Friday, May 11, 2012

Fabulous Fiber, PLUS Apricot Crinkler Cookies/Muffins!

EVERY superfood FILLS US with FIBER!

Oh my goodness, the average American only takes in about 10 grams of of fiber each day! It is recommended (and you'll soon see why!) that women eat AT LEAST 25 grams, and men eat AT LEAST 38 grams PER day! Since you're here reading, hopefully trying to get healthy, I bet your number is probably higher than average, but WE could could all benefit from MORE fiber! Learn why!

Besides the chocolate chips and vanilla, 
Apricot Crinkler Cookie ingredients are all fiber-full! (recipe below)


1. CHOLESTEROL REDUCTION for heart health! TWO mechanisms: fiber binds to BILE released when you eat, so your body needs to make more bile which is made out of cholesterol. Secondly, fiber binds to ingested cholesterol as it travels through the digestive tract, and both are ultimately removed as WASTE.

2. REGULARITY -- I won't go on about this ... you understand. Eat fiber = have happy poop :)

3. WEIGHT LOSS -- low-calorie, high-volume foods make you feel full sooner, and longer!

One study says that women eat a certain volume of food, regardless of the total calories. On average, women eat 3 pounds of food per day. If you eat 3 lb of lettuce you will consume a tiny fraction of the calories that you would if you had consumed 3 lb of steak or cheese.

4.  Slows ABSORPTION -- improves blood SUGAR control, AND provides sustained ENERGY!

5.  Cancer PROTECTION -- it's in all of us; the key is to slowing/stopping the chain of events that spurs cancer development; fiber helps with this! One way, for example, is by moving waste through the digestive system quickly, so that its cells are exposed to the toxins in the waste for less time. The Cancer Project provides a nice explanation of how fiber may help prevent various forms of cancer.

Plus, fiber sources UNDOUBTEDLY provide abundant vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, healthy protein, fat, and of course, carbs!

As well as LITTLE to NO saturated or trans fat, cholesterol, harmful substances such as nitrates, hormones, antibiotics...

Fruitful Fiber SOURCES!

Whole Grains

  • For pasta, couscous, orzo, bread, and more, choose 100% whole grain
  • AVOID the word ENRICHED in ingredients list
  • Of course, plenty of grains have super-short one-ingredient lists: quinoa, wild rice, brown rice, farro, barley, and more!

Fruits, Veggies, beans, legumes, nuts, and seeds

  • Fresh, frozen, dried, freeze dried
  • No sugar added
  • Avoid salt
  • Avoid added chemicals, hydrogenated oils (Trader Joe's makes a great can of refried beans without hydrogenated oils!), ...I'm still working on dried beans  ... so I used canned, still, often.  
  • Fresh, Local, and Organic, is always optimal! CLICK here for a great way to get your hands on some!


Apricot Crinkler Cookies (or Muffins)!

1 c unsweetened, dried, apricots
1 c walnuts, ground
1 c bran
1 c banana, blended or mashed (2 bananas)
1/4 c chia seeds
1/4 c chocolate chips
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp vanilla extract

Stir everything up in a bowl until well blended. For muffins, fill muffin tin (or a silicone pan) and bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes, or until nicely browned. For cookies, flatten little scoops on a cookie sheet, as shown and described below. You don't have to worry about anything in here cooking enough -- you could eat the whole bowl of dough raw!~
Enlisting help is fun AND it makes little ones more willing to try new things!

My awesome silicone cookie sheet (you need a metal one below it for support)! This is how you make "cookies"; spread some dough/batter into a small cookie shape. Flatten out spoonfuls. Small is good if you love all the crackle-y edges like me :)
For muffins, you can fill as high as you like -- they won't change shape during baking. Sometimes, I fill them only slightly for more of a cookie :)
Don't worry, this is before they went in the oven -- she just wanted to try the mitts! Finished product is shown above! We ate them all up first thing in the morning!

COMMENTS: What is your favorite fiber source?

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