Friday, September 11, 2015

VeganMoFo 2015 #11: Magnificent Magnesium



11. Focus on a nutrient.

I'll be honest, I wanted to do carbs and just eat a giant pile of tater tots and mac and cheese and toasted sandwiches. That day will come. But for today, let's learn about magnesium!

Magnesium is a very important mineral that does many, many things in the body, and is potential important in the prevention and management of many diseases, however I have been interested in magnesium due to experiencing muscle cramps (both in my legs after long days and also menstrual cramps). I remember hearing once that the reason menstrual women crave chocolate is that they are craving magnesium, which is also in dates so you should have dates instead. I don't know if the reason for the craving is true or not, however I would say that if you are craving some chocolate then have the damn chocolate, unless you really feel like a date! I also knew that molasses is meant to be very high in magnesium. I have been a lover of molasses since I was a kid due to weekly horse riding lessons (I don't ride horses now!!!).

So I thought this post was the perfect excuse to make something chocolately in the name of magnesium! But first I looked into magnesium a little more and discovered that it is in theory abundant in many foods, and most of them are vegan! And now my disclaimer, I have no human nutrition training in anyway, so this is just a summary of things I found through about ten minutes of googling. Magnesium rich foods include dark leafy greens, nuts and seeds (especially pepitas), legumes (especially soy), whole grains, avocados, dried fruits (turns out figs, apricots and prunes have more than dates!) and dark chocolate and cocoa powder. And it is in a lot of other foods as well. However, apparently magnesium is stripped out by processing foods, so it is important to eat them in their whole state, and due to the fact that many people eat a highly processed diet magnesium deficiency has become more common in recent times. Interesting things!

But really, let's make some food!

Beans and Greens Bowls from The Great Vegan Protein Book by Celine Steen and Tamasin Noyes: This was a recipe I just had planned to make (I needed some beans and greens in between some of my other MoFo creations), however after reading about magnesium I realised this had quite a few magnesium foods in it! For a start, you make a pepita pesto, which also includes baby spinach. This is stirred through a mix of Brussels sprouts, broccoli and magnesium-rich edamame, and served over barley (I also put some more baby spinach underneath it all). Technically brown rice has more magnesium than barley, but whatever. This is just an example of how magnesium can pop up all over the place, when you least expect it! This was a tasty dinner as well, though I only got three servings rather than four (but I didn't make anywhere near as much barley as the recipe called for and I was really craving a lot of vegetables).
Rating: :)

Beans and Greens Bowls


No Bake, No Stovetop Cookie Bites from The Abundance Diet by Somer McCowan: However, getting back to the real reason I chose magnesium, chocolate and dates. Oh yes! This recipe is really quick and simple, just blend everything in the food processor, press into a pan and chill until ready. On the magnesium side this has dates, cocoa powder, dark chocolate chips, rolled oats, cashews and peanut butter (which is not too shabby with its magnesium either), as well as vanilla and maple syrup (in retrospect maybe I should have used molasses... hee hee). These are easy and very yummy, though even after setting are still quite sticky to touch! So make sure you can wash your hands.
Rating: :)

No Bake, Stovetop Cookie Bites


So there you have it, magnesium! Oh, and in case you were wondering my favourite way to eat molasses is just off a spoon (though it turns up in lots of baking recipes as well). I sometimes see in US cookbooks 'light molasses', we only have black strap here (I use treacle or a mix of black strap and golden syrup for those recipes). Black strap is how I like it. I will take some if I have some cramps brewing.

Looking forward to learning about lots of nutrients reading all the posts today!

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post: Month of Gizmo

Gizmo's Last Furry Morning


This photo is of Gizmo when she stayed overnight with me when I was on call at the clinic in my early years. Tune in tomorrow to see what happened the next day!

17 comments:

  1. haha a tater tots mountain would be awesome! I need to get some blackstrap molasses, I mix a teaspoon in with breakfast to boost my iron but I'm glad to see it's a magnesium dude too.

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    1. Molasses is pretty cool!
      I would also love a tater tot mountain.

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  2. Ok. You've outdone me, lol! A Mg tutorial. Sweet! Thanks for the lesson.

    Zsu @ Zsu's Vegan Pantry

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  3. I've been having some foot cramps and foot pain for the past few days (I even had my first thigh cramp!), so I'm definitely going to eat some molasses tomorrow morning as well as some magnesium rich food. I went swimming on Sunday and the cramps were terrible when I was moving my foot. It thankfully didn't take anything away from the beautiful scenery, though.

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    1. Cramps are so annoying! Hope they ease off for you soon.

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  4. Interesting post and I'm pleased to see that I like and eat regularly everything on the list (especially chocolate ;). We can only get the dark molasses too in England so I halve it with maple syrup when a recipe asks for light. I've got a feeling today is going to be really educational!

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    1. Light molasses definitely seems to be a US thing.

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  5. hehe I understand the temptation to do a carb post! Great excuse to stuff my face with potatoes and bread. (No change there then).

    That's a pretty decent list of stuff with magnesium in :)

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    1. I was pleasantly surprised when I found out how many things it was in.
      Of course, carbs are still king.

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  6. Yes! I'm a big magnesium fan too - I used to get a lot of foot cramps, I could point my toes and they would cramp - so it's important to me too. I read the same fact about chocolate craving and magnesium on the back of a pack of cacao powder! I could totally go a big bowl of greens and beans right now :)

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    1. I could go for some greens and beans again as well! MoFo is making me eat in a very silly fashion. ;)

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  7. Hooray for chocolate! Let's all eat more chocolate! :)

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    1. As if we needed another excuse. ;) ALL THE CHOCOLATE!

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  8. Ha! I was going to do carbs for this prompt too! But then I injured my back and didn't feel like cooking. :(

    Yes to chocolate for cramps! Or for any other reason, really.

    Gizmo's little feet look so tiny from that angle! <3

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  9. Magnesium is a great nutrient to focus on! I did not realise that molasses was high in it. I'll have to use it more! Those Cookie Bites look so good!!! I eagerly await to find out what happened the day after Gizmo stayed overnight with you at the clinic ;p

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    1. Molasses is pretty great all round.
      I definitely recommend the cookie bites.

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