Saturday, 27 April 2013

Pregnancy foods: Quinoa and Chia Porridge

During pregnancy you have to avoid lots of different foods. Some are easy enough to give up (not really a fan of flake anyway...), while others are a little more difficult (camembert cheese! I miss you dearly!)

Instead of focusing on the 'do not's of pregnancy, I have tried to consider the 'do's. I've increased my intake of fruit, yoghurt, nuts and have tried to pack as many vegetables into meals as possible. And you can really tell when you've eaten well compared to when you haven't! Some days I will have a feeling as though I can't decide whether I am hungry, or whether I have eaten too much. After considering my diet on these days, I have realised that I am probably full, but not getting the nutrients I need. Even though I take daily pregnancy multi-vitamins and probiotics, I clearly need more. The baby needs more.

I have done some reading on the subject and have tried to find foods that are rich in minerals such as magnesium, calcium, zinc and iron. Then I saw this Quinoa and Chia Porridge recipe on the Quirky Cooking Thermomix blog, and decided that it was worth a shot!

Because this recipe uses quinoa, it is also high in protein. The mesquite powder and chia add all of the aforementioned minerals too.

Haven't heard of these foods before? Quinoa, mesquite and chia are all considered ancient 'superfoods' from Central and South America. You can buy them in supermarkets these days, in the gluten free/health food aisle. Otherwise try your local health food store.

So the results were pretty great. I substituted a few things. I didn't have almonds, so I used rice milk. I also opted not to add so many toppings. I tried banana and maple syrup to begin with. I added some currants, which were lovely, but probably tipped me over the sugar edge. When I made it again, I put less honey in, then taste tested before adding maple syrup. Otherwise it was too sweet.

On the days I eat this porridge, I feel great about looking after myself and my baby. I think this recipe is going to be a regular throughout autumn and winter!

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