All posts filed under: Iron boosting

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Broccoli and Almond Soup with Mint & Crème Fraiche

When it comes to pureed soups, I think there are two types of people; those who love them and those who don’t. A bit like marmite some might say. So for those of you who already love pureed soup, you can skip this paragraph. After all, I’d be preaching to the converted! But for those of you who, like me avoid pureed soups at all costs, read on my friends. I admit that I definitely fall into the non-soup eating category and rarely make soups unless they have lots of chunky pieces of veg, meat, or noodles in them (like ramen- yum). BUT, this soup is an exception. Yes, it is pureed. And yes, I don’t just like it, I actually love it! And I’m not the only one; we used to make this broccoli soup at a cafe I worked at while I was a student in London, and it proved hugely popular. Even among the pureed soup avoiders like me. And believe me, when you realize how easy and quick this soup is …

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Chickpea and Spinach Stew

Did you know beans are in right now? No, I didn’t either, but a fellow foodie friend says they’re the new kale, alongside brussel sprouts and sauerkraut (in case you haven’t kept up with the latest food gossip, here you have it). Though I’m not one to follow food trends, this one is actually a thing, even the United Nations have caught up, dubbing 2016 as the year of the pulses to heighten awareness of their nutritional benefits. Beans beans the musical fruit… I have to admit, I had a little proud moment after hearing that, given that for the first time ever I had been way ahead of the trend on this one, as is never the case with fashion. But having grown up in Spain, I have a deep love for Mediterranean style food. I’ve always loved beans, though I realise it’s not a feeling shared by everyone. That little rhyme ‘beans beans the musical fruit, the more you eat the more you toot’ has given beans a bad press for a long …

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Salmon, Apple and Brassicas Melange

After all that talk about omega 3’s, I thought it was only right to give you a recipe to follow suit! This salmon melange is really a celebration of the late autumn bounty of brassicas, apples and kale, with some bay infused lentils and fresh mint. It’s very satisfying and is ideally eaten warm but can also be taken as an on-the-go lunch. If you read my previous post about omega 3’s, you’ll remember how important they are for pregnancy. Unless you’re vegetarian, it’s recommended that you have around 2 portions of oily fish per week. Not only does this help your baby’s development but also helps reduce the risk of complications such as pre-term labour and pre-eclampsia. Salmon, especially wild alaskan, is high in omega 3’s and lower on the mercury scale. Plus, it’s easy to find in most, if not all supermarkets! The brassicas family, also known as cruciferous vegetables, are those vegetables such as broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, kale, and spring greens that are nutritional powerhouses and very high in folate. You …

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Warm Squash and Dukkah Salad

Halloween might be over, but squash and pumpkin season is still in full swing! This autumnal warm salad really does bring out the best of this versatile vegetable, and it’s so delicious if I do say so myself! I think I could eat this salad every day, it’s warm, satisfying, so good, and of course, healthy. A great combination of iron rich cooked kale, sweet squash, bitter chicory (or endive in the US), salty feta cheese, and crunchy dukkah. YUM. Dukkah? If you haven’t caught onto this trendy aromatic Egyptian nut/seed/spice mix yet, you definitely should. You’ll realise you’ve been missing out all this time! It’s a wonderful combination of hazelnuts (healthy fats anyone?), sesame seeds (really high in calcium- and so necessary in pregnancy!), cumin and coriander seeds (great digestive seeds and warming during the cold months). I’ve added dukkah to this salad, but you can also use it to spice up lots of other dishes such as meat, fish, steamed veggies or even just add some olive oil to make a dip. You can …

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Homemade frozen pesto

It’s been a little while since my last post, so I apologize to all of you for the long wait. I have actually been busy moving country, so I am now a proud resident of the Netherlands! The first thing I did when moving here was to scour out all the supermarkets in town. I was so excited to see all the new produce and products, but of course it has also meant not finding others. It hit home how challenging it can be to find certain products when you don’t live in such a metropolitan city such as London! So in honour of simple ingredients, I have made one of the simplest yet most satisfying sauces which you can combine with almost anything. Homemade pesto. Why frozen you might ask? Well, call me a snob but I really don’t like shop bought pesto. It looks like it has been in that jar way too long, loosing its vibrant green colour and fresh taste along with it. So whenever I have the chance during the …

