Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Iron {Wo}Man

I recently learned that I am iron deficient and have suffered a large drop in my haemoglobin levels since I last donated blood in September.
I now have to take iron tablets daily for the next three months or so and have another blood test in about a month.
Oh, joy.
And of course, the most popular topic of conversation over the last few days has been how to get more iron into me.
One obvious way is broccoli soup.
I love broccoli soup.
However, the recipe I followed didn't come out that well.  Far too salty.

One tablespoon of olive oil (or, if you're me, a generous slug),
One garlic clove, peeled and chopped,
250mls chicken or vegetable stock (more if necessary),
200g broccoli florets,
Salt and pepper to taste,
Drizzle cream, to serve (optional)

Heat oil in a saucepan and saute garlic for 1-2 minutes.
Pour the chicken or vegetable stock into the pan and add the broccoli florets.
Bring to boil and reduce heat and simmer gently for 10-12 minutes, until the broccoli is tender.
Season to taste, then transfer to a  liquidizer/blender.  Blend until smooth.

Before blending I added a generous helping of grated Cheddar cheese to the bowl.
Also, I don't think my hand-held blender was really up to the job, as the soup remained stubbornly lumpy.  I used chicken stock and I'm wondering if that was the cause of the saltiness.  I also added more stock than the recipe called for, because the original 250mls almost disappeared at the bring to boil stage.  Another cause for the saltiness?

Does anyone have any good recipes for iron-filled goodness?  Please don't suggest liver, unless you have a recipe that disguises the taste of it!  


Sian said...

Liquorice! The proper stuff you get in Lakeland has iron in it, and dried apricots and lentils are my other two favourite sources. Those tablets can be hard on the digestion - make sure you eat enough before you take one. Or it'll come back. Trust me on this..

..and I do hope your levels come back up soon because it can make you feel low and you don't know why, when your iron drops.

furrypig said...

Ruth you can boost the iron levels in your tablets by taking them with vitamin C ie a glass of OJ will help. Have you taken them before? Did they warn you about the change in colour of your.... mmmmm how shall I put this politely....poo? It will prob turn balck but don't panic!

Unknown said...

Mmm...that looks delicious. Broccoli is my favorite vegetable so I think I will need to try this out!

debs14 said...

I think the stock is behind the saltiness. I use Marigold Vegetable bouillon in the little green cardboard tubs
It's less salty than stock cubes.
Good luck on boosting those levels.

Abi said...

I'm afraid I don't have much advice except that I know dried apricots have a lot of iron in them. I have also heard chocolate does, but i'm wondering if that is an urban myth!

Missus Wookie said...

This is something I struggle with...

If you have cast iron (unglazed) and cook acidic sauces in them - tomato for example or apple it will absorb the iron and the vit C will help your body absorb it. It is my fallback as I hate those tablets.

Several veggies are high in iron - sweet potatoes and pumpkins for example, all really dark greens, eggplants, Jerusalem artichokes, leeks. Some fruits are too - figs being one, dried dates. Quite a few nuts and seeds - cashews, sesame, pistachio, pumpkin seeds and most beans and lentils (but I don't like lentils) - black eyed peas being my favourite. By high I mean at least 1mg of iron per serving. But in combination they do well and as it is in food it's a type of iron that easily absorbed by the body.

But Abi is right - dark chocolate has got iron in it - usually about 1mg per 25g ;)

Missus Wookie said...

Oh and the other I forgot but one friend swears by - seaweed, she ensures she has sushi with sesame seeds and seaweed whenever she feels tired :)

Becky said...

Sorry no recipes but had to say that I just LOVE liver lol!

Deb @ PaperTurtle said...

The soup sounds yummy - pity it was too salty. My first thought was spinach and a quick Google came up with this list of top 10 foods high in iron: http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/top-10-iron-rich-foods
I'd be inclined to fill up on spinach salads and lots of beans. I love beans! Good luck pumping up your iron, Ruth! xo

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