Due to my appendix issues this week, those bloodsuckers of doctors took quite some samples and noticed that my iron level is quite low. After some reading I noticed that this seams to be more of a rule than an exception for vegetarians and vegans. It is quite a discussion out there if the normal iron range, which was approximated on base of a 99% omnivore population, can be a measurement for a healthy iron level or if a lower iron level could even be better for overall health.
Though I found those considerations quite interesting and I do not have any discomforts whatsoever, I decided that it could not make it worse to include some iron-rich vegan foods into my diet and work on some recipes – probably to just prove a point to my meat lover of doctor who invited me to half a pork… This way I came up with this amazing mug cake made in the microwave, which provides you with nearly the recommended amount of iron you should consume in a day – add some broccoli to your dinner and your good to go.
Iron-Rich Chocolate Mug Cake
(makes 1 mug cake ( 370 calories and 10mg iron ) – you can always half the recipe, just remember to also adjust the microwave time)
1/4 cup millet
2 heaped tbsp flax seeds
2 tbsp cacao
pinch of salt, cinnamon, vanilla
1/2 tsp baking powder
stevia (or other sweetener of choice)
2 tsp molasses
1/4 cup applesauce
dash of lemon juice
2 tbsp rice milk (or other non-soy milk alternative)
some coconut oil
Place millet and flaxseeds in your mixer or food processor and pulse until you have a roughly floury consistency (see pictured above), add the other dry ingredients and mix everything thoroughly so that no clumps from the cocoa are left.
In another bowl combine the wet ingredients. Add wet to dry and stir until your dough is smooth. Never mind – it will be a little bit sticky and there are still some millet corns visible. Now you can add as much additional sweetener (stevia in my case) as necessary.
Oil your cup with some coconut oil if you want to flip the cake afterwards – if you spoon it out of your cup, you can skip this step. Fill the dough into the cup and flatten the surface with a wet spoon. Microwave at 600 watt for 2 to 3 minutes, depending on microwave and how moist you like your cake. Let it cool down while preparing your topping – in my case some blackberries mashed with a fork and sweetened with agave – then loosen the border with a knife and flip the cake on a plate, top with whatever you have prepared…
… and enjoyed in your favorite way. You can even cut puppet-sized pieces out of it and devour the whole cake. I won’t judge, promised!
Some important aspects you should consider when trying to opt your iron levels:
Skip the coffee… and also black tea, it hinders the utilization of iron in the body.
So do milk products (in case your not vegan) and some legumes, that’s why you should not use soy milk in this recipe.
Vitamin C on the other hand helps the body to utilize iron, so always add some vitamin C to your meals. In case of the cake – the lemon juice and the blackberries do the trick.
My favorite tea mug at work was filled with green or herbal tea the last week, instead of my typical 3-4 cups of coffee a day. How is your iron level? Did you notice that changing to a vegetarian/vegan diet gave you insufficient iron levels? And what foods do you consume to opt this levels?