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Carrot Cake Oatmeal recipe with maternal nutrition in mind

April 11-17th, 2020 is #blackmaternalhealthweek. I was requested by Bean & Pea Co. to create a recipe with keeping expecting mommas in mind. I love discussing maternal nutrition so of course I accepted the opportunity. Thank you Bean & Pea Co. I came up with this recipe keeping in mind time, accessible ingredients, and of course nutrition.

This recipe takes less than 15 minutes to make and can be cooked in larger portions to store in the fridge and consume through out the week for breakfast, a snack, or a dessert.

I wanted to create a recipe with ingredients people, most likely, already have in their pantry as many of the ingredients have a long-shelf life (raisins, oats, and carrots).

Now let's get to the nutrition. How does this cater specifically to expecting mothers? 3 main nutrients this dish provides are Vitamin A, fiber, and Polyunsaturated (healthy) fats - Omega's 3 and 6 fatty acids.

Vitamin A plays a major role in vision, immune, and neurological health. The recommendation for Vitamin A intake in pregnancy is 770 mcg and 1300 mcg when lactating. The upper limit ( recommended amount not to exceed) is 3,000 mcg. vitamin A deficiency and excess can cause birth defect.

Fiber. This recipe contains 10 grams of fiber. Fiber is found from the oats, carrots, raisins, and walnuts in this recipe. Fiber rich foods are good sources of vitamin Bs, particularly folate (vitamin B-9). Folate helps prevent birth defects, heart disease, and depression. Another benefit is that the fiber helps make this meal satisfying and filling.

Omega-3 and 6 Fatty acids. The health community know these healthy fats have great benefits and should be considered during maternal nutrition as the typical American diet does not consume enough Omega-3 fatty acids. Furthermore these are essential fatty acids, meaning our body does not produce these on its own and must be consumed through food. Food sources like vegetable oils, pumpkin seeds, soybeans, and walnuts contain these healthy fats. These polyunsaturated fats consumed during pregnancy have shown to reduce nerve and vision problems in infants, as well as allergies. Studies have shown mothers with an increase consumption of Omega 3 have reduce cases of depression and preeclampsia (high blood pressure during pregnancy).

Now that all the nutrition information is laid out on this delicious recipe, give it a try in your kitchen, share on social media, and let me know what you think!

A few notes. If you want natural sweetness I highly recommend adding the raisins. As for the milk option please use what you prefer. I did use coconut milk because that's what I had in my pantry and it was absolutely delicious. Lastly, please go in on the toppings. I topped mine with walnuts and coconut flakes but it does not have to stop there. Add other seeds like pumpkin, flax, and chia, fruits, or nut butters, to add more fiber, protein, and healthy fats.

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