Wondering where I get my iron? I get it from food! To be more specific, I’m talking about beans, lentils, potatoes, tofu, molasses, potatoes (oh did I say that already?), quinoa, tahini, nuts, seeds, fruits, veggies, etc.
Yet my favorite source by far is chocolate! The Trader Joe’s dark chocolate bars contain 35% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) in a single serving. Overachievers! Eating one of those chocolate bars a day provides me 1/3 of what I need. I will neither confirm nor deny that I sometimes eat two bars a day… leaving just 30% to find in all the other sources, which is cake. Incidentally, cake also contains iron (it’s in flour, baking powder, etc.). Note: I’m not encouraging anyone to eat two chocolate bars a day. They are high in sugar, so that would be terrible advice.
Your body absorbs iron better when it’s eaten with vitamin C. I love eating chocolate with red wine. I like to believe wine contains vitamin C (okay, you’re right… it doesn’t, but it does contain iron). Good thing strawberries, which are full of vitamin C, are also a perfect complement to chocolate!
Perhaps I’m focusing too much on chocolate (I can’t help it). Here are a few other combinations of iron and vitamin C that you might want to try:
Tofu is a popular meat substitute for vegetarians and vegans. Not only does tofu’s texture make a great substitute for meat, but it is also a good source of certain nutrients. A half cup of tofu contains 10 grams of protein, 25% of the daily value of calcium, and 11% of iron. Tofu absorbs other flavors very well (this is a good thing).
If you are a vegan or allergic to eggs, you can still make many recipes that call for eggs by substituting flax seeds. There is a cost savings when you substitute flax seeds for eggs. Check out my cost analysis at the bottom of the page.
Quinoa flour is an excellent alternative to all-purpose or whole wheat flour. It is nutritious and is an excellent option for people with gluten sensitivities.
Millet is a seed. In fact, you may recognize it as a primary ingredient in bird seed. Millet is also a good seed to cook with for human consumption. It is nutritious and acts more like a grain than a seed, making it versatile.
Nuts are an excellent snacking choice. Check out which nuts are richest in important nutrients.
Trail mix is a great option for packing in several essential nutrients. Until recently, I always bought pre-made trail mix. After mixing up a batch from scratch, I realize I’ve been missing out.
Quinoa, pronounced keen-wah, is becoming a staple in an increasing number of households. Yet, at the same time, many people have never heard of it. I use it in many recipes because it’s packed with nutrition and cooks quickly. It is an excellent source of protein, making it a popular choice for vegetarians. So… what is it?
There are several varieties of sweeteners on the market. Find out which sweeteners are healthiest.
Three methods to make steel cut oats.