This week’s post is by Christine Luken.
Most of know we should be getting more fiber in our diets. Fiber fills us up, helps control blood sugar, and is great for weight loss and digestion. But many times the word “fiber” conjures up visions of tasteless fiber cereals and prune juice. So I’ve rounded up some super-tasty recipes that help you and your family get in your daily fiber requirements.
Fig & Banana Protein Shake
At the co-op last week, there was a lone package of fresh figs on the shelf. Since I was feeling adventurous, I bought them and brought them home. Then I stared at them for a while, wondering what the heck I should do with these fresh figs. After some searching on Pinterest, I found several interesting recipes like Figs with Honey, Ricotta, and Balsamic, Clean Eating Fig Butter, and Fig and Almond Butter Smoothies. Since I love having a good smoothie post-workout, that sounded like something I would love. I chopped up my fresh figs into quarters and froze most of them. I ended up making my fig smoothie with ½ cup chopped frozen figs, 1 frozen banana, a scoop of chocolate protein powder, and a cup of Silk’s Coconut-Almond milk. It was delicious! Turns out that fresh figs are pretty healthy, too! They’re high in fiber and minerals like calcium and potassium. 4 small figs provide almost 5 grams of fiber!
I found this recipe for “Scoopable Chinese Chicken Salad” on the Hungry Girl website. It is super easy to make on busy nights when you’re short on time and don’t want to cook. Last week, I batch-grilled several pounds of chicken breast meat, most of which I cut into chunks and froze in 1-cup servings. I had been purchasing Tyson’s Grilled and Ready Chicken Breast Chunks, but a quick calculation showed I’d save close to half off if I went the DIY route. I added some edamame and dry roasted peanuts to the recipe. You could also use this as a filling for Asian lettuce wraps. 1 ½ cups of this simple, tasty salad provides 4.5 grams of filling fiber.
Grilled Chicken with Artichokes & Tomatoes
My husband loves artichoke and spinach dip, but I avoid turning on the oven in the summer if I can help it. So, I decided to figure out something tasty to make with my canned artichoke hearts without the oven. I ended up sautéing some minced garlic in olive oil in a skillet on the stove top. Once the garlic turned golden, I added a can of petite diced tomatoes, a can of artichoke hearts (drained and chopped), and a teaspoon of Italian herbs. I covered the mixture and let it simmer for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, I had some chicken breasts that I had brushed with Italian dressing cooking out on the grill. We put the chicken on our plates, topped it with the artichoke and tomatoes, and sprinkled it with some mozzarella cheese. It was so tasty and filling, we didn’t even miss having a starch like rice or potatoes with it! ½ cup of cooked artichokes provides 7 grams of fiber and 2 grams of protein for only 45 calories!
Yes, Black Bean Brownies! I know – “Yuck!” was my first reaction, too. But in all honesty, they are very tasty. The original recipe called them “Amazing Flour-less Brownies,” and that does sound more appealing. But the fact of the matter is that this brownie recipe has a whole can of black beans in it. I’ve been trying to limit my intake of wheat, so I’ve been scouring the internet for some good gluten free recipes. I did make some substitutions to the original recipe. I replaced the sugar with ¼ cup Sugar Leaf stevia/ sugar cane blend. Instead of a cup of chocolate chips, I used ¾ cups of Enjoy Life’s Mini Chips (dairy free) and ¼ chopped walnuts. I cut them into 9 squares, ate one, and froze the rest of them. This way when I have a chocolate craving, I can satisfy it without crashing my blood sugar. Because each brownie has 5 grams of fiber and 7 grams of protein, they’re very filling! (My variation, 9 servings, nutritional info: Calories: 220, Carbs: 28, Fiber: 5, Protein: 7). My recommendation is to serve them to your friends and family without revealing the secret ingredient until they’ve raved about how good your gluten-free brownies taste!
What is your favorite way to get more filling fiber in your family’s diet?