Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Fiber Filled Fa-la-la-la-la!

Mmm... Bran muffins! Don't laugh... these little beauties have been a favorite of mine since I was a little girl. With the holidays fast approaching I know that fitting essential fiber into my diet will take a bit more planning, but it is completely doable. How will these mini bran delights help? Well, they are one little trick out of 5 I have up my sleeve to ensure my family is fiber filled for the season.

The Bran muffins are a great no fuss idea for simple fiber delivery. Make up your muffin batter and store it in the fridge. In the morning all you need to do is bake up a batch and you are good to go. I love that after making up a batch, my breakfasts are done for a week or longer. My favorite part of muffins is they are very portable and easy to grab and go. Did you think fiber could be that easy?

Don't forget you can throw in a bit of wheat flour when baking. It is another simple way to "sneak" in the good stuff. Substitute half the AP flour with whole wheat and enjoy. Use it in your roll recipe, cookies and bread. If you are going to be eating these, you might as well up the fiber content.

Be sure to make friends with your oats. I love oatmeal, but know not everyone enjoys it as much as I do. Besides digging into a warm and comforting bowl, you can also use it in cooking and baking. My Mother-in-Law gave me a great recipe for peanut butter, chocolate chip & oatmeal cookies. It doesn't use flour, and just one small cookie will fill you up. I also put oatmeal into my famous meatloaf recipe. The oatmeal helps to hold my loaf together as well as up the nutrition content. And you can always throw your dry oatmeal in the blender and make fresh oat flour to try in your baking also.

Always have the veggie plate out. This is a big tradition with my DH's family, well... it probably should be since they are a family of farmers. We enjoy cutting up and munching on carrots, green peppers, radishes, broccoli and others. Served raw, they take minimal prep and can satisfy the peckish and health conscious at the same time. Pair them with a low fat dip and you have a party.

My last favorite fiber packed food is the lovely bean. They don't have to be your grandmother's beans, either. Try some of the creamy favorites like canellini beans in soup, or on toast for a bruschetta.  Or enjoy some garbanzo beans (chick peas) in a delicious hummus dip or served over pasta for a hearty dinner. Plan on serving a hearty bean soup to family members visiting. The soup can be made ahead of time, and available for your guests as they want it.

So, how do you plan to get more fiber this holiday season? I would love to hear any other suggestions that I could incorporate into my family's plans. Happy noshing all!

*Disclaimer - I wrote this blog post while participating in the Bookieboo and Coach's Oats Fiber blogging program, making me eligible to win a $50 American Express gift card and free product. For more information on how you can participate, click here.
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