Looking for a pregnancy safe Easter treat? Read on!
It’s that time of the year again – when many celebrate Easter – and we are ALL surrounded by chocolaty temptations!
So, we wanted to share with you a delicious dessert that you can whip up at home to enjoy or bring along to any social events that is not only pregnancy safe (and tummy friendly!) but a little more nutritious than your average cheesecake!
This is a great dessert for all the plant-based mothers-to-be as well, so everyone can enjoy it!
Just a reminder, while eating well most of the time during pregnancy is important, it’s also just as essential to celebrate and make wonderful memories – which includes delicious food too! A little sugar from time to time won’t hurt in the context of a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, wholegrains, proteins and dairy foods or dairy alternatives.
If you have a specific health concern during pregnancy, we recommend touching base with your health care provider for individualised advice. If you need dietary guidance, reach out to an Accredited Practising Dietitian with an interest in pregnancy nutrition for personalised support.
Pregnancy Safe Chocolate Cheese Cake Recipe
Preparation Time: 4 hr 25 min| Cooking Time: 1 hr | Serves: 10
600 g silken tofu, well drained
2 tsp vanilla extract
¾ cup coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
2 tbsp raw cacao powder, plus some extra for dusting
150 g dairy-free dark chocolate (70% cocoa), melted & cooled
100 g dairy-free dark chocolate (85% cocoa), melted & cooled
Fresh raspberries or thawed frozen raspberries, to serve
Mini dairy-free chocolate Easter eggs, to decorate
50 g (½ cup) rolled oats
50 g (¼ cup) coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
85 g (¾ cup) hazelnut meal (if you can’t find this, blend whole roasted hazelnuts in a food processor to form a hazelnut meal)
½ tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch of iodised salt
1/3 cup lite extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 180˚C/160˚C fan forced. Release the base of a 20cm (base measurement) springform pan and invert. Spray with oil. Line the base with baking paper, allowing a 4cm overhang. Secure the base, paper side up, back in the pan. Grease the side of the pan and line with baking paper.
- For the base, process oats and sugar until finely chopped. Add the hazelnut meal, cinnamon and salt. Pulse to combine. Add oil and process until mixture comes together. Press mixture into base of prepared pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden. Set aside to cool.
- Reduce oven to 170˚C/150˚C fan forced. Place tofu and vanilla in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth. Add sugar and cacao. Process until smooth. Add all the melted chocolate and process, scraping down side with a spatula, until combined. Spoon over prepared base. Smooth surface. Bake for 40 minutes or until just firm (mixture will still be soft in centre). Turn off oven and leave to cool in oven with door ajar. Cover and place in the fridge for 4 hours or overnight to chill. Dust with extra cacao. Serve with raspberries and dot with mini Easter eggs for a festive twist!
Key Pregnancy Friendly Ingredients
- Silken tofu – a plant protein which provides about 8 grams of protein per 100 grams and provides some iron and calcium to your day too! This is a great alternative base to higher fat alternatives typically used in dessert recipes, and bonus, it suits those following a vegetarian or vegan diet too!
- Rolled oats – rich in dietary fibre, rolled oats can help keep you regular, and pregnancy constipation is very real! Did you know, that during pregnancy and whilst breastfeeding, you need additional servings of unrefined wholegrains to help fuel your increased energy demands? Rolled oats makes a perfect addition to your diet for a warm nourishing porridge breakfast, a scoop into your smoothies or as a base in your dessert recipes!
- Cacao – rich in antioxidants and high in magnesium, cacao powder is a great addition to turn anything chocolate-y! From your morning oats, to a homemade hot chocolate or in a homemade dessert. Keep your total intake of cacao to 40 grams (about 4-6 heaped teaspoons) per day, as it may interfere with calcium absorption.
- Iodised salt – as the name suggests, iodised salt contains iodine! A critical mineral in pregnancy to support your thyroid health to support you and baby. Also, research suggests iodine plays an important role in baby’s cognitive development too. It’s so important, that it is recommended that all women planning a pregnancy supplement with at least 150 mcg of iodine per day in their prenatal multivitamin.
What about the caffeine content of chocolate? Should I be concerned?
During pregnancy, it is recommended that you stay at or below 200 mg of caffeine daily. Key sources of caffeine include black or green tea, coffee and cocoa products. So, you may be wondering, how much chocolate would put you over the daily caffeine limit?
So, for a quick reference:
- 1 shot of espresso coffee (either homemade or store bought): 90-120 mg caffeine
- 1 teaspoon of instant coffee: 60 mg caffeine
- 1 cup of percolated coffee: 100-125 mg caffeine
- 1 cup black tea: 50 mg caffeine
- 1 cup green tea: 30 mg caffeine
- 60 g milk or dark chocolate: 40 mg caffeine
- 375 mL Cola drinks (including sugar-free): 30-40 mg caffeine
This recipe contains approximately 250 grams of chocolate total, so the whole cake contains about 167 mg of caffeine. And since it serves 10, per serving you will be getting less than 17 mg of caffeine – well below the daily allocated caffeine limit for pregnancy.
Tag us on Instagram if you give this recipe a try! You can find us at @perdaysau