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Dianabanana

How can I eat a lot of canned clams?

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Just got off the phone with my doctor, who says "you're essentially walking around with no iron." According to him, a normal level of ferritin for me would be 51, and I'm at 4. As in FOUR! So, obviously, he wants me to take supplements, but like any good eGulleteer my thoughts turn first to food.

Turns out one of the most concentrated sources of iron is canned clams. The only things I've ever had with canned clams are linguine with clam sauce (not so great with canned clams anyway) and clam chowder, neither of which contain a lot of clams per serving. What could I make that would use the clams more intensively?

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It's not very sexy but canned clams on crackers with hot sauce would be one way.

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I should mention that it's clams packed in oil that I use. This website says that oysters have more than 3 times the iron than clams, might be a good excuse to hit an oyster bar for lunch. http://www.uchospitals.edu/online-library/content=P00077

This is a recipe for a stuffed mushroom appetizer with a minced clam filling: http://southernfood.about.com/od/clamsandm.../r/bl50818c.htm

I'm sure it could be improved upon and I'm sure oysters could be substituted.

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Iron deficiency isn't something that you want to screw around with. I would use the supplements. And besides if I was after Iron from foods I wouldn't try and eat a tonne of clams. I like them and am all in favour of consuming them but too much of anything .... make more clam chowder with more clams than normal ... and stay away from the NE versions if you're going to eat a lot.

Try more spinach too.

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My wife also suffered from amenia. Supplements worked fine. (She said she wanted to have liver (pork liver), but obviously, that's not what you want to eat on a daily basis.)

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Oh honey I feel your pain I was told the same thing my doctor told me I was "grossly anemic" and to start taking iron eat food rich in iron or he was transfusing me ( he was teasing but very concerned my blood count was pathetic!)

seaweed and seaweed soup are just loaded with iron! even more so than clams I think and it is so good for you ..you can buy all types of seaweed and make your own or the Asian markets carry instant seaweed soup ..you can sip it all day if you like... just make sure you combine your iron with foods high vit C to promote absorbtion ...

as far as getting your best iron packed meal make soups (at least I tell my patiients that and now I have to follow my own advice :raz: ) and combine veggies high in Vit C with your iron rich foods ...synergy is where it is at when trying to restore and buld your blood back up....and as far as I am concerned load the chowder with clams!!! make a red chowder or even turn it into a stew...so you get the Vit C from the veggies and then the iron from the clams ...

remember it takes three months to build your blood back up so you need to have a variety of things in your diet not just clams...


Edited by hummingbirdkiss (log)

why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

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I'd think you'd get sick if you ate enough clams to correct that iron deficiency! Or at least be spending a lot of time in the bathroom.

I also vote for supplements. But have you thought of eating liver as well?

In fact, I'm surprised that the doctor didn't inject you.

But if you're determined to eat clams, why not just with a fork out of the can while watching tv?


Overheard at the Zabar’s prepared food counter in the 1970’s:

Woman (noticing a large bowl of cut fruit): “How much is the fruit salad?”

Counterman: “Three-ninety-eight a pound.”

Woman (incredulous, and loud): “THREE-NINETY EIGHT A POUND ????”

Counterman: “Who’s going to sit and cut fruit all day, lady… YOU?”

Newly updated: my online food photo extravaganza; cook-in/eat-out and photos from the 70's

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I don't care about sexy, I care about high-volume clam delivery systems. I'll try it. Thanks! What else?

Clam smoothie!

Seriously, no dairy - just a few cans of clams liquefied in the blender and slid down the the throat. Just an idea, it has not actually been field-tested.

How about red meat, and blood in general?


Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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An iron deficiency doesn't mean that you don't get enough iron in your diet. Not necessarily. Your body may have problems absorbing iron. I mean I have no idea what your eating habits are, but most people get enough iron in the food they eat.

Mtigges said: "Iron deficiency isn't something that you want to screw around with. " Too little makes you weak, and too much will kill you.

Hummingbirdkiss said: "Remember it takes three months to build your blood back up so you need to have a variety of things in your diet not just clams..."


"There's nothing like a pork belly to steady the nerves."

Fergus Henderson

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I don't care about sexy, I care about high-volume clam delivery systems. I'll try it. Thanks! What else?

Clam smoothie!

Seriously, no dairy - just a few cans of clams liquefied in the blender and slid down the the throat. Just an idea, it has not actually been field-tested.

I wonder what Foie would taste like if the birds were fed clam slurry for the last few weeks?


"There's nothing like a pork belly to steady the nerves."

Fergus Henderson

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WAIT, WAIT, WAIT!

I'm not talking about trying to cure severe iron deficiency with clams alone!!! :laugh::laugh::laugh: I'm going to take the supplements, but I want to focus on iron-rich foods, too. And not just clams, either. I know lots of ways to get a lot of beef and spinach and other iron-rich foods, but the particular problem with clams is that they're high in iron but you don't normally eat that many of them in a single dish. That's what I was asking about.

