Iron Woman Gingerbread Smoothie

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on September 1, 2011

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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.

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Iron Woman Gingerbread Smoothie

As women, we’re about twice as likely to suffer from iron deficiency as compared to men. If you are a vegetarian or vegan, you’re even more likely to suffer from an iron deficiency at some point in your life, especially because plant-based sources of iron are more difficult to absorb than animal-based sources. This gingerbread smoothie is packed with blackstrap molasses which is a wonderful vegan source of iron. One tablespoon has 3.5 mg of iron and I like to sneak in two tablespoons into this smoothie. Add in some chia seeds and you will up your iron even more. Just be sure to take iron-rich foods with Vitamin C to help increase the iron’s absorption.

Adapted from my Gingerbread Vegan Overnight Oats.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup non-dairy milk (I use Vanilla Almond Milk)
  • 1-2 tbsp blackstrap molasses (I use 2, but add to taste as it’s strong)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds (also high in iron!)
  • 2 ice cubes
  • Peanut Butter Graham crackers + coconut, for garnish (optional)

 

Place all ingredients except for molasses into the blender and blend until smooth. Now add the molasses, a bit at a time, to taste. You may find that you only want 1 tbsp of molasses or maybe 2 tbsp if you like the flavour like I do. Serves 1.

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

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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. :)

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{ 44 comments… read them below or add one }

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Magda September 7, 2011 at 12:14 am

Awesome :D I’ve actually been seen eating my blackstrap molasses straight out of the jar and I totally don’t understand that some people hate it. I made a cross between the smoothie and overnight oats, with LOTS of cinnamon, ginger and cardamon. I think I could have the same thing for lunch and dinner. And snacks. For a week or so :D Thanks so much for the recipe.

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Tanya September 8, 2011 at 7:01 am

Thank you so much for posting this. It was a wonderful mix up to the beginning of my day. I usually have a fruit and vegetable smoothie in the morning. Now I have a different variety. Plus, what woman doesn’t need iron? =]

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Angela (Oh She Glows) September 8, 2011 at 7:51 am

Glad you enjoyed it Tanya!

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Grace September 8, 2011 at 3:36 pm

Sounds interesting . . . I did put molasses on my grocery list so I’ll have to try it.

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Elesha @ SkinnyfatGirls.Com September 8, 2011 at 7:49 pm

Wow, this recipe sounds fantastic! I totally relate to your story about having an unhealthy relationship with food. I’ve recently shed 20 pounds by simply eating right and stopping the obsession! When my food philosophy changed and I stopped dieting/binging/dieting/binging, the weight just came off. I can’t wait to try this! I’m always looking for new ways to add nutrients to my diet. I stick kale and carrots into absolutely everything! Keep up the awesome work :)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) September 9, 2011 at 9:17 am

Thank you Elesha! All the best to you :)

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Annette Gleason September 12, 2011 at 9:06 am

I made it this morning, SO good! Thanks also for the resource about molasses and iron for vegans, its always fun for me to buy a new ingredient =)

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Lori September 14, 2011 at 6:27 pm

Thank you for this smoothie recipe! I know I’m iron deficient and need it desperately, but sometimes I’m not in the mood for a green one. I added two tablespoons of pumpkin puree to the recipe and it was perfect.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) September 14, 2011 at 9:57 pm

mm good idea!

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Marianne September 17, 2011 at 5:04 pm

Just to add to the whole complexity of getting enough vitamins/minerals and absorbing them properly – try not to load up all of your iron intake into one meal, as you will actually decrease your body’s absorption efficiency (which is true for pretty much any mineral or vitamin). If your body thinks it has a huge supply, it doesn’t feel the need to absorb everything (and we are never 100% efficient anyways). Iron also competes with other minerals like calcium, zinc, and magnesium for absorption. It’s more something to keep in mind than stress about micromanaging – if you spread out your healthy eats throughout the day, you’ll probably get what you need.

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Justeen @ Blissful Baking September 28, 2011 at 7:32 am

I had this smoothie for breakfast this morning! LOVED the gingerbread flavor. I had a small glass of orange juice (to help with absorption), then I promptly drank a cup of coffee. Oops! I guess they cancel each other out? :)

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Taylor August 24, 2012 at 7:00 am

I loved this! I am definitely going to be incorporating more molasses into my meals for the great health benefits. You also inspired me to try making gingerbread oats! I just used the same spices and molasses in my morning oats with a few other additions and it is delicious! :)

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Melanie W. September 17, 2012 at 3:03 pm

Just made the Gingerbread Smoothie after a long day at work…Yum!
I substituted a few pieces of crystalized ginger for the powdered ginger.
I have been addicted to your blog for several months now. Whenever I need to try something new, I turn to Oh She Glows.
Keep those good recipes coming!

