Crusltess Cheeseburger Pie: A good source of Choline
I was out to dinner with friends the other night and they asked what I was working on? I responded by saying I was working on writing a piece about the nutrient choline. They had never heard of choline.
What is Choline?
Choline is an essential nutrient for our body. Our liver can produce it, but the amount made by the liver is not enough to meet our daily needs, therefore, we need choline from our diet. Choline has a role in metabolism and functions of the brain and nervous system, including memory, mood, and muscle control. Lately, choline has been getting attention because pregnant and lactating women as well as children need adequate amounts for early brain development in an infant and child.
How much Choline do we need?
The amount of choline needed is dependent upon your age, sex, and stage of life. Infants and children need 125 mg to 250 mg. Teenagers need 375 mg to 550 mg. Pregnant and lactating women require 450-550 mg. Adults require anywhere from 425 mg to 550 mg. Interestingly, women who are premenopausal do not require as much because estrogen activates the synthesis of choline.
What are sources of Choline?
Choline is more abundant in animal products like eggs, meat, poultry, seafood, and dairy products. There are 356 mg of choline in beef liver, but not many people have liver as a regular part of their diet. Eggs are a more likely source of choline in the diet at about 147 mg per egg. There are also plant based sources of choline, but the amount of choline is not as high. Some of the common plant bases sources are baked red potatoes (57 mg in 1 large potato with skin on), kidney beans (45 mg in ½ cup), and broccoli (31 mg in ½ cup). Since choline is not as high as animal-based products it may be hard for vegetarians to meet their choline needs.
How about Choline supplements?
Choline is not a common mineral found in many multivitamins. A person can find choline supplements, but it is recommended to talk with your healthcare provider about an appropriate supplement plan.
Adding Choline to the diet
There are many foods that are good sources of choline. It is a good idea to have at least 1-2 good source of choline at every meal. In order to provide some ideas, I decided to adjust the recipe for an old family favorite to include rich sources of choline. The following recipe for Cheeseburger Pie has an increased amount of eggs than typically called for, replaces the heavy cream and mayonnaise with cottage cheese, and includes ground sirloin. One serving of this cheeseburger pie supplies 100 mg of choline. It can be served with another choline rich side like, broccoli, potatoes, or brussel sprouts to maximize the choline provided.
Crustless Cheeseburger Pie (Revised)
½ onion, chopped
1 cup of cottage cheese
½ pound of ground sirloin, browned
1/3 cup of baking mix
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Pre-heat oven to 350.
Add eggs, onion, and cottage cheese to a food processor and blend together until smooth. Add the egg mixture to a large bowl, then add the remaining ingredients and mix together. Pour mixture into a greased, 9-inch pie plate. Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes.
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