This smoothie combines a beautiful dark red colour with lots of iron and antioxidants. Iron is an essential minerals and a very common deficiency. A lack of iron can cause anaemia – a deficiency of red blood cells in the body. Common symptoms are fatigue, pale skin, dizziness and insomnia. Especially women are at risk for anaemia, so let’s get started with the beet & berry smoothie.
In this smoothie I have combined beetroot and kale, both are very high in iron and antioxidants. You can also add the beetroot leaves, although they are slightly bitter. I buy my organic kale from Mawasim in Mushrif, for 6-8 dirhams a bunch. Blueberries or raspberries are giving the smoothie a sweeter taste and add more antioxidants. I usually buy my berries frozen, because the store bought berries never last very long. I found that the raspberries from Spinneys are the sweetest and also very affordable. The reason I add the juice of one lemon is that any citrus fruit high in vitamin C aids the body in iron absorption, so lemons, limes or oranges are a great choice. Although chia seeds are not very high in iron, they add extra fiber and a good dose of omega 3 fatty acids- just like flax seeds, but with very little taste. I also love the thick consistency chia gives smoothies. The best place to buy chia seeds in Abu Dhabi is Mawasim in Mushrif, you get 500grams for 15 dirhams.
1/2 of cup of water or raspberry leaf tea (naturally high in iron) or prune juice
1 small red beetroot (you can use cooked or uncooked beets, if you don’t have a very strong blender I think using cooked beets help to make it smoother)
2 large kale leaves
1/2 cup berries (blueberries or raspberries, I prefer raspberries)
juice of a small lemon (Vit C enhances the body’s ability to absorb iron)
1 tbsp of chia seeds
2-3 (pre-soaked) dates (optional if berries aren’t sweet enough)
Blend everything, preferably in a high speed blender and enjoy.
Other ways I integrate high iron foods into my diet is as snacks with dried beetroot chips, pumpkin and sunflower seeds. One of my favourites is my high iron salad: beetroot, kale, black or pinto beans and a tahini-parsley dressing topped off with sundries tomatoes. I also love lentil soup with lemon juice and lime brown rice with black beans and avocado. Drinks high in iron would be raspberry leaf tea and tomato or prune juice.