Hey guys! How’s your Canada day weekend going? I have been getting ready for Sin7. I will be camping so I made some granola bars, protein bars and Banana Maple Gluten Free muffins to take with me. I’m also going to whip up some bean burgers, a grain salad, and hummus!
I did some research on iron absorption as I don’t want to have to take supplements forever and would like to be able to get enough iron from my diet. I found out what inhibits iron absorption and what aids it.
Inhibits iron absorption:
-tannins (tea, coffee, chocolate, wine)
-emotional state, stress state
Aids in iron absorption:
I was shocked when I read grains inhibit iron absorption. I thought, “what am I supposed to eat?” With further research I discovered that by soaking, fermenting or sprouting grains you get rid of the acids and enzyme inhibitors making them easier to digest and essentially making the iron easier to absorb. Also doing this with your legumes, nuts and seeds will improve their iron absorption as well. So I have been soaking my grains before I cook them. I’m also soaking raw seeds and nuts before I eat them too.
I drink a lot of green tea all morning. I usually have 4 big mugs (2 cups each) starting first thing after my hot water and lemon juice and continuing until just before lunch. Now that I realize the tannins in green tea block iron absorption I am timing when I drink my green tea. I am trying to just have one or two mugs mid-morning at least an hour after breakfast and an hour before lunch. I also read that if you add a splash of milk to your tea the calcium and tannins bind together preventing either from binding with iron, therefore allowing the iron to be absorbed. So I have been adding a splash of almond milk to my green tea in the morning. I actually find it tastes quite good this way.
I also have not been taking my multi-vitamin during meals as it contains calcium. I have been forgetting it though so I need to take it mid-morning at work.
Essentially I just need to pay more attention to the timing and combinations of food I’m eating. Now when I make a green smoothie I use lightly steamed spinach as this makes the iron more absorbable and I don’t use almond/soy milk as the calcium will block the iron absorption. Instead I use water and/or some orange juice and I make sure I have some berries for vitamin C. I have also been adding molasses to my oatmeal as it’s rich in iron and making it without almond milk. I do like it better with almond milk, but the calcium blocks the absorption of iron in the molasses, grains, and nut butter.
The above bowl is Carob Gingerbread Steel-cut oats. It contains:
1/4 c steelcut oats
pinch of sea salt
1/2 ripe banana
1 tbsp carob powder
1 tbsp molasses
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cloves
1 tbsp chia seeds
raw almond butter, drizzled on top. To help absorb the iron I take my B and C vitamins after eating breakfast.
I got some chickpea flour and wanted to try making muffins with it. I also had two banana’s that were too ripe oatmeal. Yes there is such a thing.
Banana Maple Gluten Free Muffins
*Adapted from this recipe
2/3 c Maple syrup
1/2 c EVOO
2 flax eggs (2 tbsp ground flax + 6 tbsp water)
2 large bananas, mashed
1 3/4 c chickpea flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 c pecans
1) Pre-heat oven to 350 F. Combine ground flax and water in a bowl and set aside to gelatinize. Grease a muffin tin and set aside.
2) Add all the wet ingredients in a bowl including the flax eggs. Combine well.
3) Add dry ingredients except nut to bowl and stir just to combine. Fold in pecans then spoon into muffin tins.
4) Bake for 20-25 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean.
You could also make this in a loaf pan and bake for 35-45 minutes instead. These muffins are dense and sweet from the maple syrup and banana. The chickpea flour also lends them some extra nutty flava!
I have 3 days of work and then it’s off to Sinister7!! I can’t wait!