This amazing post was written by Caitlin Iles, a Holistic Culinary Nutritionist and Yoga teacher who focuses on healing the body through the latest nutrition research and time-tested, evolution-based dietary concepts. She shares recipes and inspiration at www.caitliniles.ca or follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram.
It’s amazing how a humble little mineral such as magnesium can play such a monumental role in our health and bodily function. It serves as a catalyst in over 300 enzymatic functions and is necessary for the relaxation of smooth muscle, which is required if we want to chill out after a stressful day! If we’re not taking in enough of this mineral we can feel stressed, depressed, twitchy, and our energy levels can suffer.
There are enough articles out there telling you all about the importance of magnesium in the diet and where you can find it in every day foods, but there aren’t too many telling you what to do with these foods. Today I’m going to share two recipes that taste great and are super easy-to-prepare so that you can have a go-to main course and dessert that will fill you up and calm you down.
Main: Mean Green Quinoa Stir-Fry
Did you know that 1 cup of cooked quinoa contains 30% of the magnesium you need in a day? This powerful little seed (yes quinoa is a seed, not a grain!) is also a complete source of protein, so it makes a great, nutrient-dense base for our magnesium-rich dinner.
We’ll also be packing this stir-fry full of green veggies such as kale, chard, and spinach. Each one of these leafy greens contains tons loads of anti-oxidants and vitamins, but they are also great sources of magnesium thanks to their chlorophyll content. The life force of plants that’s responsible for their bright green colour uses magnesium as its central molecule, which makes these veggies the perfect way to up our intakes.
1 tbsp. avocado or olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
3 celery stalks, fined chopped
2 cups kale, roughly chopped
2 cups cooked quinoa
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups chard, roughly chopped
2 cups baby spinach
½ tsp. sea salt
1 lemon, juiced (or you can top with your home-made dressing of choice)
1 cup slivered almonds
¼ cup sesame seeds
¼ cup cilantro and/or parsley, chopped
1 avocado, cubed
Heat a large frying pan on low and add oil of choice. Add celery and onions. Cover and let the veggies steam for a couple of minutes, until the celery softens.
Add kale and cover to steam another couple of minutes, until it is bright green and beautiful.
Add quinoa, garlic, and chard. Mix thoroughly for about 2-3 minutes until warmed through.
Remove from heat. Add spinach, sea salt, lemon juice, almonds, and sesame seeds stirring until combined.
Dish out portions and top with cilantro, parsley, and avocado.
This dish also tastes great topped with goat cheese, chicken, or white beans. Feel free to get creative and add some of your favourite veggies to the mix!
Kale, spinach, and chard
Dessert: Salted Chocolate Cashew Bark
Did you know that raw cacao is one of the highest food sources of magnesium on the planet? That means that I’m here to tell you that chocolate is actually a health food! Now there is a caveat to this statement. I am not talking about chocolate sold in a gas station full of vegetable oils and crappy refined sugars. I’m talking about chocolate made from raw, fair trade cacao, natural sweeteners, and cocoa butter.
Try whipping up this decadent chocolate delight to reap the amazing health benefits of raw cacao. As a bonus this recipe also contains cashews, which, aside from being delicious, are a great source of magnesium. One quarter cup serving contains 29% of your daily-required intake.
1 cup crushed cashews
1 cup cocoa butter
1 Tbsp. coconut oil
1 tsp. vanilla
3-5 tbsp. honey or maple syrup. More or less depending on your preference for sweets.
½ cup raw cacao
a few sprinkles of coarse sea salt
Heat a frying pan over medium heat.
Add cashews to frying pan and toast until edges start to turn golden. About 3-5 minutes.
Remove cashews from frying pan and set aside.
Line a plate or baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Place water in a double boiler over medium-high heat. A double boiler is basically a pot over which you place another, slightly smaller pot or metal mixing bowl. Be careful not to fill the bottom pot to the point where the water touches the bottom of the top pot as this can cause your chocolate to burn.
Add cocoa butter, coconut oil, vanilla, and maple syrup to double boiler, whisking together once melted.
Once combined whisk in cacao until smooth then remove from heat and add cashews.
Spread chocolate cashew mix onto lined plate or baking sheet.
Once spread, sprinkle the top with sea salt. I like using a coarser ground salt as it gives you a nice crunch.
Place in the fridge to set.
Once hardened break into chunks with a knife and try not to eat the entire plate in once go.
Bonus Tip: After dinner take a relaxing Epsom salt bath loaded with your favourite essential oils to absorb some magnesium goodness right into your muscles. I find these baths have a quick-acting effect on my relaxation levels and they’re the perfect way to relax after a stressful day.
By incorporating foods high in magnesium into your daily diet you can prevent deficiency symptoms and set yourself up for long-term health. What are some of your favourite ways to enjoy magnesium-rich foods? Share your recipes in the comments!