Even though we’ve been conditioned to believe that cow’s milk is the only valid source of calcium, the truth is that a vegan diet can deliver sufficient amounts of calcium through dark leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables, some legumes, and fortified foods. However, vegans are still at a greater risk of bone thinning and fractures, mostly due to the fact that they aren’t getting enough bone-fortifying nutrients through their diet. As healthy bones require not only calcium but also vitamin C, magnesium and protein, here are some of the best food recipes, filled with these beneficial nutrients, that will keep your bones healthy and strong:
High calcium energy balls
If you need a sweet and tasty way to add some calcium to your diet, then this recipe is perfect for an afternoon pick me up, or a sweet treat in your lunch bag. These delicious vegan and gluten-free energy bites made with figs and tahini are packed full of calcium, are quick and easy to make, and simply taste heavenly.
What you need: 10 dried figs, 2 tbsp tahini, 2 tbsp chia seeds, 2 tbsp fresh orange juice, ¼ tbsp vanilla extract, ½ tbsp ground cinnamon.
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until the ingredients are well mixed. Roll the mixture into small snack-sized balls (you should get 8-10 balls out of the mixture, depending on the size). For additional flavor, roll the prepared balls in sesame seeds (optional). These energy balls will last for about 4 days in the refrigerator, but they also freeze very well.
Acai berry smoothie
Containing a good amount of calcium, acai berries are the perfect addition to any healthy diet. Apart from preventing bone fractures and other diseases, such as arthritis, simple acai berry powder can help increase bone density and has significant bone-building advantages. That is exactly why this delicious acai berry smoothie recipe might be the best way to regulate your calcium intake.
What you need: 4 tbsp acai powder, 2 frozen bananas, ½ cup frozen strawberries, ½ cup frozen raspberries, 1 tbsp hemp seeds, 1 cup of water, coconut milk or almond milk.
Add all of the ingredients into the blender and blend on high for at least 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the blender as needed, and add more liquid if the mixture ends up being too thick. Serve and enjoy!
Pistachio almond tofu
Being a great source of not only calcium, but also magnesium and protein, tofu is ideal for maintaining optimal bone health. But instead of your regular tofu options, this incredible recipe has added pistachios and almonds, which give it extra flavor and a delightful crunchy coating. Whether you decide to have this nutty tofu as an entrée for dinner, put it in a sandwich or use it to top a salad, don’t limit yourself, as this recipe is extremely versatile.
What you need: ½ block extra firm tofu, ¼ cup pistachios, ¼ cup almond meal (flour), 1 chickpea flour egg (1/4 cup chickpea flour + ¼ cup filtered water).
Press the tofu for as long as you can, then cut it into 4 pieces. Ground the pistachios in a food processor until they are crumbs, then pour them onto a plate and mix with the almond meal. Whisk the chickpea flour egg in a shallow bowl. Roll the tofu in the chickpea flour egg and shake off the excess. Press the tofu onto the pistachio and almond meal mixture and coat well. Cook on the stovetop in a non-stick pan or bake 350°F for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Serve as you like and enjoy!
A well-planned, nutritionally adequate and varied vegan diet that includes these delicious recipes will not only meet your daily calcium needs, but will also provide you with all the beneficial nutrients you need to keep your bones strong and healthy.