The cold and blustery weather might make you think of cosy nights in and romantic evenings by a roaring log fire, but you might find that your love life is also feeling a chill. Indeed, the weather could be putting a dampener on your love life. When you’re exposed to sunlight, your body produces more seratonin and Melanocyte Stimulating Hormone (MSH). Studies have linked MSH to an increased sex drive in women whilst seratonin makes you feel good, so summer loving may be more than a phrase.

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Apricot Love Potion

Whilst liquid sunshine is not yet on the market, eating specific foods can enhance the libido and arouse desire. For thousands of years people have taken delights in aphrodisiacs and secret elixirs of love. Love foods that stimulate desire and enhance libido are prized in cultures throughout the world. From commonplace foods such as honey and apricots to exotic ingredients shrouded in secrecy and history the amatory properties of food are founded in more than just myth. Often foods that are considered to be aphrodisiacs have health benefits that help to stimulate our bodies and minds.

The Seductively, Soft Apricot
The tender, golden apricot has been considered a fertility aid for centuries. It is recorded that in the court of James I, “apricocks” were commonly served as amatory enhancing treat. Whilst in China fresh apricot pulp combined with Royal Jelly has been considered a provocative love potion for centuries. Fresh apricots liquidised and combined with Royal Jelly at a ratio of 50% fruit to 5% Royal Jelly should give a restorative tonic when spread on your morning toast. These golden delights will give you a boost not least because they are packed with vitamins and nutrients.

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Most sea creatures have seductive and sensual properties

Bursting with beta-carotene they are a good antioxidant and their reputation as a fertility aid is well deserved as they contain iron, magnesium, vitamin A , fibre and not to forget Vitamin E, which is dubbed as the sex vitamin.

Sensual Sea Food
Oysters have long been thought of as aphrodisiacs; indeed legend has it that the Venetian lover Casanova ate copious amounts of oysters each morning for breakfast. Studies now prove that eating oysters does improve dopamine levels which boosts libido in men and women. Oysters are also proven to be good for fertility as they contain zinc which is vital for testosterone production and healthy sperm. It is considered that they are most potent eaten plain with just the simplest of dressings.
It is not just oysters that have aphrodisiac qualities, all shellfish contain phosphorus, calcium, iodine, iron, vitamin B and glycol-phosphates which is the essential combination of a strong aphrodisiac, so if you don’t fancy an oyster seductively, sliding down your throat, the, lobster, crab, clams, winkles, cockles, mussels and scallops all make for frisky aphrodisiacs.

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Walnuts were used in Roman fertility rites

Wonderful Walnuts
Walnuts were considered a symbol of fecundity by the Ancient Greeks and Romans and were thrown at children by the bridegroom at weddings as a sign of leaving childish things behind and becoming a man.

Walnut Cream
Ingredients:
225g walnuts (chopped finely)
300ml goats milk
3 tbsp. runny honey
4 raw egg yolks

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Walnut cream

Method:
Place the milk and walnuts in a pan and simmer gently, until the nuts soften. Allow the mixture to cool slightly and liquidize it with the egg yolks and honey until it is a thick consistency. Delicious served in a wine glass as a pudding or as a dip with a selection of breads, smoked cheese and pastrami.

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Chestnuts and Ginger have great amatory properties

Amorous Asparagus
With is phallic shape asparagus is well known as a food of love. This aristocratic vegetable has been cultivated since 2000 BC and is high B vitamin content means that its reputation as an aphrodisiac is well deserved; having been linked to a healthy sex drive in men and women.

Young tender asparagus spears served with butter are ideal for dipping in the yolk of a perfectly poached egg.

Cooking Asparagus:
To boil: submerge in a large pan of boiling water, cover and cook for 3-6 minutes. Drain and toss in melted butter. Serve immediately
To steam: stand the asparagus in 3 inches of boiling water, cover and cook for 3-6 minutes. Remove when tender and serve with melted butter and freshly ground black pepper.

The libido-enhancing effects of chocolate have been noted for Centuries

The libido-enhancing effects of chocolate have been noted for Centuries

Garlic to Get You Going

How about some raw garlic to get you in the mood for love? Eating raw garlic may make your breath repulsive to your partner, but it will stir up sexual desire. The heat in garlic is what awakens your libido and the allicin, that garlic contains is thought to increase blood flow to sexual organs. However, this is not a quick fix as you need to consume raw garlic for at least a month before you reap the benefits.

If a dish of oysters and a side salad of raw garlic has failed to get you in the mood, you could resort to the lovers favourite, chocolate. Aptly termed ‘nourishment for the gods’ by the Aztecs, chocolate is proven to increase levels of serotonin in the brain, making you feel happy and more receptive to the powers of seduction. If all else fails throw away your inhibitions and enjoy a glass of champagne with your meal and hope that the fizz will percolate through to your bedroom antics.

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About Seren Charrington-Hollins

ABOUT SEREN-CHARRINGTON-HOLLINS Describing my work through just one job title is difficult; because my professional life sees me wear a few hats: Food Historian, period cook, broadcaster, writer and consultant. I have a great passion for social and food history and in addition to researching food history and trends I have also acted as a consultant on domestic life and changes throughout history for a number of International Companies. In addition to being regularly aired on radio stations; I have made a number of television appearances on everything from Sky News through to ITV’s Country House Sunday, Holiday of a Lifetime with Len Goodman , BBC4’s Castle’s Under Siege, BBC South Ration Book Britain; Pubs that Built Britain with Hairy Bikers and BBC 2’s Inside the Factory. Amongst other publications my work has been featured in Period Living Magazine, Telegraph, Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail and Great British Food Magazine and I write regularly for a variety of print and online publications. I am very fortunate to be able to undertake work that is also my passion and never tire of researching; recreating historical recipes and researching changing domestic patterns. Feel free to visit my blog, www.serenitykitchen.com