Iron Woman Gingerbread Smoothie



Before I became a vegan, I never really put much thought into getting the proper amount of vitamins and minerals. When I was struggling with an eating disorder, I would restrict my calories to an unhealthy level, exercise intensely 7 days a week, and eat mostly processed ‘fat-free’ foods. When my body couldn’t take the starvation any longer, I binged on sugary processed junk food, often consuming 2,000-2,500 calories in a single sitting. Round and round the emotional rollercoaster went for years.

Not surprisingly, aside from being miserable, I also suffered from vitamin deficiencies, including low iron levels. Deep down I was concerned that I was harming my body, but I was so caught in the disorder I didn’t feel like I could change. I also felt like being a certain size or weight was much more important than being healthy.

IMG_0649-2Boy, how things can change.

Slowly but surely I turned a new page in my life, by renewing my focus on my health and decreasing my focus on my weight. I took all that negative energy and flipped it into something positive.

These days I don’t care much about calories, but I do care about eating quality food and getting proper nutrients.

These days I don’t care about the number on the scale, but I do want to feel in shape and fit into my clothes.

These days I don’t care if something is fat-free, sugar-free, or low-carb, but I do care if it makes me feel good when I eat it.

These days I don’t care if every day is the picture of perfect health, but I do strive for an overall balance in the “big picture”.

These days, I’m a whole lot happier than I used to be.

And those vitamin levels? Right where they should be.


Blackstrap molasses is one of my favourite vegan iron sources! And so fitting for September 1st.


In two tablespoons of molasses you get a powerhouse of iron and other nutrients:

  • 7 mg of iron
  • Approx 350 mg calcium (more than a glass of cow’s milk!)
  • Over 1000 mg potassium
  • As well as Vitamin B6, magnesium, copper and more


For more info about molasses, check out World’s Healthiest Foods.

I LOVE this smoothie. It tasted like a big bowl of gingerbread, much like my Gingerbread Vegan Overnight Oats.


Be sure to enjoy this smoothie (and other iron rich foods) with Vitamin C to help the iron absorb and also avoid consuming it with caffeine which decreases the absorption. Other iron-rich foods include whole grains, sunflower & pumpkin seeds, dried herbs, lentils, cooked spinach, tofu, beans, dried apricots, cocoa powder, etc. It is generally recommended that adult females need between 15-18 mg of Iron per day, but everyone’s needs will differ depending on activity level, menstruation, and other factors.


I told Eric how much iron was in this smoothie and he said, “That’s good, but does it taste like motor oil?”

I almost spit the smoothie across the room from laughing. Oh brother.

Lululemon Giveaway Winner!


The winner of my $50 Lululemon giveaway is…#293- Danielle!! She wrote, “Love your blog, you’re too kind with the giveaways!”

Congrats! I emailed you this morning to collect your shipping info. :)

Let's get social! Follow Angela on Instagram (@ohsheglows + @theglowspot), Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+

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{ 182 comments… read them below or add one }

Jen @ September 1, 2011

Wow, looks amazing! Not at all like motor oil. ;) I love anything with molasses.


Amy @ The Whole Sweet Scoop September 1, 2011

Your post-ED attitute toward your body and health is really wonderful. If only every woman had your point of view. It’s so great that you were able to overcome your ED and get your life back on track!


Leanne (Bride to Mrs.) September 1, 2011

Congrats to the winner :)

Today I decided to start living healthier (the past month has been horrible… lots of fast food, pizzas, etc!) and I had a green monster for the first time in months! It felt so great to know I was doing something so good for my body!

When I was driving to work I realized that I didn’t weigh myself or take measurements this morning (so I can *track* how I’m doing week to week) and then I thought to myself… Maybe it’s better if I don’t? Maybe I should track how I’m doing instead by how I feel in my clothes, how my energy levels feel, how I’m sleeping at night… I want to look good and feel great but I don’t think a number needs to be a focal point this time around.


