Do you take a multivitamin every day? Are you worried that you’re not getting the nutrients you need from your food? Now, it’s easier than ever to determine what nutrients you are eating and how much. I believe strongly that we should be eating our vitamins and minerals, not taking supplements. While in some cases vitamin supplements are necessary, for most people they are totally unnecessary. Wouldn’t you rather eat something delicious than take another pill? I certainly would. Full disclosure: I’m one of those people whom taking certain vitamin supplements are necessary. I eat a gluten free diet due to medical necessity. This means I have to supplement B vitamins. However, the rest I get from my food. This post is all about increasing the vitamin A in a recipe. According to the National Institute of Health, “Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that is naturally present in many foods. Vitamin A is important for normal vision, the immune system, and reproduction. Vitamin A also the heart, lungs, kidneys, and other organs work properly.” In a nutshell, it’s important to get enough vitamin A in a day. There are many ways you can get vitamin A and most are not as boring as sucking down several raw carrots in a day (unless you like doing that).
What can you do to increase the amount of Vitamin A in a recipe? Here are some of the ingredients I use on a regular basis and some others that I don’t, but you may want to try. The numbers I pulled from the USDA Food Composition Database and the percentages are for adults over the age of 19. However, if you are a data geek (like I am) you can do a search and download the full data into an Excel spreadsheet and have fun! When you see RDA, it means “recommended daily allowance”.
Carrots are one of my go-to staples for vitamin A. They are inexpensive and can be added to almost any dish.
I LOVE sweet potatoes. They taste great and add both vitamin A and potassium. Yes, it is a starchy vegetable. They are good for you so long as you don’t smother them in unhealthy stuff. I’m looking at you sweet potato casserole!
I use canned pumpkin a TON outside of the fall. It has similar properties to tomato sauce. I add it lots of recipes. It doesn’t make the dish taste like pumpkin.
Butternut squash is a great addition to many dishes. It adds a sweet flavor and a beautiful texture when roasted.
Another source of vitamin A
One other source of vitamin A that I don’t use, but you may like is beef liver. Beef liver has over 1000% RDA of vitamin A in a 4oz serving. My dad loved liver and onions. Me, not so much. However, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention this source.
What are your favorite ways to add vitamin A to a recipe? Leave a comment down below!