Morning Oatmeal recipe

Hello again friends!

I’m back this week with something I’m super excited about — telling all you what is absolutely delicious in the produce section right now!

I’m also going to touch on boosting iron levels through our diet because 30% of the world is iron deficient (this is obviously an issue for everyone, not just vegetarians and vegans!) My family and I had been feeling less than our best, so we’ve been making a conscious effort to incorporate iron rich foods into our diet.

Finally, I’ll post a quick, yummy breakfast idea that is hearty and full of fiber, fruit and iron!

What’s good in produce this week:

Citrus is where it’s at! Blood oranges, lemonade lemons and  kumquats are packed full of fun, tart flavors and beautiful colors. Navels are juicy and sweet, and grapefruit are at their peak, too.

This is what the inside of a passion fruit looks like! Cut it in half and scoop out the yellow seeds. They’re tangy, crunchy and delightfully sour!

We also got in passion fruit again and it’s incredibly sour and sweet! The tropical flavors are such a treat right now in the middle of winter (especially living in Iowa). 

I’m also loving celeriac.  It’s related to celery, but much more flavorful and adds quite the punch to savory dishes. (Shout out to Betsy for the suggestion!)

Greens are great this time of year as well.  It may seem counter intuitive, but eating a really big salad full of leafy greens, beans, roasted veggies and a delicious homemade dressing can really boost your mood and make you feel more vibrant.

Boosting iron levels:

After randomly reading an article about the signs of iron deficiency, it sounded exactly like what my husband and I had been experiencing recently. Symptoms include feeling tired all the time, having trouble catching your breath and more (click here to read about all the symptoms).

30% of the world population deals with some form of iron deficiency. That’s mind blowing! And it’s not just a vegan/vegetarian issue (although it can be for many of us if we don’t mindfully eat a well rounded diet).  It seems to be an absorption issue on top of lacking iron-rich foods in our diet.

Yes, many doctors will tell their patients to eat more full fat dairy products or red meat because heme iron is more readily absorbed by our bodies. But, that comes with an increase in saturated fats and cholesterol.  Or you may have cut out animal products for other personal reasons.

So, my veggie loving friends, if you’re looking to increase your iron intake through food, here’s a list of super foods we’ve been incorporating into our diet this week to boost our iron levels!

(Side note: supplements can help, but taking too much iron can actually damage your body or lead to death, so be sure to get a blood test done to confirm you have an iron deficiency before taking supplements).

1. Pumpkin Seeds — this is one of the ultimate iron-rich plant food you can consume. Compared to a steak, pumpkin seeds have 5 more grams of protein and 4x as much iron per 100 grams.  That’s pretty amazing! I’ve been putting these in our morning oatmeal (recipe below), but they’re also delicious roasted with olive oil and salt and added to salads.

2. Flax Seeds — ground flax is easy to add into baked goods such as vegan banana bread (try this delightful recipe from Oh She Glows — I’ve been making a loaf once a week and it’s always a hit!) You can also make a “flax egg” in place of eggs in recipes for pancakes, brownies or cakes. To learn how to make a flax egg (it’s super easy) click here!

4. Hemp Hearts — these little power houses contain 70% more iron than chia and flax seeds! They’re great sprinkled on avocado toast or added to smoothies or hearty salads!

5. Oats — Steel cut oats or rolled oats are hearty, filling and contain nearly 20% of your RDI (recommended daily intake) of iron.  For a tasty breakfast oatmeal recipe, keep scrolling!

There are lots more vegan iron sources you can incorporate into your diet.  For more ideas, read through this helpful list!

Okay! Onto the breakfast recipe we’ve had every morning for the last 4 days (and will most likely continue into the future).

I love that oatmeal is easy to make and is incredibly versatile.  It’s also been the perfect way to set our day up to increase our iron levels.