By God, this is why I love eGullet though!! You all are the best. Thanks for your support and suggestions!

(I see how my original post sounded like I was going on the Clam Diet. So funny . . . !)


Edited by Dianabanana (log)

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hey you have to understand that people do do things like eat lbs of one food thinking it will cure them ..so I am sorry I jumped to that conclusion ..I was ready to flip out about heavy metals in the over consumption of bivalves but I will shut up now!

eat an orange with your pill!


Edited by hummingbirdkiss (log)

why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

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Dude (ette): linguine in white clam sauce, red-checker tablecloth style. Boil yerself some dried linguine (none of this posh soft stuff). While it's boiling, heat olive oil, a great deal (or to taste) of finely chopped garlic, and just as the linguine is finishing up, dump in yer clams. Drain the pasta, dump it in with the garlic/clam/oil mess and toss gleefully. Throw chopped parsley on top and serve with crusty (garlic) bread and cheap Italian red wine, maybe a salad. If you're feeling upscale, throw a little white wine and some shallots in when you sauté the garlic, and cook the wine down. A little taleggio (sp?) on the side never hurts, either.

And, for what it's worth, this takes no longer to cook than it takes to boil the pasta and costs about a buck-and-a-quarter a serving.

Delish.


I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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hey you have to  understand that people do do things like eat lbs of one food thinking it will cure them  ..so I am sorry I jumped to that conclusion ..I was ready to flip out about heavy metals in the over consumption of bivalves but I will shut up now!

eat an orange with your pill!

No, absolutely no need to apologize. You're all wonderful.

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Hye, now that I think about it I recall reading that frying in a cast-iron skillet adds trace amounts of iron to your diet, as well. So, if you sautee the clams in a skillet...


I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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Just as Vitamin C can increase absorption of iron, for some people, certain substances can interfere with iron absorption (e.g. phytates in wheat bran, phosphates in soda or dairy products, etc.)

Came across this article today and thought you might find it interesting.....though it hasn't been translated to human recommendations yet, inulin may be a help with increasing iron absorption.

http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/pr/2008/080102.htm

For canned clams, how about going an Asian route? Get some minced garlic, ginger scallions and chili flakes sizzling in a little peanut oil. Add in the clam juice from the can, a little soy sauce, some rice wine,and simmer down a little. Throw in some soaked rice noodles, let it absorb some of the sauce, and at the last minute stir in the clams. Finish with a drizzle of toasted sesame oil, a sprinkle of rice wine vinegar and some chopped cilantro.

Good luck getting those iron levels up!

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Dude (ette): linguine in white clam sauce, red-checker tablecloth style.  Boil yerself some dried linguine (none of this posh soft stuff).  While it's boiling, heat olive oil, a great deal (or to taste) of finely chopped garlic, and just as the linguine is finishing up, dump in yer clams.  Drain the pasta, dump it in with the garlic/clam/oil mess and toss gleefully.  Throw chopped parsley on top and serve with crusty (garlic) bread and cheap Italian red wine, maybe a salad.  If you're feeling upscale, throw a little white wine and some shallots in when you sauté the garlic, and cook the wine down.  A little taleggio (sp?) on the side never hurts, either.

And, for what it's worth, this takes no longer to cook than it takes to boil the pasta and costs about a buck-and-a-quarter a serving.

Delish.

And don't forget to take an old chianti bottle and stick a drip candle in it! I would go with the clam smoothie for lunch and this for a romantic dinner. A little ambience and voila--Sexy canned clams!

Oh, does anyone have any insight about why canned clams might have more iron than fresh? I hate to think it's something leaching out of the can... or is it just a quantity thing?

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Have you been researching other foods high in iron to lend variety?

While moist, cooked clams, canned or fresh have 28 mg iron per 100 g. serving, dried Beluga whale will supply 72.3 mg iron for the same amount.

Dried spices would amp up the amount of iron considerably. Maybe use a citrus-thyme sauce to go with?

Cf. Nutrition Data.


Edited by Pontormo (log)

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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I use frozen baby clams (and other frozen bivalves) in a couple of things where I think canned would work too. I pan-fry tofu shirataki-- you could use other noodles-- with soy or worcestershire sauce and some hot sauce and clams. Or I make a coconut-based Thai curry with mixed seafood. (I use lower fat coconut milk since I'm on Weight Watchers.)

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Just a word of warning, those iron supplements will probably constipate you, so drink lots of water, and any dried fruit will help keep your from any trouble.


Cheryl

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In Japan, clams (hamaguri, right) are often used in clear soup.

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I once used clams as a substitute for oysters in Carpetbagger Steak. Was cheaper too.

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Drink Guinness! Or the stout of your choice.

They used to prescribe it in hospitals you know.


I love animals.

They are delicious.

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