5 Minute Blueberry Spinach Smoothie (high iron)

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This satisfying blueberry spinach smoothie is made with iron-rich foods like hemp hearts and soy milk so it packs in 4.5 mg of plant-based iron and 15 grams of plant-based protein per serving (with no protein powder)! 

This simple + satisfying blueberry spinach smoothie has 4.5 mg of plant-based iron per serving!

Will we ever stop loving smoothies? As a dietitian, honestly, I can’t see it. As far as plant-based recipes go, smoothies make it SO easy to eat more plants at breakfast. Plus, they take like five minutes to make and the flavour variations are endless, so you’ll never get bored.

Whether you’re craving a rich chocolate and peanut butter smoothie, a tropical pina colada smoothie or even a warming carrot ginger smoothie, a really good smoothie is a delicious and energizing start to your day. And being excited about breakfast makes it easier to wake up, don’t you think? Well, maybe that and a strong cup of coffee but you get my point.

I wanted to challenge myself to create a yummy high iron smoothie for those of you who might be focused on your iron needs right now to show you that it’s easier than you think to get iron from plants. And this creamy, satisfying blueberry spinach smoothie has a lot going for it: plenty of other minerals like calcium and magnesium, fibre, omega 3 fatty acids and antioxidant phytochemicals.

Maybe I should repeat: it also tastes really good. There is a tiny hint of ginger that brightens everything it touches and it’s great with a drizzle of maple syrup or dates if you like things a bit sweeter. Why would a dietitian recommend you sweeten your smoothie? Because if you love the taste of what you’re eating…and that includes fruits and vegetables…you’ll eat it more often.  

I am all about a joyful approach to eating well, free of deprivation and food rules. And if that appeals to you too, you might want to check out my NEWEST plant-based cookbook, Plant Magic!

How to make this creamy blueberry spinach smoothie

Got 5 minutes and some fresh or frozen blueberries? Let’s make this iron-rich smoothie.

Wanting to simplify your mornings? Just a few basic ingredients can create a really nourishing breakfast!

Step One: grab these 7 ingredients – blueberries, baby spinach, banana, fresh ginger, hemp hearts, soy milk and if you want, something sweet like maple syrup or dates.

Step Two: Pop everything into a high speed blender, blend on high until fully liquified, about 45 seconds. Then pour and enjoy! 

If you aren’t using any frozen ingredients, you might like to add a few ice cubes to the blend if you like your smoothies cold!

If you don’t have a strong blender, your smoothie might look more green, because the spinach isn’t fully liquified but it’s ok!

See? That’s why smoothies make it SO easy to eat well. Oh, and want to make it low FODMAP? Just swap almond or macadamia milk for the soy milk. Easy peasy.

This delicious smoothie is PACKED with high-iron plant foods

Think you can’t get enough iron from plant-based foods? Think again: each serving of this nourishing blueberry spinach smoothie contains 4.5mg of plant-based iron!

I’ve got a list of vegan iron sources if you need it but here is how it breaks down:

½ cup blueberries = 0.2 mg

1 cup spinach = 0.86 mg

2 tbsp hemp hearts = 2.2 mg

1 cup soy milk = 1.2 mg

But wait…isn’t spinach a bad source of iron? You might have heard that spinach, despite being high in iron, isn’t a good source of iron because of the oxalates. 

Oxalates are naturally occurring compounds that bind iron in foods making that iron less bioavailable. Which is true, however, iron bioavailability and total iron absorption is pretty complicated.

For example, the daily iron requirement was determined with info from folks with essentially no iron stores and knowledge that there is no food with 100% bioavailability. The bioavailability of iron from meat is only about 15-35%! 

There are multiple factors that determine iron absorption, such as your iron status, and the dose of iron you are eating, and the types of foods you’re eating together. Because of this, it’s actually extremely difficult to estimate how much iron a person with normal iron stores is absorbing.

It’s thought that the bioavailability of iron from raw spinach is about 5% but other factors will influence that, such as the presence of vitamin C (blueberries!) and calcium, which helps bind oxalate (soy milk!). So while yes, spinach is a high oxalate food, and I wouldn’t want it to be your only source of iron, the iron in spinach still contributes to your iron stores.

More delicious vegan smoothies

Blueberry Pineapple Smoothie with Coconut (Erewhon dupe!)

Turmeric Ginger Smoothie with Greens

Cucumber, Kiwi, Mint Smoothie (low FODMAP)

Strawberry Hemp Milk

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5 Minute Blueberry Spinach Smoothie (high iron)

This satisfying blueberry spinach smoothie is made with iron-rich foods like hemp hearts and soy milk so it packs in 4.5 mg of plant-based iron and 15 grams of plant-based protein per serving (with no protein powder)!
Cuisine American
Diet Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword Blueberry, Ginger, hemp hearts, spinach
Dietary Preference dairy free, Gluten-Free, low FODMAP, nut free, vegan, vegetarian
Prep Time 5 minutes minutes
Total Time 5 minutes minutes
Servings 1 serving

Equipment

High Speed Blender

Ingredients

1 cup unsweetened soy milk choose almond or macadamia for low FODMAP!1 cup lightly packed baby spinach½ cup blueberries fresh or frozen½ ripe banana fresh or frozen2 tablespoons hemp hearts½ inch slice fresh ginger about 1 tsp (5 mL) choppedsweetener of your choice optional, to taste, I like maple syrup

Instructions

Place all ingredients but sweetener in blender and blend on high until fully liquified, about 45 seconds. Taste and add sweetener if desired, blend quickly to combine and serve!

Notes

Low FODMAP note: swapping almond or macadamia milk for the soy milk makes this fully low FODMAP, but it does lower the protein! Consider adding 1/2 – 1 scoop of a low FODMAP protein powder if enjoying as a meal.

The post 5 Minute Blueberry Spinach Smoothie (high iron) appeared first on Desiree Nielsen.

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