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spaceranger September 27, 2012 at 10:50 pm

My on-the-verge-of-anemic pregnant self had one of these this morning. Yum!

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Kim October 9, 2012 at 2:21 pm

I must say this is one of the best smoothies I have ever had. I was out of chia seeds so I could not add, I added the 2 T Molasses and I also added a tsp of cashew butter. Excellent. This is my new dessert for the season.

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Sophie October 27, 2012 at 9:49 am

HOLY CRAP! SHE IS BEAUTIFUL! (that’s is the first thing i thought when i saw the picture of you smiling)

on another note, this sounds amazing! i just got my wisdom teeth extracted so i’ve been searching for more smoothies that will help me get the nutrients i need. i’m so glad i discovered your website (i think it was through the Katie from the Chocolate Covered Diet).

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 27, 2012 at 3:31 pm

You are so sweet! I hope you enjoy the smoothie :)

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Corrinne February 17, 2013 at 1:18 pm

This is delicious! I made this smoothie without the graham crackers (but now that I have seen that recipe I will be adding it next time—they look so yummy) and I used 2 tbsp molasses from the get go. Wow, really tasty! I love it! Thank you.

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Kate March 20, 2013 at 1:00 pm

This was so delish! I used 1Tblspn of Molasses:) LOVE this blog, I cook from it all the time.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) March 21, 2013 at 7:35 am

Thank you Kate, I appreciate it!

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Jaime Brault September 2, 2013 at 6:56 am

Just tried this! YUM! I added a handful of spinach. And drank it with a few strawberries on the side (which I think are high in C, right?). Anyway, I really enjoy your website and recipes. Thank you :)

Jaime

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Emma (This Kind Choice) September 14, 2013 at 11:52 pm

This is the first time I have truly enjoyed blackstrap molasses! The ginger and cinnamon make such a wonderful pairing, and it really does taste like gingerbread. I’ve now used these flavours in porridge (oatmeal) and it was pretty tasty too. Thanks!

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Shireen September 20, 2013 at 6:51 pm

This was AMAZING! My daughter and I both have colds right now and this hit the spot for us! I will definitely be making it again. Thank you for posting!

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Amy September 28, 2013 at 7:15 pm

I must admit I was a bit skeptical about this smoothie (molasses in a smoothie?!) but wow this is now one of my favorite go to smoothies! I make this smoothie about 3 times a week and sometimes I add a small half tsp. of cacao and it is pure heaven.

Went to the store tonight and picked up a few mandarins to add to my smoothie fix next week :)

I’ve been enjoying your blog for a few years and your recipes never let me down!

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cindy October 29, 2013 at 2:08 pm

Just stumbled onto your websites when I was looking for a pumpkin seed recipe. Love it and llook forward to trying the gingerbread smoothie. Going out now to buy mollases!. Will be checking often for more goodies!

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Livegreeandgreen December 19, 2013 at 11:11 am

This looks so delicious!! I’m going to make this for my family at christmas. Better have a test run tonight though!:) I’m a nurse and I was super impressed you suggested to have vitamin c with iron to increase absorption. Great tips that most people don’t know. Excellent cook and smart too, love your blog!

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Nicole August 25, 2014 at 12:42 pm

Yummy :) :) :)
I made this for breakfast and just finished it. I added some almond butter and reduced the milk so it would be more like a soft serve. MMmm gingerbread soft serve for breakfast :) I never knew that molasses was full of iron until I read this post and this smoothie is such an amazing creation to get iron! Plus I can eat gingerbread spiced things all year. It’s my third time using this recipe. Thank you!

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Erin August 28, 2014 at 7:54 pm

oops, just noticed your comment after I posted mine. Sorry. Guess I should have said “didn’t see many that mentioned making it.” :-)

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Erin August 28, 2014 at 7:53 pm

I just made this for my afternoon snack. I blended it exactly as described, poured it into a glass and sucked it down with a straw. SO DELICIOUS, OMG!

I wanted to comment because I skimmed through the comments and didn’t see any that mentioned how the smoothie came out for them. So, I thought I’d weigh in.

People, do NOT modify this. I was tempted (because that’s what I do), but I didn’t, and it came out just perfect. Better tasting and MUCH healthier than anything at Starbucks. Thank you Angela. This will be my new post-workout drink. It’s absolutely delicious. I even saved a bit for the hubby, but I am regretting that now, lol.