Angela (Oh She Glows) September 1, 2011

That sounds wonderful :)


Lili September 1, 2011

I made molasses bread last night. Now I feel slightly less guilty about that second slice. :)


Estela @ Weekly Bite September 1, 2011

Sounds delicious! Very fall like :)


Jenna | The Paleo Project September 1, 2011

Congrats Danielle! Such an awesome give away! I like that this is a grain-free, dairy-free gingerbread recipe I can probably eat! Mmmm…


Ashley September 1, 2011

Yummy! I love how on all Canadian products there is the English version but also the French translation. Looks so fancy. :)


Mara September 1, 2011

Perfect timing! I just got test results indicating my iron is low (hair falling out, lathargic…) so I’ve started on the iron supplements. Cannot wait to try this one after work tonight! BTW, picked up some Daiya cheese yesterday for the first time and just about devoured the entire bag just eating the shreds on their own, heehee!!


Angela (Oh She Glows) September 1, 2011

Hope this helps with your iron!

Oh yes, I remember the day I discovered Daiya…mmm


Gina @ Running to the Kitchen September 1, 2011

I didn’t realize blacstrap molasses had that much iron. Maybe that will spur me to use the bottle sitting in my pantry for a year + now! I’ve always had lower iron levels so this is a good smoothie for me!


Liz @ IHeartVegetables September 1, 2011

That looks SO yummy!!! I haven’t had gingerbread in forever!


Nicole September 1, 2011

It’s truly this statement: “These days I don’t care much about calories, but I do care about eating quality food and getting proper nutrients” that we all should aim for!


Cristina September 1, 2011

so funny that you post the ‘random number generator’…we believe you, we believe you! generous girl! :D


Angela (Oh She Glows) September 1, 2011

Funny you mention that because I didn’t post it a couple times and someone got mad at me saying it wasn’t a random selection.


Sarah September 1, 2011

Congrats to the winner!
The smoothie sounds yummy…I’ll probably save it for closer to Christmas :)
Your attitude about food and health is such an inspiration to me!


Jen September 1, 2011

I love the taste of blackstrap molasses! I used to drizzle it over oatmeal. This is the perfect fall smoothie. You’re making me want to open up that box of gluten-free ginger snaps that’s been sitting in my cupboard forever.


Faith @ For the Health of It September 1, 2011

I never knew that molasses was that high in iron! I also have low iron levels (I have a feeling I jacked them up pretty badly during my own eating disordered days), so I will be looking for molasses at Whole Foods to try to boost those levels closer to normal! It’s amazing that even more than a year after getting things back on track, I still see some of the negative effects of the awful things I put my body through. It makes me so scared for the other women in the same position, and for those who suffered from more severe disorders than I did!


Angela (Oh She Glows) September 1, 2011

I’m happy that you are in a better place now. It does take time to heal for sure. All the best!


Shanna, Like Banana September 1, 2011

That picture of you is beyond beautiful!


Annie @ Naturally Sweet Recipes September 1, 2011

I love molasses, it really is a sugar super food!
Your smoothie looks amazing, gingerbread is soo yummy!


Holly @ The Runny Egg September 1, 2011

Angela I’m so glad you are in such a good place! I too try to eat foods that help me look and feel my best. And I feel my best when I include some desserts, hurray!

This looks delicious — I love gingerbread and since it is so hot outside I just love having smoothies!


Emma September 1, 2011

This is wonderful, Angela. You are an inspiration. I actually realized about a month ago that I have an iron deficiancy. My mom has me taking iron supplements, but I would rather be getting my iron from natural sources. This looks so good, I’m making this today!


Sonia (the Mexigarian) September 1, 2011

Still struggling with not counting calories. I ended up adding up my meals in my head on my drive in to work and freaked out a little.

The smoothie sounds so delicious. Like Fall. There is a change in the air, a nestling of the soul when autumn comes around. Gingerbread is a part of that soulfood. I think you just made a soulfood smoothie :)


Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table September 1, 2011

I love your philosophy on eating – I’m a big fan of the “if it feels good, do it” mindset. No need to track everything that goes in my mouth. If it’s good and fuels my body, I’m happy!

Can’t wait to try this gingerbread – blackstrap is a staple for me with it’s iron content.


Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat September 1, 2011

I NEED to get me some molasses!!! It’s been in so many recipes that I’ve come across lately but i never think to pick any up when I’m out grocery shopping. Great post as always today Ange. It’s amazing how far you’ve come, what being vegan appears to have taught you, and how you perspective is so much healthier today. *Smoothie cheers* to that! :)


Samantha September 1, 2011

OH man that sounds so yummy! We had our first big late summer storm last night so I am in the perfect mood for some fall harvest flavors! (Not ready to totally give up all the tomatoes and basil I have been eating yet though)


Misty September 1, 2011

Good morning! So this friend of mine told me about a cute little website and last ngiht I tried their “Peanut Stew” it was okay – but i think you should check it out and make it better!!! It needs an ohsheglows spin on it!!! :)


Katie @ Peace Love and Oats September 1, 2011

I’ll definitely have to try this out! I absolutely love gingerbread and I have an iron deficiency! So this is perfect!


Lauren @ What Lauren Likes September 1, 2011

This smoothie came at the perfect time! My younger sister and mother are both very low in iron! We have bought that exact blackstrap molasses and are looking for more uses for it! I cannot wait to share this smoothie recipe with them! PS- Couldn’t you also add a little spinach to it as well? I have read somewhere that spinach was high in iron too….I am sure you couldn’t taste it or anything :)


Amanda September 1, 2011

Thanks Angela! I’ve got this rare blood disease (chronic anemia) so I’m always looking for high iron foods. This is a recipe I can add to my high in iron list. So happy! Gonna make it tomorrow morning straight away!


Lauren at Keep It Sweet September 1, 2011

I love this post! You really are such a great role model.

My iron levels are always low so I love that you posted this recipe.


Cait's Plate September 1, 2011

Oh my – something that looks that good AND is good for you!? This is a total win.


Rachel September 1, 2011

I found your blog about 3 months ago and LOVE IT! I was searching for healthy, iron rich foods that would fuel long runs etc.. and came across your Green Monster. Now, I check your site daily and have made Vegan Oats a breakfast ritual. I am really into your carrot cake shake with groats; love groats! :)

Thanks for sharing another great recipe rich in iron! I am appreciative of new food ideas with iron and protien! You have not only helped energize my jogs but have inspired me as well….many thanks!



Angela (Oh She Glows) September 1, 2011

Thank you Rachel!


Heather @ Get Haalthy with Heather September 1, 2011

This looks delicious! I’d totally throw in some pumpkin purée.. Not only for good taste but it would add tHe vitamin c needed for absorption! Double wammo.


Cat @Breakfast to Bed September 1, 2011

this recipe looks like a bowl full of fall and I’m all for that.


Ashley September 1, 2011

Awesome informative post girl! Our minds were in the same place yesterday, cracking out the “fall” breakfast!


Noelle September 1, 2011

This is wonderful! I too have been slipping on the molasses because of the iron. I am a TAD anemic so I have been trying to make iron rich foods. Yummy recipe!


tanna September 1, 2011

“Slowly but surely I turned a new page in my life, by renewing my focus on my health and decreasing my focus on my weight. I took all that negative energy and flipped it into something positive.”

I just love that thought! Shared your website with several friends today. Thanks so much.



Angela (Oh She Glows) September 1, 2011

Thank you Tanna :)


Moni'sMeals September 1, 2011

The title says it all! My type of meal hands down and I just love molasses. I make a molasses granola that cant be beat!

“Does it taste like Motor Oil” Haha. :)

Congrats to the winner!


Brittany @ Itty Bits of Balance September 1, 2011

I had no idea that molasses was such a good source of iron. Plus, I LOVE gingerbread! Can’t wait to make this :)


Mary September 1, 2011

Sounds delicious! This would be great for fall.


Andrea B. @ Vegvacious September 1, 2011

Gingerbread smoothies are the perfect way to celebrate the arrival of September! Hopefully this weekend will bring some warm sunny mornings so I can enjoy one of these on my deck! I didn’t know about blackstrap molasses containing so much iron – I’m still learning something new everyday :-D


Krysten September 1, 2011

sounds tasty! and i totally understand where your coming from, looking back, I can’t believe what I used to do to myself. Now I eat super healthy- by choice. Cause I know how much it means to me. I almost take it personally. Eating healthy- and basically vegan are my life, after my father passed away- I’ve taken the extra step- everyday, to research and keep my knowledge growing- on every aspect of nutrition and health. My family eats terrible, were from the south after all- but now that I’ve moved on with my own life and grown as an individual- these are my morals- and I appreciate you being there for the first step, when I researched green smoothies-

I’ve stuck with your blog ever since. I love knowing that others know, it’s possible.
best wishes


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