Posts Tagged ‘sun-dried tomatoes’

Iron Maiden

August 14, 2012

Lately, I have been feeling exhausted. I have attributed it to everything from not sleeping well, the weather, over training, and just plain having too much to do.
Seeking a more tangible cure, I looked at my diet, which often holds the solution to my ails. Could I be anemic? I don’t eat red meat, and my spinach intake is not of Popeye proportions. I avoid gluten, which makes me sluggish, therefore I don’t eat iron fortified breads or cereals.  I could be onto something.

I immediately consulted Dr. Google, and who served up a list of iron rich foods.

There are definitely some pleasant surprises for those of us for whom eating liver is not an option!

While meat has the highest amount and easiest absorbed source of iron, there are many other healthy choices that I find more palatable.

Fish: Salmon, halibut, perch and tuna are all very high in heme or animal based iron, which is most readily absorbed by the body. Clams, oysters and mussels are also good sources, but I find them too slimy for my taste!

Beans: Canned Lima beans, kidney beans, chickpeas or split peas are all good options. Be sure to rinse them, to reduce the starchiness, and the calories.

Tofu

Pumpkin or sesame seeds

Baked potatoes

Broccoli

Sundried Tomatoes

Nuts: Peanuts, pecans, walnuts, pistachio, almonds, and cashews

Dried fruits: Raisins, apricots, peaches or prunes (do I sense a trail mix or homemade granola thing evolving here?)

Cocoa powder and chocolate

Dried Herbs:

The drying of fruits and vegetables ups the iron factor, topping its fresh counterpart dramatically. By removing the water, the nutrients are increased, as are the sugars and calories. Beware!

Food pairings are also an important factor in helping your body actually absorb the iron.

 Iron Enhancers:

Fruit and fruit juices, such as orange juice, cantaloupe, and strawberries

Vegetables, such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, tomatoes and red or green peppers

White wine

Iron Inhibitors:

Red wine, coffee and tea (boo!)

Spinach, chard, beet greens and sweet potatoes (spinach?!) Apparently, these foods contain high levels of oxalic acids, which prevent the absorption of iron into the system. Who knew?

Whole grains and bran

Now that I know my diet is not to blame for being tired, its time to look at other factors. Perhaps powering down the computer might help me get a better night’s sleep?

photo:Glasshouse Images

Unrecipe of the Week: Thanksgiving Edition

November 19, 2011

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and many of us are busily planning the big meal.

These muffins are a savory take on cornbread, and provide a nice balance to all of the sweet side dishes being served.

Corn, Cheddar and Sun-dried Tomato Muffins

Makes 12 large muffins

Combine ½ cup cake flour, 1 cup yellow cornmeal, 1/2 tablespoon baking powder, 1 ½ tablespoons sugar, ½ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon black pepper in a large mixing bowl.

Add 6 oz. grated sharp cheddar cheese, ¾ cup chopped reconstituted sundried tomatoes*, and ½ cup thinly sliced scallions and toss.

In a separate bowl, whisk together 1 ½ cups of warm milk, 1 ½ sticks of melted butter, 1/3 cup vegetable oil and 1 egg.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well.

Fill greased muffin tins up to the rim with batter, and bake at 400 degrees until the tops start to brown, about 20-25 minutes.

Enjoy!

*Do not use oil packed sundried tomatoes. Buy the dry ones, and soak them in warm water for about 15 minutes or until they become soft and plump.

photo: Glasshouse Images


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