We know we need fiber, but it’s not always easy to get the recommended 25-35 grams a day, so today we’re Getting the Skinny with Molly on 5 ways to sneak more fiber into our diets!
Fiber helps with digestion, regularity, cholesterol management, blood sugar control, and can keep us feeling fuller longer.
In addition to the usual recommendations of adding more fruits & vegetables and switching to whole wheat pasta, brown rice and sweet potatoes, here are 5 more ways that we can squeeze more fiber – and more nutrients – into our diets.
WHITE BEANS: crazy-high in fiber
- White beans (also called navy beans) pack in 19 grams of fiber per 255-calorie cup, with the added bonus of 15 grams of protein.
- Note: Red beans a close second, with 16 grams fiber (and 16 grams protein) per 220-calorie cup.
- Tip: Use white beans and red beans to boost the fiber of salads, soups and side dishes. Make your own red bean hummus or white bean hummus, with 30 to 60 percent more fiber than traditional hummus made with chickpeas.
EGGPLANT: As baba ganoush or lasagna
- Eggplant is a low-calorie, fiber-rich option, with 3 grams of fiber in every 3.5-ounce serving (about one cup cubed eggplant).
- Tips: Eggplant is great for stir-frying or roasting, or puree to make baba ganoush. Eggplant also works well in lasagna as a low-carb, gluten-free alternative to pasta sheets (peel and slice first).
- Check out recipes for Molly’s Eggplant Lasagna and the Minimalist Baker’s low-oil baba ganoush
BEET GREENS + COLLARD GREENS: 2X the fiber of spinach
- When it comes to leafy greens & fiber, beet greens and collard greens are among the highest, with 4 grams of fiber per 3.5 ounces (about three cups) of raw greens, compared to 2.2 grams of fiber for the same amount of spinach.
- Tip: If beet greens and collard greens seem too bitter, try going half-and-half with these greens and baby spinach.
- Think beyond raw: Lightly steamed or sautéed greens are denser than raw greens, so cup-for-cup, you’ll get about four times more fiber with cooked greens.
RASPBERRIES: Top fiber-rich fruit in produce section
- One cup of raw raspberries has 8 grams of fiber, with just 64 calories (blackberries are a close second, with 7.6 grams fiber per cup).
- Frozen berries are just as fiber-rich and nutrient-dense as fresh berries.
- Enjoy fresh raspberries plain straight from the carton, add them to Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, or oatmeal, or blend frozen raspberries into a protein shake.
CHIA SEEDS: Chocolate Chia Pudding!
- Every two-tablespoon serving has 10 grams of fiber + 6 grams protein
- Chia seeds can be baked into better-for-you muffins, brownies, cookies or pancakes, or blended into your favorite smoothie or protein shake.
- These little seeds can be used to make a fiber-rich pudding, or mixed with water to serve as an egg replacer in baked goods.
- Try this Swerve-sweetened Chocolate Chia Pudding recipe, adapted from Keto Diet Blog, below.
Chocolate Chia Pudding
Makes 1 serving
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds, whole (or ground if you prefer a smoother texture)
- 3-4 oz. unsweetened chocolate almond milk
- 1 tablespoon raw cacao powder, unsweetened
- 1 tablespoon Swerve Sweetener
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon and/ or pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
- ½ tablespoon raw cocoa nibs or extra dark chocolate (at least 85% cocoa)
Mix chia seeds, coconut milk, almond milk, cacao powder, and Swerve, and cinnamon and cayenne if desired. If you prefer a smoother texture, place into a blender and pulse until smooth. Let it sit for at least 10-15 minutes, ideally overnight in the fridge. Top with cocoa nibs or dark chocolate.
Want more from Molly? Click here to sign up for Nutrition Bites, her weekly e-newsletter with links to her Get the Skinny TV segments here on WGNO, and her weekly column in NOLA.com|The Times-Picayune! And you can follow Molly on Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram: @MollyKimballRD