Where Do I Get Iron on a Vegan Diet?

Here:

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Plus Figs, Dried Peaches, Mangoes, Goji Berries, Golden Berries, Spirulina, Watercress, Moringa Powder, but best of all for chocolate lovers is that Dark Chocolate (over 75%) and Cacao contain lots more iron than beef!

Other sources of iron include wholegrains: Quinoa, Barley, Bulgar Wheat, Oats, Rice. Other Nuts: Macadamias, Walnuts, Pecans and Pistachios. Homemade Nut Milks (see the Menu for recipes). Other Seeds: Pumpkin, Squash, Chia, Hemp. 

Plant sources of iron are not as easily absorbed as animal sources but it is simple to obtain enough through eating a rainbow of foods every day.

In fact, vegans with a varied diet consume more bioavailable iron than meat-eaters and vegetarians.

Dairy milk interferes with the absorption of iron.

There are many more plant-based sources of iron, even in small amounts, so eating a wide variety of foods will do the job.

Vitamin C aids the absorption of plantbased Iron, and if you’re on a healthy vegan diet full of fruits and vegetables, this will not be a problem at all.

Sprouting enhances the bioavailability of iron as well as other essential nutrients, including Vitamin C to aid absorption. It is easy to sprout all kinds of beans and seeds – we sprout mung beans, alfalfa, broccoli, lentils, chickpeas.

My post Sprouting for Health, Energy and the Environment! will show you how, and provide more information on the benefits of sprouting.

Please Note: It can be dangerous to take iron supplements unless under the supervision of your doctor.

Vegetarian Times  have a great article on How Much Iron is Enough and how to get the required amounts.

One Green Planet have a good article on Ten Plant-based Foods Packed With Iron.

Copyright: Chris McGowan

Thick and Chunky Winter Soup with Green Lentils

It’s been blowing a gale and raining cats and dogs, one of those days when you want to batten down the hatches and tuck into a bowl of something hot and sustaining. (Think that’s my quota of meteorological metaphors for one post! What I really wanted to say was: ‘It’s been raining for days in Pigeon Street!’ Anyone remember that?)

So, combined with the fact that I am mid dental treatment and have to be careful what I eat, soup is going to be on the menu quite a bit over the coming evenings.

This one is thick and hearty enough to have as a meal rather than a first course or soup in a mug.

Makes enough for 3-4 servings.

The main thing is to cook it on a low heat, very gently and slowly, so as to maximise the nutritional content.

As always, all veg, oil, etc are organic where possible (the sage is from our garden), carrots have skin left on, all measurements and timings approximate.

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Ingredients

Pre-soak 1/2 Cup Rinsed Green Lentils to make them more easily digested, discarding the soak water before use

Splash of Olive Oil

1 Leek rinsed thoroughly and sliced into rings

3 Medium Carrots, chopped

1 1/2 Sticks of Celery with Leaves, chopped

Half a head Broccoli, chopped, including stalk

1/4 to 1/2 Cauliflower, including stalk, chopped

8-10 Brussels Sprouts, peeled and chopped

Dried Sage + Black Pepper

Optional: 1 Dsp Nut Butter

1 Vegetable Stock Cube + 1 Tsp Yeast Extract and Squirt of Tomato Puree dissolved in approx 600 – 700mls hot water, then cooled a little

Method

Slowly heat oil in large saucepan, don’t let it overheat

Gradually add vegetables, stirring and moving about as you add each handful.

With the lid on, and on a very low heat, gently sweat the vegetables for about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally

Add Sage + Black Pepper + Nut Butter, if using

Add the water, enough to just cover the vegetables

Add Lentils

Stir well.

Replace lid and on lowest heat leave to cook for about an hour or until vegetables and lentils are tender.

Do Not Boil!

When ready, allow to cool a little before blending just enough to thicken the soup but leaving chunks of vegetables for colour and bite.

Test seasoning.

I haven’t included any salt because the stock cube, yeast extract and tomato puree all contain salt. If salt is required at the table,  Pink Himalayan Salt is recommended as it retains most of the minerals lost in the processing of normal table salt and no added nasties.

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Bon Appetit!

Copyright: Chris McGowan