Sunday, June 22, 2014

Common Links

I have a list for you.

Spinach

Moose (http://www.freepik.com)
Beans  (FreeDigitalPhotos.net/sritangphoto)

Can you tell me what these things have in common?

No, I haven't lost my mind.  Not yet anyway.  I'll keep you posted.

Any guesses?

Iron.

Spinach has approximately 2.0 - 3.4 milligrams of iron per 1/2 cup serving.

Moose has 3 milligrams of iron per 100 gram serving.

Beans such as black beans, cranberry or pinto contain anywhere from 2.6 - 4.9 milligrams of iron per 3/4 cup serving.

Why does this matter?

Iron is part of the system that produces red blood cells which work to bring oxygen from our lungs to our bodies, it also helps convert blood sugar to energy and helps in the functioning of our immune systems.  When you are lacking in iron you may find you are tired and dizzy, suffer from headaches and weakness.

I have learning a lot about iron lately.  Vitamin B12 too.  Both are necessary in the production of red blood cells.  Part of what I have learned is that I am lacking both of them.  It's not great news but at least I have an explanation for the issues I have been experiencing.  Now I can work toward correcting the problem.

Which brings to me to my garden.  I can't grow moose.  I'm pretty sure about that.  But I can certainly grow spinach, and beans.  But what to do with those things once they've been grown?  I love spinach salad, and spanokopita. That's a good starting point.  But what other ways can I use spinach?  And beans are not something I normally eat.  I don't dislike them but I don't eat them.  I need to start.  So I planted soybeans this year to trial.

I'm looking for suggestions.  What is your favourite spinach recipe?  How do you cook your beans?  Part of the trick I think is to find tasty ways to eat these foods.  Looking up recipes is okay but I would love to see some recipes that people actually use and love.  Let's face it, if it doesn't taste good I won't eat it.  So please, send me your favourite recipe, tell me where to find a moose.  I greatly appreciate any and all suggestions.

31 comments:

  1. I battle anemia so this is a big issue for me. I take it plenty of iron but my body doesn't retain it.I take iron pills that also contain Vit C to help my body absorb the iron. Much better option than moose.

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    1. Tammy, thank you so much for your thoughts. I was reading your posts recently about your water garden project and how you revamped your front yard and thinking, how does she do it all? I know you work, volunteer, have children. It amazes me how much you accomplish and you do this all with anemia. Gives me hope I'll get through this and take on all those projects I dream about.

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    2. I stopped volunteering at the animal shelter about 4 years ago when I had five dogs and 2 teens at home and I wasn't getting any gardening/grading done. Plus, it was so emotional when dogs weren't adopted or were brought back. I'm an energetic person but I've learned to clue into my warning signs that my iron levels are dropping: low energy, muscle aches, crankiness, inability to sleep well. I just had to remove all dairy from my diet because it was exacerbating my allergies. Goodbye, sweet baby Cheesus! Iron pills are a lifesaver for me. I could not function without them.

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  2. I've also heard that cooking in a cast iron frying pan helps..wonder if that is true.

    Jen

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    1. Jen, I've read this on multiple websites. Amazing how the pan we cook in gives off minerals. Makes me think twice about what I'm cooking with.

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  3. I thought you were going to tell us that the moose were eating your spinach and beans and all were in your garden. ha... Good to hear that you are on the mend. As to spinach I usually eat it fresh in a salad. Beans I eat any ole way they are cooked. I am a countryfied cook. Nothing fancy. Beans, onion, garlic. Beans, onion ham. Beans, onion and bacon. Beans, onion and cheese. Beans, onion and spinach?Onions seem to be the connecting thread. Can one cook without onion? I don't think so.

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    1. LOL, and now my problem seems insignificant next to thinking about a moose devouring my veggie garden! Wonder what vitamins are in onions, they sure are indispensable.

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  4. Chop the spinach in the blender and freeze it in ice cube trays. Then throw the cubes in a freezer bag. You can toss a cube or two (or five!) into soups, tomato sauce, stirfrys, etc.

    If you puree it you can add to berry smoothies and not even notice it. (Unlike moose). :)

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    1. Funny, I do this with basil but would never have thought to puree and freeze spinach in cubes. Great idea, thank you.

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  5. Liked the way you posted your information today. Iron. JC

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  6. Marguerite girl ! Wow .. I am glad you know what you have and what to do about it. Smoothies with blended spinach and what ever other ingredients that are iron rich are too easy to drink .. it doesn't make the drink taste weird at all .. I add "sea greens" and health food things to the drink and it all goes down nicely ..you don't have to be stuck with old fashioned iron pills at all .. fresh and dried ingredients in a smoothie are so good for you ... plus REST !
    Fell better girl !
    Joy : )

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    1. Thank you Joy, I'm relieved to discover the issue. I tried to brush it off for awhile but things just got worse. I'm just glad it wasn't more serious. That's a second vote for smoothies. Clearly I need to try this.

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  7. Hi Marguerite: I love beans and add them to chili..kidney beans and pork & beans too..white beans soaked overnight and cooked on stove until tender are delicious with a bit of vinegar, salt and pepper or ketsup..spinach mixed with newly grown lettuce, topped with sliced mushrooms, tomatoes and onions..yummy..I'm a big fan of boiled spinach, butter, salt, pepper and again a bit of vinegar..eat soap bowls full..when I make sandwiches I add fresh lettuce and spinach..good luck on raising your iron...Happy Gardening Lannie p.s. cold bean salad is great in summer too, I buy huge jars of it at Costco..which we don't have here, but grocery stores sell smaller jars of it..

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    1. Good idea, this time of year a cold bean salad is just the ticket. Funny, I never would have thought to put vinegar on cooked spinach, we used to eat it as kids just with butter. Now I need to try this.

