The Task Tamer

Fiber

Teri 08/04/2014 Comments

I recently saw a commercial for Fiber One bars that showed a man in various settings (tailgating, bowling, fishing) eating various health foods (broccoli, carrots, salad) and watching as all his buddies chowed down on junk food (chips, hotdogs, donuts). He looks dejected and forlorn until someone hands him a Fiber One bar and all of a sudden he is transformed into a satisfied eater. 

 

Hmmmm….so eating food that is good for you makes you unhappy and eating a highly-processed, sugary, chemical-filled bar is joyous! I looked up Fiber One bars on Fooducate and the best grade any got was C. The ingredient lists include things I don’t know how to pronounce including various types of sugar and chemical additives (for freshness!). My favorite comment from Fooducate says there is fiber overload:

 

“Whoa! There's a lot of fiber in this product. But that's not necessarily a good thing. Seems to us like there's too much fiber. While fiber is important, scarfing it down all at once doesn't do you much good. Consume fiber throughout the day. Eating lots of fruits & vegetables in addition to whole grains is an easy way to do this.  Bottom line: If you find you're coming up short on fiber, a catch up session isn't going to solve your problem. Your body simply won't absorb it all. You may also feel very bloated.” 

 

The very thing General Mills is trying to emphasize in this product is part of what makes it a bad choice. Do you think they care? As I have said before, large food companies care about their bottom line, not your bottom!

 

What makes fiber so important, anyway? I researched this a little and every site I checked out mentioned it helps digestion, helps control blood sugar, helps lower cholesterol and can also help you lose weight by making you feel full. Women need about 25 grams/day and men need about 38 grams/day (these amounts decrease slightly for people over 50). Here is a good article from the Mayo Clinic if you would like to read more. It talks about the different types of fiber and how to get more in your diet. The man in the commercial was on the right track with his vegetables. Fiber is found in a variety of foods from fruits to whole grains to beans to nuts and seeds.  Todaysdietitian.com has a great list with well over 50 options here (the funny thing is they actually include Fiber One bars, showing you still have to use some common sense when checking out these websites). Today’s recipe is for hummus, a great way to get some fiber! A half cup of chickpeas has 6 grams of fiber. If you use fresh veggies for dipping you will pick up another 3-5 grams, depending on the vegetable. 

 

The reason I am posting another recipe for hummus is to show how important it is to be open to learning new techniques.  Making hummus was always a no-brainer to me. Throw chickpeas, tahini, garlic, lemon juice and olive oil in the food processor, give it a whirl and enjoy! Then I came across this blog post from Inspired Taste and realized by changing the method, homemade hummus could be taken to the next level of goodness! I cannot get enough of this. You can add other ingredients as well, such as roasted red peppers, artichokes, olives, etc. to really make this you own. I would suggest adding them after you have achieved the consistency you want in the base hummus, mixing them in for only a few seconds, just until broken down and distributed evenly. Pay close attention to the times for processing in this recipe. It will give you the perfect, whipped and creamy hummus.

 

 

Smooth Hummus

from Inspired Taste

 

Ingredients:

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup tahini pastehummus

1 medium garlic clove, minced (or more if you like)

2 Tablespoons good quality extra virgin olive oil

Salt to taste

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

2-3 Tablespoons water

 

Directions:

  1. Combine lemon juice and tahini in the bowl of food processor. Process for 1 minute. Scrape sides and bottom (get under the blades!) and process again for 30 seconds.
  2. Add rest of ingredients, except the chick peas. Process for 30 seconds, scrape sides and bottom (get under the blades!) and process another 30 seconds.
  3. Add half the chickpeas and process for 1 minute. Scrape sides and bottom (get under the blades!) and add remaining chickpeas. Process 1 to 2 minutes more, until thick and smooth.
  4. To make the consistency as smooth and creamy as possible, turn processor on and add water, a tablespoon at a time, until the perfect consistency. 
  5. Serve as is or drizzle olive oil over, sprinkle on paprika or other herb or even some pine nuts, pesto etc. 
  6. Enjoy!

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