Trauma is defined as a threat to a person’s emotional, social, and physical wellbeing. The body goes into a fight, flight, freeze, or fawn response to the event. Trauma comes in many layers and people respond to it and carry it differently. Symptoms of trauma include hypervigilance, flashbacks, and extreme fear and distress. Many of us are acquainted with a few methods for healing trauma: counseling, exercise, and meditation. These methods are all valid forms of healing. Trauma healing can be a lifelong process, and healing is never linear.
Additionally, eating well is one component of healing. Of course, this does not mean trauma healing is as simple as eating well. However, antioxidants are natural substances that promote healthy circulation of energy through increased blood flow. Healthy circulation helps the body cleanse itself of toxins and reduce inflammation. Receiving enough antioxidants is especially important for trauma survivors since they help release tension in the body. This release ultimately fosters restfulness, which helps us feel safe in the world.
See below for a recipe rich in antioxidants and abundant in deliciousness.
Antioxidant-Rich Chocolate Cupcakes
100 g butternut squash
3 medjool dates
75 g coconut sugar or equivalent of sweetener of choice
5 tbsp orange juice
100 g spelt flour
100 g ground almonds
40 g cocoa
1.5 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tin coconut milk- place upside down overnight in the fridge
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cacao
- Line a muffin tray with cupcake cases and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Peel and grate the butternut squash either in a food processor or by hand. If using the processor remove the squash and place aside in a bowl.
- Place the dates, eggs, coconut sugar and orange juice in the processor and blitz until smooth.
- Add in the squash and dry ingredients (flour, almonds, cocoa, baking powder and bicarb) and quickly mix again until all combined.
- Spoon the mixture into the cupcake cases and place in the oven for about 25 minutes. They are ready when they are starting to crack on the top. You can insert a skewer or cocktail stick into one of them and if it comes out clean, they are ready.
- To make the icing, remove coconut milk from the fridge and turn the can up the right way and quickly remove the tin lid. The coconut milk should have separated into a thinner watery liquid, with coconut cream at the bottom of the tin.
- Drain off the thinner coconut water into a jug and reserve for smoothies.
- Tip the cream into a bowl with the vanilla and cacao, and whip, ideally with an electric mixer, for 3-5 minutes.
- Spread the thick cream over each cupcake using a piping bag, spatula, or knife. You can further decorate the cupcakes by grating some dark chocolate over each one.
If you would like to speak to a professional counselor about topics, such as the one featured in this blog, and are in the Chicago area, please contact Olive Branch Counseling Associates, Inc. at 708-633-8000. We are located at 6819 West 167th Street in Tinley Park, Illinois 60477.
Written by Liz, Mental Health Counseling Master’s Level Intern
Light, A. (2019, June 8). Heal Your Trauma with Nutritious Foods. WordPress.Com. https://anyalight.com/2018/01/22/heal-trauma-with-healing-foods/
Antioxidant-rich chocolate cupcakes. (2014). Eat Drink Live Well. https://www.eatdrinklivewell.com/antioxidant-rich-chocolate-cupcakes-2/