I am a big fan of fiber and in this post will walk you through a few ways to sneak some fiber into your life and not change the taste of your favorite foods! And by the end of this I bet you will love fiber too J
To start, if you haven’t already, get to know and love your power seeds, those being Chia and flax. Flax and Chia seeds are amazing little miracle seeds that can be added to most anything without disrupting the flavor component of your meals. They each add omega-3’s, fiber and even a little protein. When you compare the seeds side to side you will see some minor differences in their nutritional breakdown (however both are a great choice), so if you are torn over which seed to choose, start with which taste and texture you like best. (#happyslimhealthy tip, when purchasing flax seed, unless you have the ability to grind the seeds at home, always purchase pre-ground/milled seeds).
So where can you strategically add Flax and Chia to your day?
Starting with breakfast:
- Cereal: This is a no brainer, simply add flax into your bowl of cereal. (Flax may be best here, I have not tried this with Chia but you are welcome to see what it turns out like!)
- Oatmeal/Steel Cut Oats: Mixing in to hot oats and stirring and you won’t even know the added goodness is in there. Both seeds would be great in this, chia may even be better as they would swell and may make it seem like you are eating more than you really are.
- Rice Cakes: This can also double as a snack, but top your rice cake with your topping of choice (cream cheese, peanut butter, cottage cheese, yogurt etc.) and sprinkle the seeds right on top. With peanut butter you can even mix it into the peanut butter first and spread it on so its blended in there. Then top with your fruit or granola and there you have it.
- Yogurt: Also can double as a snack, just add directly into the yogurt (my preference here with flax), mix in some fruit and/or granola and breakfast is perfectly well rounded.
- Smoothies: When you blend you won’t even know they are in there.
Lunch and Dinner:
- Salads: Both seeds can be mixed and blended into your salad bowls and basically disappear between bites.
- Quinoa/Rice/Farro/Wheat Berries (really any grain): Mix it right into your grain of choice. If you are baking with any of the grains particularly Quinoa, they can also be blended right into that mix.
- Mixed into your breading on your protein? Hey why not. Some bread crumbs, a little garlic and a little flax?? Sounds good to me!
- Hummus: You can either blend it into a pre-packaged hummus or make your high fiber hummus! The recipe below has protein and fiber and can be used as a spread on some crackers or bread, or on top of a salad for a plant based meal. I made this for the first time the other day and it was even better than I thought it would be! In a food processor mix:
o ½ cup Chick Peas (high fiber bean)
o ½ Cup Edammame (adds even more fiber)
o 1 Tbsp Flax seeds
o Juice of 1 lemon
o Olive oil
And then serve!
- Popcorn: Pour the popcorn in your bowl and get really fun and creative by drizzling on some truffle oil and then mix in some flax. Perfect snack. (#happyslimhealthy tip: turn your popcorn into a trail mix by also mixing with roasted chick peas or edamamme beans and then add flax or, mixing with some slivered nuts, dried fruit and dark chocolate chips as an alternative to traditional trail mix! Of course adding your extra fiber into these mixes as well.)
- Ice cream: Yup, I said it, just put it right on top of your ice cream! Maybe one day we will even see it as a topping at the Fro-Yo bars, remember you heard it here first!
- Fresh Fruit Bowls: Just mix it in. Yes, it is that easy!
- Dips: Salsa (especially home-made salsas), yogurt based dips, dressings, Hummus etc. Consider it a garnish J
- With Chia you can even add it to your water, mix in some lemon and even a few frozen fruit cubes and it becomes a beautiful cocktail.
Besides these fabulous seeds, you can get your daily dose of fiber from: beans, fruits, veggies, whole grains, nuts and seeds.
Be sure to build each and every one of your meals and snacks around one or more of the fibrous goodies listed above and you will be well on your way to fiber greatness.
One last recipe for now….
Try roasting some beans:
Take either chick peas and/or edamamme beans, mix with some olive oil and maybe a little garlic and throw them into the oven. Start at 350 for 10 minutes and then give the tray a little shake. Repeat another 1-2 times depending on how crispy you want them. Then add these crunchy gems on to salads, mix into popcorn as stated above, eat as a snack alone or have as a side dish!
Now, remember when adding extra fiber into you life, start slow. When adding too much too soon you can become bloated and experience stomach pain. I suggest to start slow and build as your tolerance gets bigger. Start by sprinkling Flax or Chia seeds on your foods and then build up to 1 full tbsp (and then up to 2 tbsp for Flax seed per day).
It is also vital to be drinking extra water when eating high fiber meals and snacks in order to prevent constipation.
As you can see from all of these ideas, there really is no excuse to not meet your daily fiber needs! Now go out there and get creative!
Have questions or comments? Feel free to send them my way or comment below.
For more recipe ideas be sure to follow @jennaariel on Insta-Gram and look for #happyslimhealthy
- Jenna A. Stock, RD