you are what you eat

No more boring bran muffins!!


I love a snack with my coffee in the late afternoon while we get started with homework. To prevent myself from snacking on all the wrong goodies, I bake bran muffins but with different ingredients in each batch. I love adding 2- 3 tablespoons of oat bran to the mixture too to add a little bit more fibre making it that much more healthier! Bake your muffins in smaller pans to decrease the portion size as most baked goods do contain some vegetable oil to keep the cake moist. Replace whole milk for fat free milk if your recipe calls for milk or milk products.

This batch i added chopped apple with cranberries.

Try the following combinations:

Carrot and raisins

Banana and cinnamon (scatter with dried banana chips and muesli before baking)

Date and nuts

Dried Peaches and walnuts

Toasted Pecans, Almonds cranberries

Dark chocolate chips and nuts

Pineapple and carrot

Fresh or frozen berries

Lemon zest, poppy seeds and linseeds

orange segments, orange essence and cocoa powder

Sunflower and pumpkin seeds with pear cubes

chai flavour: use 1 teaspoon of ginger, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, ½ a teaspoon of clove and ½ a teaspoon of cardamom for the spices

Nutrition Tip:

Dietary fibre is found in the indigestible parts of plants.The many health benefits of fibre are not only for digestive health but also plays an important part in preventing diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes and weight gain. Good sources of fibre include wholegrain foods, fruits and vegetables.

There are two categories of fibre and we need to eat both in our daily diets, which are:

  • Soluble fibre – includes pectins, gums and mucilage, which are found mainly in plant cells. One of its major roles is to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. Good sources of soluble fibre include fruits, vegetables, oat bran, barley, seed husks, flaxseed, psyllium, dried beans, lentils, peas, soy milk and soy products. Soluble fibre can also help with constipation
  • Insoluble fibre – includes cellulose, hemicelluloses and lignin, which make up the structural parts of plant cell walls. A major role of insoluble fibre is to add bulk to faeces and to prevent constipation and associated problems such as haemorrhoids. Good sources include wheat bran, the skins of fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, dried beans and wholegrain foods.

When you are ready to add more fibre to your diet, I can assure you the benefits are endless! To prevent constipation while increasing your fibre intake, remember to increase your water intake! Some very high-fibre breakfast cereals may have around 8g of fibre per serving, and if this cereal is not accompanied by enough fluid, it may cause abdominal discomfort or constipation.

Tips for fitting in Fibre: 

Grains are the primary source of carbohydrates needed to fuel the body. Whole grains supply phytochemicals, important vitamins, minerals and fibre.

Start the day well: Begin your day with a high fibre cereal. Top your cereal with sliced banana or apple with the skin, 1 tsp of oat bran or 1 tablespoon of dried fruit. Another great option for adding extra crunch and fibre is to toss a handful of seeds or nuts on top.

Read labels: Labels on food products can give us a variety of useful information. When buying breads or baked products read the label. If the package lists whole wheat, whole-wheat flour or another whole grain as the first ingredient on the label, it is probably high in fibre. Look for a brand with at least 2 grams of dietary fibre per serving.

Make your meals colourful: Aim for at least 5 brightly coloured fruits and vegetables each day.

– Apples, bananas, oranges, pears and berries are good sources of fiber.

– Eat more beans, peas and lentils. Add kidney beans to canned soup or a green salad. Or make nachos with black beans, baked whole grain tortilla chips and salsa.

– You can add finely grated vegetables to casseroles, stews, sauces or curries.

Make half of your grains whole: Add crushed bran cereal or unprocessed wheat bran to baked products such as meatloaf, breads, muffins, casseroles, cakes and cookies. You can also use bran products as a crunchy topping for casseroles, salads or cooked vegetables. Substitute whole-grain flour for half or all of the white flour when baking bread. Whole-grain flour is heavier than white flour. In yeast breads, use a bit more yeast or let the dough rise longer. When using baking powder, increase it by 1 teaspoon for every 3 cups of whole-grain flour. (I have successfully baked with Brown self raising flour where a recipe would call for plain self raising flour. The end product is just as soft and tasty!)

Eat more whole grains and whole-grain products. Experiment with brown rice, barley, whole-wheat pasta and bulgur wheat. You can make lunch time more interesting by using wholemeal pitas, crumpets, muffins or wholegrain crackers.

Snack healthy: When you feel the urge for a snack, be sure you have fresh or dried fruit, raw vegetables, nuts and seeds, low fat and low salt popcorn, or wholegrain crackers on hand for a quick bite. A half cup of fresh raspberries is packed with 4 grams of fibre, a papaya with 5.5 grams, and five rings of dried apples has almost 3 grams of fibre. Keep a small amount of the above healthy goodies in your office or at your desk so that when you feel the urge to snack, you have healthy snacks available.

Peels Are a Plus: Get all the fibre you need from the fruits and vegetables you enjoy by leaving the peels on. If you’re worried about dirt and pesticides, rinse your produce in warm water before eating. Remember, whole foods have more fibre than fruit and vegetable juices, which lack the fibre- filled skin and membranes.

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This entry was posted on March 17, 2014 by in Breakfast and tagged , , , .
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