What’s the beef (or lack of) with Vitamin B12?

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B12. It is the infamously difficult vitamin that many vegans struggle to get enough of in their diet. So what is vitamin B12, which foods are the best source of it and what meals can you incorporate into your diet to boost your intake of this vital vitamin. We’ve got you covered in this week’s blog post!

Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin that is essential in the diet, allowing the brain and nervous system to function efficiently. B12 aids in the formation of red blood cells and is also known by the name ‘cobalamin.’

You can find B12 in many fortified vegan foods, such as cereals and milk and many people take the vitamin in the form of a tablet or capsule. One particularly nutrient dense source of B12 is nutritional yeast (clue in the name!), and this makes a great vegan parmesan alternative, as well as a versatile ingredient that can be added to many dishes. So here is a recipe that incorporates B12, as well as other essential vitamins and minerals such as folic acid, Niacin, and Iron – Has no more fears of that B12 deficiency and just ensures that you take a few of the B12 sources mentioned in this post!

B12, Brown Rice & Roasted Vegetable Bowls:

Ingredients

Veggies and Grains

  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 head broccoli, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 3 medium carrots, shredded
  • 1 16 oz package frozen corn (or kernels cut from about 3 ears of fresh corn)
  • 1 cup brown rice, cooked according to package directions
  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas (or 1 can rinsed and drained)
  • 1 cup of fresh spinach leaves
  • 1 cup of Kale leaves
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • salt/pepper

Creamy Sweet Tahini Dressing

  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar (or 2-3 tbsp if you aren’t a huge vinegar lover like me)
  • 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • salt/pepper to taste
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • water to thin

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Spread cauliflower and broccoli on one baking sheet. Spread chickpeas and corn on another baking sheet. Drizzle 1 tsp oil over each baking sheet and give veggies a toss. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. Roast for 30-40 minutes, turning the pans and giving them a shake every ten minutes. You want the veggies brown on the edges and tender…the chickpeas should be brown on the edges and crispy (they will crisp up further as they sit). My cauliflower and broccoli took about 40 minutes, my corn and chickpeas took 30, so you may want to start the broccoli/cauliflower first and put the chickpeas/corn in after the first 10 minutes. (Every oven is different, so keep an eye on everything to make sure you don’t burn them.)
  4. Meanwhile, shred the carrots and set aside.
  5. Wilt down the spinach and kale in a frying pan and set aside
  6. Combine all dressing ingredients, except water, in a medium bowl and whisk until smooth. Add 1 tbsp water at a time to thin to desired consistency. Alternately, you can add all ingredients to a blender and process until smooth. Set aside.
  7. When veggies and chickpeas are done, make your bowls! A little rice, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, corn, chickpeas, spinach, kale, sesame seeds and dressing in each bowl. Devour! Yum!

Recipe and photo source: http://www.veggieinspiredjourney.com/roasted-veggie-brown-rice-bowl/

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