23 June 2022

The Fertility Kitchen - a new cookbook and essential guide

The Fertility Kitchen - a new cookbook and essential guide

The Fertility Kitchen by Charlotte Grand is an essential guide to supporting fertility. Charlotte, a qualified nutritional therapist and acupuncturist, started her exploration into the correlation between lifestyle and fertility following an unexplained infertility when trying for her own children. Her new book is full of practical guidance and is packed with delicious, wholesome, healthy recipes to support her lifestyle advice. 

Charlotte’s guiding philosophy is broken down into 3 pillars: Fertility, Food & Life. In the Fertility section she explains how to make a personalised nutrition and lifestyle plan based around improving gut health, blood sugar balance, liver detoxification, thyroid health, egg quality and your partner’s sperm quality. The Food section gives evidence-based nutritional advice for a sustainable ongoing diet and the final pillar, Life, centres around having a ‘healthy lifestyle that nourishes your complete wellbeing’ with advice on sleep, stress, movement, environment and mindset.

The all-important recipe section contains over 90 simple and delicious gluten and dairy free recipes, with everything from nutritious smoothies and plant-based milks to wholesome mid-week meals and indulgent desserts.

Spices feature heavily in Charlotte's recipes so we asked her a little more about how she uses them and what her favourite spices are...

1. Do spices play an important role in your new cookbook the Fertility Kitchen?

Yes, dried herbs and spices are integral to my recipes because they provide the foundation of flavourful meals. Research shows that the greater the variety of flavours and mouth sensations used when cooking, the tastier the meal will be! Dried herbs and spices also provide a concentrated source of micronutrients including vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals (plant nutrients). Many are rich in beneficial polyphenols which have robust antioxidant properties. The polyphenol content of fresh herbs and spices becomes more concentrated when they are dried as the water is removed, so even using just one or two teaspoons to flavour a meal will significantly boost your intake of polyphenols.

2. Which are your favourite spices to use and why?

Turmeric is the Queen of spices! Among its many nutritionally beneficial compounds, curcumin is the clear winner. Curcumin is a polyphenol with powerful anti-inflammatory effects that make it comparable to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). It also has potent antioxidant properties and is rich in vitamins and minerals. Curcumin is fat-soluble so using turmeric with a fat source in cooking enhances its ability to be absorbed and used by the body – this makes it great to use in curries like the Yellow coconut curry in The Fertility Kitchen because the coconut milk naturally helps increase the absorption of turmeric’s active compounds.

I’m a big fan of spice blends as they make life easy. Herby, fresh and seedy, za’atar is one of my all-time favourites. It’s a versatile blend that can be used to season meats, fish, hummus and vegetables. I love using it with aubergines as they’re one of the best vegetables for soaking up flavour. I also use Italian seasoning frequently – for recipes like ragu and cauliflower pizza bases, and I love Thai and Mexican blends for flavouring veggie rice.

3. Do you have any top tips for using spices?

·       Don’t add spices to bubbling hot oil as they can lose their flavour or become bitter. They taste better when gently sautéed to release their aroma.

·       If you have the time, choose whole spices and grind them yourself in a pestle and mortar as whole spices retain their full flavour better.

·       When experimenting with spices use them in moderation and taste as you go – you can always add more but adding too much could ruin your meal. Remember that spices should heighten the taste of the food, not overpower it.

·       If you want to try new flavours but are unsure about pairing spices, then use Steenbergs spice blends. They’ve done the hard work for you, so you can confidently add new flavours to your cooking.

4. What’s your favourite feel good meal?

I love a curry! In The Fertility Kitchen, the Easy weeknight curry is my go-to feel good meal.

5. Who (past or present) would you most like to have dinner with and why?

I’d love to have dinner with David Goggins (retired Navy SEAL and best known for his feats of ultra-endurance). I read a lot and love autobiographies and memoirs; I’ve read David’s three times because it was so impactful. His story is unbelievable and inspirational and reframed my sense of personal capability.


Charlotte has kindly shared a couple of the recipes with us, so we have cinnamon filled Apple Pie Pancakes and a fragrant Yellow Coconut Curry with tiger prawns for you to try. Do let us know how you get on!

All recipes taken from The Fertility Kitchen: The Essential Guide to Supporting Your Fertility by Charlotte Grand (Quercus)

For more information please visit Charlotte's website at: thefertilitykitchen.co.uk