Love on the menu

From domestic deity to Greek goddess of love and sexuality, Maria Cachia takes on the role of Aphrodite as she hand feeds us some light morsels, lets the juices flow and even serves up edible flowers – a concoction that should stimulate desire.

When we think of aphrodisiacs, we normally go for the clichéd oysters. But so can minerals, particularly zinc, get your libido going. Zinc is required for skin beauty, cell and bodily growth, sexual development and fertility. It is an essential mineral for the reproductive system for both sexes, especially for the prostate, and is present in male sexual fluids, increasing male potency and sex drive.

Sources of zinc include pumpkin and sesame seeds, pecans, coconuts and raw cacao, used in these recipes.

Selenium is another mineral known to boost male fertility. Its sources include sunflower seeds and Brazil nuts, which can be chucked into a salad.

Magnesium-rich foods enable enzyme activity, energy production in body cells as well as DNA and RNA, while also balancing minerals within cells. Its sources include pecan and Brazil nuts, raw cacao and chia seeds.

Silicon is a beautifying mineral and maintains flexibility and elasticity. It is found in radishes, which have been thrown into the mix.

Try also adding valerian, which improves the mood and is a natural relaxer, while the super food maca is a natural sex stimulant as it enhances sex drive. It also helps to alleviate PMS and effects of menopause as it balances the production of oestrogen and progesterone and increases testosterone levels in men.

Goji berries are the new cherry on the cake, enhancing fertility and improving sexual function.

Berry and mango smoothie

Serves 2

Wake your loved one up to a juice that stirs the senses for a romantic breakfast in bed. Raise your glass to Valentine’s Day. With chia seeds and maca powder, you are sure to get up to a frisky start.

50g frozen berries (raspberries, blueberries, or cherries)
1 banana
1 ripe mango
1 tablespoon chia seeds
Honey or agave syrup to taste
Sesame seeds for garnish

Prepare the fruit by peeling the banana and mango. Chop into large pieces. Place berries, banana, mango and chia seeds in the blender. Blend until smooth, adding a little water as needed. Add some honey or agave syrup for extra sweetness. Garnish with sesame seeds.

Advocado smoothie

Serves 2

1 avocado
Juice of ½ lemon
Honey or agave syrup to taste
¼ teaspoon maca powder
Pomegranate seeds or a dollop of yogurt for garnish

Cut the avocado in half. Remove the stone and scoop out the avocado flesh. Blend the avocado, lemon juice, maca powder and a drizzle of agave syrup. Add a little water as needed. Garnish with some pomegranate seeds or some yogurt.

Flower and nut salad

Serves 2

Petals are normally strewn over beds, along carpets and in baths. But you can even eat some flowers. So add them to a salad for an evocative, but healthy and light lunch. The right mix of nuts and seeds should also arouse your sex drive.

30g Brazil nuts or pecan nuts
1 tsp sunflower seeds
1 tsp pumpkin seeds
3 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
1 scant tsp pomegranate molasses
1 tbsp lemon juice
¼ tsp lavender seeds
Salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
3 or 4 radishes, thinly sliced
1 grapefruit, cut into segments
150g salad leaves such as lamb’s lettuce (valerian)
A small handful of cherry tomatoes
100g feta cheese, crumbled (optional)
Edible flowers such as nasturtium, rose petals, chamomile or lavender flowers (free from pesticides)

Soak the nuts and seeds for a couple of hours to aid maximum nutrient absorption. Drain well before using.

For the dressing, mix the olive oil, pomegranate molasses and lemon juice. Season with some salt, freshly cracked pepper and the lavender seeds. Allow to infuse for at least half an hour.

Remove the outer stringy leaves from the fennel bulb. Discard any tough parts of the base. Cut the bulb in half and then in quarters. Remove any tough core from the quarters. Slice thinly with the help of a mandoline. Remove the base and top part of the radishes and thinly slice.

Remove the top part and the base of the grapefruit. Following the curve of the grapefruit, slice the peel and remove it and any remaining pith. Hold the grapefruit in one hand and in the other, with a sharp paring knife, make incisions along the inside of the membrane and into the centre of the fruit. Repeat the same process to detach the segment from the membrane on the other side. Repeat until all segments are removed.

Assemble the salad by placing the salad leaves first, then the fennel, radish and grapefruit segments. Add the cheese, if using. Sprinkle the nuts and seeds and the cherry tomatoes. Add the edible flowers. Mix the dressing and drizzle onto the salad.


Serves 2

And for the sweet and decadent touch, without the full and bloated feeling that accompanies stuffing your face, you can have the cake and eat it with this coconut-cocoa blend.

Photos: Darrin Zammit LupiPhotos: Darrin Zammit Lupi

200g raw cacao
4 tbsps coconut oil
6 tbsps agave syrup, or more to taste
50ml thick coconut milk
100g desiccated coconuts
2 tbsps coconut powder
Goji berries, pre-soaked
(Heart moulds, optional)

For the chocolate base
In a large bowl, mix the raw cacao, coconut oil and three tablespoons agave syrup. Work with your hands so that the coconut oil becomes warmer. (Crushed nuts can also be added.) Place the mixture into a mould and refrigerate.

For the coconut topping
In a bowl pour the coconut milk and add the desiccated coconuts and three tablespoons agave syrup. Refrigerate for at least three hours, by which time the coconut milk should be absorbed and the mixture should have a thick consistency. Add the coconut powder and more agave syrup if needed. Place the coconut mixture on top of the chocolate base and refrigerate.

Just before serving, remove from the mould and add some goji berries as garnish.


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