For many, the holiday season is a time for delicious, stick-to-your bones kind of meals. Think back to your fondest childhood holiday memories: What flavors stand out to you? What smells transport you back to those festive gatherings of family and friends?
Food can be a source of connection and comfort, but did you know it can also help you prepare for blood donation? Donating blood removes iron from your body, which is essential to help maintain strength and energy. Because of this, all blood and platelet donors are encouraged to learn how to maintain healthy iron levels and to understand how a blood donation can impact the level of iron in the body.
In honor of this magical season here are two iron-rich recipes that you can whip up at your next seasonal dinner party. They’re both equally delicious, nutritious and may help boost your iron levels before your next donation appointment!
Vegetarian-Friendly Balsamic-Parmesan Sautéed Spinach
Meaty main dishes like turkey and ham are staples at any holiday dinner table, but it’s important to create a well-balanced meal with the addition of delicious vegetable-based sides. This sauteed spinach dish features simple ingredients like balsamic vinegar and parmesan cheese (things you most likely already have on hand) to create a decadent, savory side. And, with about 2.7mg of iron in every 3.5 ounces (100 grams), it’s an easy way to get you donation-ready.
Hearty Sheet- Pan Steak & Potatoes
Looking for a dish that is filling and comforting? This one-pan steak and potatoes recipe is sure to do the trick. The classic holiday herb, rosemary, combines with unexpected crumbled blue cheese, while roasted potatoes and crunchy asparagus pair beautifully with the skirt steak. One pan cooking means less clean up, meaning you can spend more of your holiday time with the ones you love. This recipe contains 4.7mg of iron per serving, helping to create those healthy hemoglobin levels needed for blood donation.
Interested in learning more about iron and hemoglobin, and how they affect the blood donation process? We’ve created a handy guide just for that, filled with even more recipes to help get you ready for your time in the donation chair.
Photo by Libby Penner on Unsplash