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  8. I love Cowboy Beans!!
    As far as spinach I use it just like lettuce. I add it to my sandwich, salads, and even just eat it plain. :-)
    My prayers to you, it is hard to fit things into a diet sometimes.

    Carla

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    1. Thank you Carla. I'm lucky that this is a relatively easy fix. It's just frustrating to not have the energy to do the things I want. I love the term 'cowboy beans'. As kids we ate baked beans as a camping meal. This term reminds me of those days.

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  9. I make 3 bean salad, Marguerite, with green beans, yellow wax beans, and red beans. I mix them with a little chopped green peppers and chopped onions and add 1/3 cup vegetable oil, 2/3 cup cider vinegar, and 3/4 cup sugar. I add chopped spinach to vegetable lasagna. Unfortunately, I can't eat beans or spinach right now with my newly diagnosed Crohn's disease. But the elderly (like me) don't need so much iron, fortunately. P. x

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    1. oh Pam, that is terrible that you have Crohn's. I had a co-worker with that and it is really difficult. Thank you so much for the recipe and take care of yourself.

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  10. I thought the same as Lisa that all three of these were in your garden:) I don't have a recipe for moose, but I do cook with spinach quite often. I don't have a recipe off the top of my head, but I made some creamed spinach some time ago with a little cream cheese in the sauce, and my husband (not a big spinach fan) loved it. I like spinach lasagna in various other pasta dishes. I also add it to vegetable soup in the winter--Ms. S's idea for freezing in cubes is a great idea. And, of course, I love spinach salad.

    Glad you have found an answer to your health issues--sometimes that is half the battle.

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    1. Thanks Rose, I feel the same. Knowing what was wrong was a huge relief. You've got me thinking about adding spinach to my turkey soup, I think that would be a nice addition to the other veggies. I had forgotten all about creamed spinach, haven't had that in years. Another great idea, thank you.

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  11. Moose grow wild around here in northern BC :) I used to get it from a hunter friend.The fact spinach contains iron is its best attribute & makes we wonder why kale is so reviled since it doesn't have hardy any iron =. Iron is a much more valuable nutrient . I too was anemic. My fave way to eat spinach is in a salad with bacon nuts, chopped, eggs, etc. I also enjoy it steamed as a vegetable , good with fried eggs, or layered in lasagna ....I eat beans in chilli, salads, baked beans are a fave too. I use homemade refried beans in burritos& tacos . To make refried beans cook beans till soft, fry onion and garlic till soft, add beans, cumin, salt and chilli to taste, mash together, still cooking, adding water to make watery mix, beans absorb extra water. Makes a coarse mash some beans will still be whole. Eat mixture as is or use to make burritos, tacos etc. or make layered dip for taco chips. Fry ground beef with spices onions and garlic, this is first layer, refried beans are 2nd layer,sour cream or plain yogurt is 3rd layer, grated cheese, monterey jack or cheddar is 4th layer, chopped olives is last layer. put in oven till heated through and cheese is melted. Enjoy.

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    1. Melanie, I admit I was delighted when I saw moose was so high in iron. I haven't had it in years (not since I lived in your neck of the woods!) but it is really good. If it was available I would totally get me some moose steaks. Funny, I thought kale would have more iron but as you say, spinach is better for you. Good thing as I like spinach far better. and now my mouth is watering after reading your recipe. Refried beans may be on the menu this weekend. :))

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  12. I think I've read that the iron in spinach altho there, is hard to absorb. I put dried apricots and currants in our morning muesli as a source of iron. Spinach we eat because my husband likes it. Recently we've been able to buy edamame - fresh green soybeans, which you'll have from your garden. Delicious!

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    1. I'm looking forward to fresh edamame. I think it will be quite the treat. I think it's a bit of a toss up getting iron from food or from a pill. I've read that sometimes it's hard to absorb through food but it can also be hard to absorb through pills. And the pills can cause some stomach troubles. I'm trying the pills right now but wanted to learn more about how to get iron from food as an alternative.

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  13. Have you thought of spinach chips? Similar to kale chips or what I've made lately, beet greens chips. Wash, dry completely, coat with a bit of olive oil, lay in single layer on cookie sheet, season to taste, bake in 350 degree oven for 15 to 20 mins or until crispy. Pretty good and another way to eat your greens.

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    1. Joene, this sounds wonderful. Definitely need to try this. Thanks for the idea!

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  14. I love how you opened this post Marguerite. I was wondering where you were going with the moose, the beans and the spinach. There was a blogger out west who posted about being low on iron as well. It can apparently make you very tired. I seem to remember from one of her posts that iron from different sources are absorbed (?) by the body differently. I also seem to remember that her doctor wanted to eat a lot of red meat as iron from meat is the best source of iron. Oh, oh does this mean you need to hunt down of moose?
    I like spinach with eggs and cheese in a crustless quiche. I'd also try sneaking some into a standard lasagna with the cheese.

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    1. Thanks Jennifer. It is very tiring. Physically and mentally as well. The lack of oxygen flow means nothing works well these days. I'm still figuring out what my body can handle. My doctor prescribed pills to start and we'll review in a couple months to see how I'm fairing. She did suggest though if the pills were giving me a hard time that I could try a diet higher in iron. Right now I'm working to educate myself a bit. I knew beef was high in iron but I was surprised to find moose was even higher!

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  15. I added my baked beans in the slow cooker. Check it out at:
    https://cherylcan.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=592&action=edit&message=6&postpost=v2

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    1. Thank you for this Cheryl! it's much appreciated and your recipe looks wonderful. Thanks for the spinach and bean salad recipes as well, I can never turn down a spinach salad recipe.

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