Morning Oatmeal
Serves 3
Hearty, heart warming and packed with iron rich super foods and topped off with sweet fruit! There's nothing better on a cold winter morning!
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. Oats (I prefer steel cut oats as they're heartier but feel free to use your favorite kind of oats!)
  2. Water
  3. 1 Tbsp flax seeds
  4. 1 Tbsp hemp hearts
  5. 1 Tbsp chia seeds
  6. 2 Tbsp pumpkin seeds
  7. 1 tsp cinnamon
  8. 1/2 cup frozen dark cherries
  9. 1/4 cup dried or frozen wild blueberries
  10. juice from one orange*
  11. 1/2 cup of homemade applesauce** (check out my last post called Instant Pot Applesauce for the recipe!)
Add ingredients to shopping list
If you don’t have Buy Me a Pie! app installed you’ll see the list with ingredients right after downloading it
Instructions
  1. Bring water to boil in small pan on the stove (amount of water will depend on how much oatmeal you make)
  2. When water is boiling, add oats, stir and turn down heat to a low simmer. Add a lid and let it sit, stirring every few minutes until the oatmeal is to your desired consistency.
  3. Add all ingredients, stir and enjoy!
Notes
  1. *Make sure to add citrus to your oatmeal, as the vitamin C in citrus helps the body to absorb iron more easily!
  2. **Totally optional, but definitely a wonderful addition!
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The Vegan Steven http://thevegansteven.com/

Update + Instant Pot Applesauce recipe

Hello friends!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted on my website.  I needed some solitude to evaluate what direction I wanted to take with it.

I’ve learned so much from the past year about how to go vegan. It hasn’t been easy, but I do feel that I’ve learned quite a bit about nutrition and navigating social situations (i.e. birthday parties, holidays, etc.) Just this one simple choice to eat a diet full of fresh, vibrant plant foods has had positive impacts not only on me, but the the people around me as well.  

I now work part-time at our local food Coop as a produce stocker. It’s been life changing.  I’ve come to realize how passionate I am about amazingly delicious fruits and vegetables, which we usually walk by without a second thought. I love sharing the flavors of blood oranges or bahri dates with you.  I love hearing about inspiring cookbooks and recipes your making for dinner.  I love hearing about what your favorite fruit is and why.

But most of all, what I’m learning is to focus my energy on the things that I love.  I love plant based foods. I love the way I feel when I eat them. I love that no animals are harmed or exploited. I love that we can reduce our collective carbon footprint. I love that the world is waking up (slowly but surely).  I love our beautiful, fragile planet. I love my daughter and the children of our world and I will do whatever I can to ensure that there is clean water, air and land for future generations.

ANYWAYS!  Something I’ve been making a lot of lately is applesauce. I received an Instant Pot from my parents for the holidays (thank you!!!) and in all honesty, felt intimidated and nervous about using it.  Out of curiosity I looked up an Instant Pot apple sauce recipe from tastesbetterfromscratch.com and saw that it would take 8 minutes of time in the pressure cooker which quite honestly blew my mind.  8 minutes!? It had been taking me 4-6 hours to make applesauce in the the crock pot (which is still great to use when you have more time! But when you have a 2 year old to take care of… time is of the essence!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, without further ado… I give you my take on Instant Pot applesauce!

 

Instant Pot Blueberry Applesauce
Serves 4
Warm your heart and soul while simultaneously using up all those apples in the fridge! Delicious on oatmeal, pancakes or warmed up on it's own! Also great for digestion and so sweet, it doesn't need any additional sugar!
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
10 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. Apples (4-6 cups apples roughly chopped. I filled my Instant Pot to the max fill line, but use what you have on hand! Highly recommend using organic if possible! Honeycrisp or Pink Lady work great, or any apple that you like and will break down easily.)
  2. 1-2 Tbsp cinnamon
  3. 1 tsp turmeric powder
  4. sprinkle of salt
  5. dash of freshly ground pepper
  6. 1 cup water
  7. juice from 1 lemon + zest grated
  8. frozen wild blueberries
Add ingredients to shopping list
If you don’t have Buy Me a Pie! app installed you’ll see the list with ingredients right after downloading it
Instructions
  1. Wash all apples and roughly chop them (they can be left in big chunks).
  2. Toss apple chunks into Instant Pot* and add all liquids and spices. (Can also add frozen blueberries here, or they can be saved for topping)
  3. Set Instant Pot to manual and time it for 8 minutes under the pressure cook setting.
  4. Once it's done cooking, carefully release the steam valve until all the steam is gone and the lid is safe to open.
  5. Let cool to desired temperature.
  6. If you didn't add the blueberries, add them now and stir!
  7. Eat, share and enjoy!
Notes
  1. *If you are using a slow cooker, add all ingredients (minus the water), and cook on high for a couple of hours. Mash apples with a potato masher and continue cooking until apples fall apart and have achieved the desired consistency.
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Adapted from Lauren from tastesbetterfromscratch.com
The Vegan Steven http://thevegansteven.com/
If you make this recipe, make sure to let me know what you think! Happy cooking!