It looks like spring might finally be here!!! Today it is finally sunny and not crazy cold. More importantly, it is not snowing!
So. Show of hands: who has ever been told they should eat more iron? Who knows where to find iron besides red meat? Iron pills can help people with low iron bring their levels back up to normal and are convenient. But what if you want to try to change your diet to work on this? Red meat is the obvious place to start. Game meats like moose or venison have even more iron, if you can find those. Organ meats, for those who can stomach them, are a great option. The iron from animal sources is called heme iron, and is easier for your body to absorb. Non-heme iron can be found in plant sources, like spinach, grain products, and potatoes. These are harder to absorb, but the amount you do absorb can be increased by pairing it with a food that’s high in vitamin C. A food source I would never think to have iron is dried apricots! 1/4 cup serving has about 5% of your daily recommended intake. Granted, that’s not huge, but it’s better than nothing! Let’s remember though, that dried fruits often have added sugar, so look for packages where the only ingredient is apricots. When you’re trying to increase the amount of iron in your diet, it’s also good to know that foods containing calcium, as well as coffee and tea can black some absorption. For me, finding a time when I’m not either eating yogurt or cheese, or downing one of my 47 cups of tea a day is a struggle.
This recipe makes 16 small snack squares. Store them in the fridge to keep them fresh.
- 1 cup dried apricots
- 1 cup pitted dates
- 1/3 cup flax seeds
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- 1/4 cup wheat germ
- Combine the apricots and dates in a bowl. Cover with warm water and let sit 10 minutes to soften. Line a square baking pan with plastic wrap and set aside.
- Drain the apricots and dates and place in the food processor. Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.
- Transfer mixture to baking pan and press down to fill it evenly. Chill in the fridge 1 hour, or until no longer mushy. Cut into 16 squares.