January is Blood Donation Month

How does nutrition tie in? You cannot donate if you have low iron and this is something they check for during the pre donation screening.

You can read about what happens to iron stores in the body after donation, daily iron needs for men and women and food sources here.

Should you be taking a B12 supplement to ensure adequate red blood cell production? The answer is yes if you follow a vegan diet, are 50 or older or have a history of gastrointestinal disease or surgery. You can read more about B12 requirements, food sources and supplement recommendations here.

The recipe for this week is something I made last night. Super fast, cheap, minimal ingredients, filling. This recipe is from Cooking Vegetarian by Vesanto Melina

Split Pea Soup with Veggie Back Bacon

8 cups vegetable stock

1 cup diced carrot

1 cup diced celery

½ onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups dried green or yellow split peas, rinsed

3 bay leaves

5 whole cloves

¼-½ tsp salt

Black pepper to taste

3 slices Yves Veggie Back Bacon

1 TBSP chopped fresh parsley

Saute carrots, celery, onion and garlic in 2 TBSP of stock over medium heat for 5 minutes.

Stir in remaining stock, split peas, bay leaves and cloves.

Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 45-60 minutes.

Add salt, pepper, Veggie Back Bacon and more water if soup is too thick.

Remove bay leaves before serving. Garnish with parsley.

Makes 6 servings.

Nutritionals per serving:

260 Cals, 17 g protein, 1 g fat, 45 g carbohydrate, 7 g fiber, 241 mg sodium

Additional notes

Add the traditional ham hock if you like (will increase Cals, fat, protein and sodium)

I do not add any meat or meat analogues to this when I make it-still great.

You can also throw it all in a slow cooker to prepare.

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