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Why do we need to consume zinc in our diet?
Zinc is a mineral required for regulatory processes, such as growth and development, immune response, and wound healing, throughout our lifetime. Zinc is an essential nutrient which means it must be consumed through diet. High sources of zinc include red meat and poultry, but if you’re like me who doesn’t consume red meat and opt for plant-based meals, then these recipes are for you! Vegan and vegetarian options for zinc sources include beans, dairy, and whole grains, so that’s why this month’s recipes include 5-minute bean bowl and pear banana-nut Greek yogurt oat bowl! I highly suggest reading the sites cited below and consulting a dietitian. For example, pregnant women require a higher amount of daily zinc intake, and vegetarians/vegans are less likely to meet their recommended daily intake because of their diet. It’s always good to increase awareness!
Disclaimer: It is important to note that each human’s lifestyle varies, and many variables (e.g. genetics, health status, etc.) must be accounted for. It is typically best to consume in moderation, and consulting a nutritionist or registered dietician is recommended when trying to find a diet catered to one’s personal lifestyle.
5-minute Bean Bowl with Choice of Protein
Black Bean and Riced Cauliflower
Drain and rinse a can of black beans. Put it in a pot on medium-heat. After a minute, add 1 cup of riced cauliflower, 1 diced Roma tomato, and your choice of seasonings. I added turmeric, black pepper, cayenne pepper, parsley, and coriander. Mix, and with the cover on, let it cook for four minutes. This yields 2 servings.
In the meantime, you can steam your choice of vegetables either on the stove or in the microwave. I chopped broccoli and carrots, and I heated them in the microwave for 4 minutes. Then, I added nutritional yeast for a cheesy flavor and a boost of Vitamin B12!
My Necessary Add-ons: Chipotle Chickpea Hummus, Grilled Chicken, and Sweet Potato Chia Chips
For an extra boost of health and flavor, I added chipotle chickpea hummus and grilled chicken, which are both sources of zinc. I also added sweet potato chips with chia seeds as a source of omega-3’s!
5-minute Pear Banana-Nut Oat Bowl
In a bowl, add 1/2 cup of instant oats, and microwave in soy milk. I microwaved these oats for 2 minutes, but it may vary depending on the type used.
Once the oatmeal is ready, I splashed a bit of soy milk and added 1/3 cup of plain Greek yogurt dashed with cinnamon. For my healthy fats source, I added a dollop of banana peanut butter and 1 tablespoon of flaxseed meal. I garnished it with chopped pears for a pop of color and an extra source of vitamins!