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Fish and Leafy Greens Bake

This dish really is delicious, satisfying and super easy. You’ll find yourself making it again and again, and it may even become one of your go to dishes on a night your not sure what to cook. We’ve all heard about the health benefits of a mediterranean diet, and this dish epitomizes it . It is a heartwarming dish that is packed with handfuls of leafy greens such as kale, swiss chard and spinach, to ensure your daily intake of folate, fibre, protein and lots of other vitamins and minerals. You may have read the recent article in BBC news about the amazing significance of what a mum-to-be eats. It discusses the findings from data collected over 70 years in Kenaba, The Gambia, where a micro climate allows food and diet to be closely controlled according to what’s growing during that time of year. This research revealed the huge impact that diet has on a baby’s development and throughout its lifetime. Babies born to mothers that were conceived during the dry season, where they ate a more …

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Sweet Potato Rösti with Eggs Florentine

Rösti is a traditional Swiss dish made solely with grated potatoes, which are then pan fried to make a potato pancake. Somewhat similar to hash browns, but without the onion and less oily. In this dish, I’ve substituted white potato with (mostly) sweet potato, as the latter have a lot less starch and many more nutrients, but are also very tasty. Sweet potatoes are also a healthy alternative for diabetics. By having less starch, their glycemic index is a lot lower; meaning that their sugars are broken down more slowly, therefore not creating blood sugar fluctuations. They also contain more fibre, which will help keep you regular. Eggs florentine are poached eggs served with wilted spinach. As you probably know, eggs are some of the most nutritionally complete foods available. High in protein, B vitamins, selenium and iodine, they will keep you going for longer, and provide you with many essential nutrients. By poaching the eggs and keeping the yolk intact, you reduce the their exposure to oxygen, which turns cholesterol into new substances called …

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Folate rich Quinoa Tabbouleh

Tabbouleh is a traditional middle-eastern salad, usually made with bulgur wheat. In this tabbouleh I’ve swapped the bulgur wheat for protein packed quinoa, due to its fabulous nutritional content. Quinoa is not a grain but a seed, rich in many minerals such as magnesium and zinc, as well as protein. Being wheat and gluten free, it is suitable for those with food intolerances. The star of the dish however is the parsley. Parsley is particularly rich in folate, the natural form of folic acid (which in turn is only found in supplements). Folate is a type of B vitamin that is well known to be necessary in early pregnancy to prevent neural tube defects in the baby. Folate is also necessary for the prevention of anaemia, whilst reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Parsley also happens to be a great source of vitamin K, which you may know about as it is usually given to babies to prevent Vitamin K deficiency in the newborn. Together with the tomatoes, cucumber, and radishes, this makes a satisfying …

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Anaemia in Pregnancy

Iron is an essential mineral that has many uses in our body. One of the most important one is that it forms part of the haemoglobin (which in turn forms red blood cells) which carry oxygen to our cells. Anaemia is a deficiency in haemoglobin, which can be due to a number of reasons, one of which is caused by low iron. Iron deficiency anaemia is very common in pregnancy. Your body has to make almost 50% more blood while you’re pregnant to circulate through the placenta and around the body, and therefore your iron requirements also increase. Anaemia doesn’t always cause symptoms but can leave you feeling tired, breathless, weak, and dizzy. It is diagnosed via a blood test checking your haemoglobin level (less than 110g/l is considered low). In the UK, this is normally done at your first consultation, at 28 weeks, and repeated at 36 weeks if it was low at the last sample. Studies have shown that anaemia increases the risk of preterm birth and low birth weight babies, as well …

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Iron boosting Lentil Salad

I love this salad because not only is it delicious but it can taken for lunch on the go, or be served as a light supper. It is quick to prepare, healthy and very satisfying. I often make a double serving of this salad just so I can have it another day. Lentils and spinach are a rich source of iron, which often drops in pregnancy, and combined with the vitamin C of the lemon juice and other veg, it helps its absorption. Lentils and leafy greens are also abundant in folate- the natural form of folic acid- so are great for those of you trying to conceive or in early pregnancy, as folate is especially important for your baby’s early development. If that wasn’t enough goodness to convince you, lentils are also full of protein and fibre, so will keep you going for longer and help prevent constipation! There are many types of lentils, but for salads I tend to like puy lentils, as they cook quickly and retain their shape when cooked so …