There’s no doubt that iron is a necessary building block of any diet. If you’re not getting enough of this important nutrient in your diet, your hair could be calling out for help. Did you know that long-term iron deficiency can contribute to the health of your hair?
If your dinner plate could use more iron, never fear. We asked our friend Dr. Mona Vand, a Certified Pharmacist and wellness influencer, for a few recipes featuring iron-rich fruits and vegetables to help promote healthier hair. Get your grocery list ready, because we think these simple, delicious recipes are going to spark your culinary creativity.
SUPER GREEN SMOOTHIE BOWL
13.5mg - 21mg of iron
Mona says: “I love the super green smoothie bowl because it’s delicious, simple and packed with nutrients. I usually like to start my day with something that will give me the fuel I need while also giving me the beauty benefits I want, so this bowl is perfect because I get both. Plus, it’s loaded with around 13.5-21 mg of iron.”
- 1 cup fresh or frozen mixed berries (organic when possible // use strawberries/raspberries for a greener smoothie, darker berries for a purple smoothie)
- 2 large handfuls spinach (organic when possible)
- 1 small handful kale (organic when possible // large stems removed)
- 1½ - 2 cups unsweetened almond milk (DIY or store-bought - will depend on if your berries are frozen)
- ½ cup buckwheat groats
- ¼ - ½ cup organic oats
1. Add the oats to the blender with a little almond milk and blend until you can barely see the oats anymore. Used raw or cooked oats depending on your preference.
2. Add all smoothie ingredients to a blender with a handful of ice and blend until creamy and smooth.
3. Taste and adjust flavour as needed, adding more spinach or kale for a bright green hue, or almond milk for creaminess.
4. For a greener smoothie, use raspberries or strawberries. Blackberries or blueberries will make the smoothie appear darker in colour.
5. Divide between 2 serving bowls and top with fresh fruit.
6. Eat when fresh, or save leftovers in a jar and refrigerate.
COLLARD GREEN VEGGIE WRAP
15.1mg of Iron
Mona says: “If you haven’t tried a collard green wrap yet, get ready for a game changer! I love this wrap for a few reasons. One, collard leaves are bigger and stronger than most lettuce leaves, so you can stuff them with veggies, tofu, tempeh, or whatever you want and they (usually) won’t fall apart on you. Two, because it’s such an easy grab-and-go meal, and three, because it’s SO healthy for you. I packed this wrap with delicious ingredients: red bell peppers, which are rich in carotenoids; avocado, which is a healthy fat; and white beans, spinach, and kale, which contain a healthy dose of iron.”
- 4 large collard leaves
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 avocado
- 2-3 ounces alfalfa sprouts
- 1/2 lime
- 1 cup white beans (soaked and sprouted)
- 2 tbsp kale & spinach pesto:
- 2 cups Organic Girl Baby Kale and Spinach Blend
- 1/2 cup pine nuts
- 1/2 cup organic extra virgin olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves
- Juice of one lemon
- Sea salt/pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp of dry parsley and basil (optional)
1. Prepare the Spinach and Kale Pesto:
- Add all of the ingredients to a blender or food processor.
- Process/blend until a paste has formed. You’ll probably need to stop a couple times to push down the kale and spinach. If you’re not getting the consistency you want, add a little more olive oil or lemon juice.
- Once a paste has formed, transfer it to a bowl.
- Use what you need and store whatever is left in the fridge.
2. Wash and pat dry collard leaves and then use a paring knife to shave down the stems. (This will make them much easier to fold.)
3. Chop the red bell pepper.
4. Place collard leaves on a flat surface, spread 2 tbsp of the kale and spinach pesto near the top/middle of each leaf.
5. Fill the leaf with the red bell pepper, avocado, alfalfa sprouts, and white beans.
6. Juice a lime over the wrap (optional).
7. Wrap the leaves as you would a burrito. Cut each wrap in half and enjoy.
TURMERIC QUINOA VEGGIE STIR FRY
13.6mg of Iron
Mona says: “This is literally the perfect meal for dinner. It’s filled with amazing ingredients that’ll keep you full and satiated. It’s perfectly well-rounded with grains (quinoa), legumes (lentils), vegetables, healthy fats (cashews, coconut oil), and protein (tofu). I’d say the star ingredient is turmeric, which has been used traditionally for many health-related benefits. This meal is packed with around 13.6 mg of iron.”
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 1 cup red lentils
- Garlic, depending on your preference
- 1 cup mixed raw vegetables (I used mushrooms, broccoli, carrots, spinach)
- 1- 2 tsp ground turmeric
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- Pinch of salt
- Pinch of pepper
- 1⁄2 cup tofu
1. Cook the quinoa and lentils according to package or bag directions. Set aside.
2. Boil or steam the veggies until lightly cooked. Drain and set aside.
3. Heat the coconut oil in a wok or a frying pan and cook the garlic over medium-high heat for a couple of minutes.
4. Add the tofu and the veggies and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
5. Add the quinoa, lentils, turmeric, pepper, and salt. Stir and cook together another 2-3 minutes.
6. Top with cashews and serve.
7. Leftovers can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for 2-5 days.