time you may see improvement in the cycle length. If you have consistently shorter cycles, you may also decrease the number of days you are in each phase, for instance, if you have a 26-day cycle, you can choose to do each phase for 13 days instead of 14. Listen to your body, you know what is best for you.


If you cycle is longer, I recommend sticking with the 14-day cycling as close as possible to help provide the necessary nutrients in supporting the body's natural hormonal balance of a 28-day cycle.


Q: Do the seeds have to be ground?

A: Grinding the seeds helps to improve the availability of the nutrients in the seeds by breaking the seeds down into a more absorbable form. You can grind them up in a coffee grinder, food processor, or blender and add them to different foods or make seed cycling cups to enjoy.


Q: What if I can't eat certain seeds?

A: Try to add the ones you can during the specific phases they support, and avoid flax and pumpkin seeds during your luteal phases and sesame and sunflower during your follicular phases.


Q: What if I don't have time to ground fresh seeds everyday?

A: There are so many alternatives! Make seed butter cups like I do and keep them in the fridge/freezer, make your own seed powder or seed butter to add to other foods, or even just buy organic seed butters (what I do A LOT) and eat a Tablespoon of each on some celery, apples, or toast! Or buy your seeds ready to eat and use from Manski's Wellness Seed Cycling Blends!


Q: What are some other ways to add the seeds to my diet?

A: So many answers here, but I'll throw these out!

  • Blend them to into smoothies

  • Add them to a yogurt parfait

  • Add them to a bowl of homemade granola

  • Add them to an energy ball

  • Add them to your oatmeal

  • Stir them into your overnight chia pudding

  • Add the seeds to your salad (make sure the flax is ground)

  • Use a seed butter for snacks and sandwiches

  • Add them to your baked goods: breads, cookies, muffins

  • Keep a jar of ground seeds in the fridge to add to salads, smoothies, oatmeal, baked goods and more!


Hormone Balancing Seed Cycling Brownie Recipe

Seed Cycling Brownies (Paleo, Whole30)

Makes 14-16 Brownies


Brownies

18-20 Organic Medjool Dates, pitted and at room temperature

½ cup Raw Whole Cashews

½ cup Raw Cocoa Powder

1 ¾ cups Ground Seed Powder* (¾ cup each)

2 Tbsp - ¼ cup Raw Unfiltered Coconut Oil

1.5 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract

1/2 tsp Real Salt


Ganache Topping

10 oz Dark Chocolate Chunks**

½ cup Coconut Cream, cream only


*Use Code Happyhormones10 to get 10% off your first purchase of Manski's Wellness Seed Blends

**Use 100% cacao chocolate for Whole30


How to Make Seed Cycling Brownies (Paleo, Whole30)


Brownies

1. Remove pits if the dates are whole and bring to room temperature if they are cold.


2. Add the cashews to a food processor and process until coarse.


3. Add the remaining brownie ingredients and process until a dough forms. You can check the dough readiness by taking a little and squeeze it between your fingers.


4. Transfer to a parchment lined 11x7 baking dish and pop into the freezer while you made the ganache topping.


Ganache Topping

1. Heat the chocolate chunks and coconut cream in a double boiler over low-medium heat, stirring every few minutes.


2. Once the ganache is smooth and all the chocolate has melted, pour over the brownies and freeze for 1-hour.


Enjoy!


Watch the Video HERE!



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FAQs


Q: What should I add if my dough is too dry?

A: You could add a few more softened dates or a bit more coconut oil to help bring the dough together.


Q: What should I add if my dough is too wet?

A: You can add some more cashews or if you like a lot of chocolate, add a bit more cocoa powder.


Q: Do seed cycling brownies need to stay refrigerated?

A Yes, I store a few days worth in an airtight container in the refrigerator and will keep the rest in the freezer to stay fresh until I'm ready to eat them.


Q: Does it matter which seed cycling blend I use in seed cycling brownies?

A: I created this recipe to be interchangeable with either seed blend.


Paleo Seed Cycling Recipe


I hope you enjoy this as much as my family does. - Amy



 

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