Canned clamsDID YOU KNOW….  clams top the list as a source of vitamin B12? In fact, just one serving of clams (three ounces) has 14 times more vitamin B12 than a fortified breakfast cereal with 100% DV!

100% DV (Daily Value) of a nutrient is based on a 2,000-calorie diet and means a serving of the food contains 100% of your daily needs. This water-soluble vitamin plays a key role in cell metabolism, the formation of blood, and the normal functioning of your brain and nervous system. (See Vitamin B12 Deficiency)

Clams are also an excellent source of heme iron. Believe it or not, they’re right up there with beef liver. Heme iron is found in animal foods and derived from hemoglobin (a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen). The body absorbs the most iron from heme sources of iron. Iron is essential due to its oxygen-carrying capacity.

An iron deficiency can impair muscle function, normal function of the nervous and immune systems, and can limit your work capacity during exercise. So, if you have a cardiac condition, it’s important to get enough iron each day. Patients with congestive heart failure (CHF) are prone to develop iron deficiency and iron supplementation improves functional status and quality of life.

UPDATE: Here’s a version of a Manhattan-style chowder that uses lycopene-rich tomatoes with a touch of dairy to help cut the acidity plus salmon for additional omega-3 fats. Fresh clams can be added, but canned clams are used here to make it an easy, full-bodied soup that you can throw together fast.  Add a green salad and whole grain bread and you have a healthy, heartwarming meal.

Soup bowl_PD art

Power Chowder

What’s In It…

  • 1 cup yellow onions (about 1/2 medium onion), chopped
  • 2 cups chopped fresh ripened tomatoes (about 4 tomatoes), chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup celery (about 1 large stalk), chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, diced
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons almond meal/flour
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3 cups purified water
  • 2 cups cubed baby red potatoes, unpeeled (about two 3″ red potatoes), cut into small cubes
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley OR 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 8 oz. natural clam juice
  • 1/2 can of evaporated skim milk OR unsweetened soy milk
  • 26 oz. canned chopped clams in clam juice (four 6.5 oz. cans)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 20 drops Tabasco® 
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Sea salt to taste (optional)
  • 1/2 lb. fresh salmon, cut in small pieces

*Almond meal flour is simply raw blanched whole almonds that have been ground into a fine powder. It’s low in carbohydrates and a good source of protein, fiber, vitamin E, and magnesium.

How It’s Made…

1. Sauté olive oil, garlic, onions, tomatoes in a big, heavy pot on “LOW” heat for 2 minutes.

2. Add celery, carrots, almond meal, and thyme to soup pot and cook for 3 minutes (stir occasionally).

3.  Slowly pour water into soup pot and whisk to smooth clumps of flour.

4.  Add potatoes to pot and increase heat to MEDIUM-HIGH and bring to a boil. Boil for 10 minutes. Turn heat down to MEDIUM.

5.  Add milk and clam juice.

6. Cover and simmer on LOW for 20 minutes or until potatoes are cooked completely.

7.  Add clams, clam juice, Worcestershire, Tabasco, black pepper, sea salt (optional)  and cook for 5 minutes.

9.  Add salmon to soup pot, and cook for just a couple minutes (do not overcook fish).

10.  Garnish with parsley.

Makes 6-8 servings. 


Karen Owoc

Karen Owoc is a certified Clinical Exercise Physiologist specializing in cardiopulmonary rehabilitation and lifestyle medicine. Her science-based approach to longevity, nutrition, and muscle health has made her the go-to source for health seekers and medical professionals alike. Karen's best-selling book on functional longevity, "Athletes in Aprons: The Nutrition Playbook to Break 100", and her transformative perspective have mended many minds, hearts, and spirits.

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