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Kristina September 4, 2014 at 2:52 pm

My favorite fall smoothie! Sometimes I add a scoop of Garden of Life Vanilla Chai protein powder. Delicious either way :)

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Dar September 8, 2014 at 11:09 am

When I saw your picture, my first thought was “Wow, she really does glow!” You are very beautiful, btw. I have been making this as my iron level is very low due to absorption issues in my colon. I knew molasses was high in iron but I never knew what to do with molasses outside of making molasses cookies. Thanks for the recipe. I really enjoy it. I just want to point out that your recommended dose of iron for women is for women who have not reached menopause. When menstruation stops, iron requirements decrease. I am curious, is there a reason the molasses is not put in the blender with the other ingredients?

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Bianca October 2, 2014 at 1:01 pm

Hello – would you mind if I featured your smoothie bowl in a smoothie bowl round-up? I wanted to ask before I uploaded your image and linked back to your site. I love your recipes! Thanks for your response in advance!

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Ingrid November 4, 2014 at 11:43 pm

Wow – just made this – it’s intense, but great. Not being a ‘fall-themed-drink’ enthusiast I never knew how much a drink could taste like gingerbread! I think I’ll be incorporating some molasses into green smoothies from now on…thanks for the unusual recipe. I’ll try the VOO next!

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Lisa January 11, 2015 at 12:04 pm

Hi, this recipe looks wonderful. I am vegan and unfortunately despise bananas unless cooked in bread (weird taste buds I know) is there any thing else that would work in this recipe as I feel I could do with an iron boost & this sounds delicious! :-) thankyou

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Isabella Andersen September 27, 2015 at 2:14 pm

I just saw a recipe for gingerbread granola, and it made me think of this smoothie. I haven’t had it in years, but I’m going to go out and pick up some molasses so I can make it! I used to drink this smoothie every day, and I loved it. It’s also good with cold coffee for those of us who enjoy that sort of thing. ;)

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Jennykins November 7, 2015 at 1:53 pm

WOW, I just made this smoothie and it is so freakin’ good! It never occurred to me to add molasses to a smoothie. I added a couple Tbsp. of pumpkin puree, spirulina powder, turmeric, blueberries, and some vitamin C powder for good measure…seriously the most curiously delectable smoothie I’ve had in a long time. Thank you Angela! I adore your blog and your recipes.

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Emma December 15, 2015 at 1:06 pm

love this article.
here is a great Gingerbread Smoothie recipe a found. It tastes better than the cookie plus its healthy http://skinnygirlsguide.com/gingerbread-smoothie-recipe/

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Erin Overzet April 17, 2016 at 11:14 pm

Craving my great grandmas ginger snap cookies tonight…found this recipe.

Room temperature banana -> added 4 ice cubes instead.
1/2 tbsp Blackstrap.

Paired it with a fresh quartered orange.

Pure delight!
Thank you so much for nailing this, as it’s now in my dessert recipe rotation.

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Angela Liddon April 18, 2016 at 9:39 am

So glad this recipe satisfied your ginger snap craving, Erin! :)

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Alyssa April 22, 2016 at 9:38 pm

Made this tonight for dessert, and topped it off with some shredded coconut, cacao nibs, walnuts, and dried cranberries – totally delicious!

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Karen Campbell July 2, 2016 at 7:50 am

I’ve had severe iron deficiency anemia for over a year….and doctors have been unable to find a reason. I’ve been poked, scanned, probed…..even bone marrow tested. I believe the cause was from years of stress, which depleted my body. I had 17 blood transfusions, then the specialist gave me 4 iron infusions. That boosted my haemoglobin tremendously, but it has slowly dropped over the following months. While waiting for another infusion, I discovered your iron woman smoothie recipe and started drinking it every day, for about 2 weeks now. I’ve just had my blood tested and my haemoglobin is up 6 points! I’m ecstatic! Food truly is medicine…..thank you. xo

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Mary March 3, 2017 at 11:18 am

This is one of the best smoothies I have ever tasted. It is a tad high in sugar (which is one of the reasons it tastes so good!) but it is so worth it. I feel as though I am drinking a piece of ginger bread. It is definitely going to be my go to smoothie when I need a treat!

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Alkina January 22, 2018 at 3:55 pm

It was like drinking a liquefied dessert! Thanks!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 23, 2018 at 8:17 am

So happy you enjoyed it Alkina!

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