As a nutrition student, I read cookbooks like an individual majoring in English would devour a Shakespeare play. While most of the time I search for inspiration through Pinterest and Blogs, I probably flip through a recipe book at least every other day. Call me addicted, but the terminology is fascinating.
When I am creating a recipe of my own though, I often seek guidance from my Nutrition textbook.
One of my favourite bloggers and good friend is great at informing her readers about great sources of various nutrients. This year, Chelsea completed her undergraduate in Food and Nutrition and received a dietetic internship for the upcoming year. Whenever I am in need of a new place to eat, I always ask her since is great at discovering new restaurants and shares similar nut allergies as me! Often she will do a breakdown of a certain vitamin or mineral and this week it just happened to be Iron. Something I should be more conscious about consuming within my diet.
When assembling a meal, I don’t simply cater to my taste buds; I also try to incorporate nutrients that I know I need. My blood work consistently shows a lack of Iron and since I don’t eat red meat, I am conscious about choosing leafy greens, legumes, tofu and of course occasional heme sources such as mussels and shrimp. Chelsea mentioned that seeds and molasses are also great sources for iron, so I might just have to whip up a batch of cookies!
Similarly, I don’t often drink milk, so I choose calcium rich and vitamin D dense foods such as yogurt, fish and eggs (the yolk included). Recently I took up an interest in swimming and since then, I have found that I am getting muscle cramps during the night. This can be a sign of a potassium deficiency as potassium is responsible for balancing water and acid in blood and in body tissues. Potassium is a trace mineral, which means quantity wise, I don’t need as much as a macro mineral. This being said, someone over the age of 14 should be ingesting 4700mg of potassium each day (Canada’s Food Guide). Bananas are one of the best sources of potassium as are lima and white beans, potatoes (with skin), squash, dairy (yogurt and milk) and apricots (fresh or dried).
Today, when creating a healthy snack, I decided to incorporate both Potassium and Calcium. While this recipe isn’t exactly a source of iron, Vitamin C does enhance non-heme iron absorption when eaten at the same meal. Last week my sister and I made yummy orange creamsicles, but to be honest, they weren’t exactly nutritious. In hopes of maintaing their flavour but cutting back on the fat and sugar, I created a delicious yogurt variation. I call them “Better than Tropicana” because they remind me of a childhood favourite; Tropicana “Strawberry Banana Orange Juice”.
Makes 6, 3oz Servings
- 1 cup of Orange Juice (Freshly squeezed or Organic).
- 1 cup Strawberry Yogurt (Greek or Regular, 0% or 2%)
- 1 banana (Fairly ripe)
- Blend all ingredients together and pour into popsicle moulds. Let freeze overnight.
Note: If you wanted this to taste more like an Orange creamsicle, substitute vanilla yogurt instead of strawberry, and omit the banana. You could even add in some fresh orange zest, but beware it sinks to the end of the popsicle. To compensate for the missing banana ingredient, add an extra half a cup of vanilla yogurt. To pack in even more protein, you could add in 1 scoop of protein powder, decrease the amount of yogurt and increase the ratio of juice so that it isn’t too thick.
I think that the reason I enjoy making popsicles is because they aren’t messy (hello blender and spatula) and are very easy (only three ingredients). I am hoping to create Pomegranate Blueberry, Strawberry Basil, and Mocha flavoured popsicles in the near future. Making popsicles is similar to making a smoothie, only in solid form. The hardest part is definitely waiting for them to freeze and seeing them disappear quickly. You’ll be surprised at how filling they can actually be! ♥ Molly
Fun Fact: I fell in love with popsicles during the 2003 summer power outage. Everyone brought popsicles and ice cream out to the park since there was no electricity to keep the freezer cold!