Fiber is one of those macronutrients that is rather neglected by many.
It certainly is not one that is commonly mentioned during normal everyday conversations regarding health, dieting, exercise, and/or cooking even.
But yet it is so important to a healthy diet and provides numerous benefits that cannot be ignored.
Quick Primer on Benefits of Fiber
Before we dive into the good stuff let’s first do some educational stuff first.
Allow me to show you why this article and this whole fiber thing is totally worth your time.
Here’s what a high-fiber diet can do for you:
- Normalizes bowel movements
- Lowers your cholesterol levels
- And helps control blood sugar
Those three things have a lot of long-term impact on your overall health, and it would behoove you to take some steps to address them.
Now, onto the nitty-gritty stuff!
List of High-Fiber Foods
To keep things short and simple let’s just list them out really quickly and then get more detailed.
Here we go!
- Raw carrots
- Boiled broccoli
- Boiled sweet corn
- Boiled green peas
- Whole-wheat spaghetti
- Rye bread
- Whole-wheat bread
- Brown rice
- Black beans
- Lima beans
- Baked beans
A nice big list of high-fiber foods from various ‘food groups’ and with plenty of diversity in terms of potential for recipe-making.
But what good would any list of foods be without some recipes to make something out of raw ingredients. Well not a very good one huh?
Simple and ‘Non-Cooked’ High-Fiber Recipes
To ease into things nice and slowly and without too fast of a transition we’ll start with recipes that don’t require any cooking.
These are ones that can be prepared and ‘made’ with just the raw ingredients themselves, and so they are easier to make and oftentimes less time-consuming than their cooked counterparts.
Here we go!
- Simple Fruit Bowl/Smorgasbord – Take 1 banana, 1 apple, 1 orange, and 1 cup of raisins. Peel and cut the banana and oranges to desired size. Cut apple to desired size but do not peel the skin off the apples. Pour raisins first into an empty bowl and then gradually combine the rest of the ingredients while mixing and tossing the bowl around to ensure that the dish is properly ‘jumbled’. Enjoy!
- Easy Carrot and Fruit Salad – Take 1 banana, 1 apple, 1 cup of raw carrots. Cut the banana to desired size. Cut the apple to desired size as well but do not peel the skin. Combine and mix in a bowl with raw carrots. Have a measured amount of peanut butter by your side to serve as ‘dip’. NOTE: that while peanut butter is not technically on this list of ingredients its presence does not hurt it at all. Quite the contrary, it’ll make things taste better (opinion of course), and it’ll also add additional nutritional value as well.
And that wraps it up for the ‘non-cooked’ recipes; next we have the cooked ones!
Simple Cooked High-Fiber Recipes
This is the part for all you cooking lovers and Gordon Ramseys-in-the-makings, and if you just simply prefer hot food over cold.
So let’s get started.
- Oatmeal Fruit Bowl – Take 1 cup of oatmeal, 1 banana, 1 apple, and 1 cup of raisins. Pour 1 cup of water (or your desired amount for desired texture) into a bowl mixed with oatmeal. Heat until ready. Cut your banana to desired size portions. Cut but do not peel the skin of the apples into desired size. Pour and mix the apple and banana slices along with the cup of raisins into your bowl of oatmeal. Enjoy! NOTE: That while this is technically comprised of ingredients from the non-cooked list, it does not detract in any way, shape, or form from the nutritional value of the dish.
- Simple Boiled Veggie Dish – Take 1 cup of broccoli, 1 cup of green peas, and 1 cup of sweet corn. Boil all ingredients to desired level. Mix in a bowl and serve.
- Ultimate Rice and Beans Combo – Take 1 cup of brown rice, 1 cup of black beans, 1 cup of lima beans, and 1 cup of baked beans. Mix in 1 cup of water for each cup of beans. Mix in 2 cups of water for each cup of rice. Heat and bring to a boil, but heat them separately and all in separate pots/pans. Let simmer until desired texture. Combine and mix in a bowl if desired or eat separately.
- Ultimate Carbs Combo – Take 1 box of whole wheat spaghetti, 4 slices of whole-wheat bread, and 4 slices of rye bread. Boil spaghetti until ready. Toast both rye and wheat bread to desired ‘crispiness’, or you can simply leave them as is. Mix in sauce and/or other ‘toppings’ into your spaghetti as desired. Spread butter onto your bread if desired. Serve and enjoy! NOTE: That this recipe will likely require the ‘additional ingredients’ listed above as just simply raw spaghetti is not very appetizing according to social norms. But, as always, this does not devalue the nutritional content of our dish!
And that’s it for the cooked dishes as well.
However, there are still a few things I’d like to mention before we head off here, because I believe that the cooked dishes require a little more nuance in terms of adding ‘off-list’ ingredients to truly enjoy.
After all, you’re not going to be eating solely for nutritional content right? It’s not like you’re only eating this stuff just get fiber right? You definitely WANT to enjoy your food too right?
Well of course you do, and so do all of us.
So, therefore, keep the following in mind.
- Adding ‘extra’ ingredients, say…pasta sauce and meatballs to the whole-wheat spaghetti is almost a necessity really. Just plain spaghetti is a rather ‘dull’ dish, and this concept applies to everything else as well! Don’t be afraid to add things to spice up the taste or what not. It’s supposed to taste good after all right? And as I mentioned it earlier…it won’t degrade the fiber content or nutritional value either. So break a leg chef!
- The broccoli, green peas, and sweet corn sort of have to be cooked actually. Long story, short it has to do with the natural ‘layering of wall’ that greens tend to have when they are raw. It must be broken down first before it enters the digestive process or else it will negate much of your body’s natural ability to digest the food.
- The same actually goes for the black beans, lima beans, and baked beans as well.
Other than that there’s not much to it.
You may experiment and perform tests and trials at your will and to your heart’s content.