Aphrodisiacs, defined as any substance that increases sexual desire, are named after the Greek goddess of love and sexuality, Aphrodite. Scientists insist that most natural aphrodisiacs have a placebo effect, working only because users believe that they will. But, as anyone who’s ever enjoyed a sumptuous meal followed by an extended makeout session will tell you, the human mind (and desire) can be a remarkably powerful thing.
For some ingredients used in the sexy recipes below, the aphrodisiacs passion-inducing properties may be psychosomatic. Oysters have been regarded as a libido-booster since ancient Roman times, in part because they look like a certain aspect of the female anatomy, and in part because we slurp and suck them seductively. But, like Pine Nuts, they also have lots of zinc, which is believed to increase testosterone. Avocado was known by the Aztecs as ahuacuatl (or “testicle tree”), and young maidens were kept inside while the fruit was being harvested. And I don’t think we even need to tell you why Cucumbers fit into this category.
But while some of the ingredients in these sexy recipes are labelled as aphrodisiacs primarily for the suggestiveness of their physical properties, many others may create physiological responses that lead directly to sultry evenings requiring a Barry White soundtrack.
Basil, with which women used to dust their breasts because its scent drove men wild, is said to improve circulation. Carrots, which were used as aphrodisiacs in ancient Greece and Arabia, are rich in the antioxidant beta-carotene, which improves mucous membranes and can help increase natural lubrication. Chocolate, whose potency was legendary among the Aztecs, contains phenylethylamine, a chemical that causes elevated heart and energy rates and a euphoria not unlike being madly in love. Cinnamon produces heat within the body, increasing both physical and sexual appetite; and a drop of its oil on the genitals is said to produce incredible sexual stimulation akin to Spanish fly.
From Cayenne and Coriander to Ginger and Garlic, each of these sexy recipes is chock full of aphrodisiacs believed to get your motor running so you can head out on a highway of prolonged passion. We’ve set the menu for you, so now all you need to do is get your partner in the kitchen and start… erm, “cooking.” –Bret Love
APPETIZER: THAI OYSTERS
(Aphrodisiacs include Oysters, Ginger, Chili Pepper & Coriander)
Recipe created by Jennifer Cheung
INGREDIENTS: 1 dozen opened fresh oysters • 1 tbsp brown sugar •1 tbsp brown sugar •1 tbsp soy sauce •1 tbsp fish sauce • 1 tbsp lime juice •1 small piece of ginger, sliced • 2 coriander roots, sliced • 1/2 cup water • 1 chili pepper , finely chopped • 1 red onion, diced finely • 12 coriander leaves
DIRECTIONS: Make the dressing the day before to make these appetizers super easy. • In a small saucepan, place the water, brown sugar, chili pepper, fish sauce, soy sauce, lime juice, ginger and coriander root. • Bring to a boil and simmer for 2 minutes. • Strain and set aside to cool. • Just before serving, to each oyster add 1 tsp of the dressing with a little diced red onion and a coriander leaf.
ENTREE: PESTO FETTUCCINE
(Aphrodisiacs include Basil, Pine Nuts & Garlic)
INGREDIENTS: 1 cup pine nuts • 4 large cloves of garlic, peeled • 4 cups packed fresh basil leaves (don’t use Thai basil since it can be bitter in pesto) • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil • 1 cup grated Parmigianno/ Reggiano
DIRECTIONS: (Note: You can make the pesto a day or two ahead of time and store tightly covered in the refrigerator.) Toast pine nuts in a skillet on med heat until golden brown, 3-5 minutes. • In a food processor, puree the garlic with 2 tablespoons oil until smooth. • Add the pine nuts to the bowl and pulse until semi-pureed yet coarse. • Place the basil leaves in the food processor with remaining olive oil and puree until smooth. • Stir in Parmesan and season to taste with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. • Serve with side of asparagus, carrots or cucumber & avocado salad.
DESSERT: MAYAN CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES WITH COCOA-CINNAMON BUTTERCREAM
(Aphrodisiacs include Chocolate, Chili Powder, Cinnamon & Cayenne)
Recipe by Ali Ebright of Gimme Some Oven, adapted from Hello Cupcake
CUPCAKE INGREDIENTS: 1 (18.25 oz.) box Devil’s Food cake mix • 1 cup buttermilk • 1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil • 1 tsp. cinnamon • 1/2 tsp. chili powder • 1/4 tsp. cayenne •4 eggs
FROSTING INGREDIENTS: 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, room temperature • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I prefer dark chocolate cocoa, but any works!) • 1/4 cup milk • 1 tsp. cinnamon • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar (more or less to achieve desired consistency)
CUPCAKE DIRECTIONS: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. • Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners. • Add the first six cake ingredients (cake mix through cayenne) together in a large mixing bowl. • Beat with an electric mixer on low to medium speed until moistened, about 30 seconds. • Add eggs one at a time, until the batter is well-mixed. • Increase speed to high and beat until thick, 2 minutes longer. • Pour or scoop the batter into the paper liners until they are 2/3 full. • Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. • Remove from oven and let cupcakes cool on a wire rack.
FROSTING DIRECTIONS: Cream butter in an electric mixer on medium-speed until smooth and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. • Add cocoa powder and cinnamon and mix on low-speed until combined. • Gradually add in the milk and powdered sugar, alternately, until combined. • Then beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, another 3-5 minutes. Add in more powdered sugar if consistency is too thin. • To frost 24 cupcakes, make a double batch, but if you like a thin layer then one should be enough.
This post is part of the Romantic Travel Blog Roundup, hosted by Traveling With MJ. Visit the link for more great romance-related stories!