mom. mOM. MOM! The echo rings in your head. The voices carry you to a not so distant time and place. The time: early morning, May 14th. The place: your cozy bed. The delicious aroma of baking muffins wafts through the air. You wonder if you are in the wrong house. But wait. What if your lessons about high fiber foods have finally been taken to heart by your kids this Mother's Day? Could they really be in the kitchen baking your favorite high-fiber carrot bran muffin?
You think about all of the moms in the world at this very moment awaiting the special treats in store for them this day. Many of them will be served a refined flour, sugar-laden breakfast in bed. Many will wish they were at the spa, alone. How many will find their family showering them with love by serving a high fiber menu with lots of veggies, fruits, and whole grains?
Throughout the years, as the learning curve widens about the benefits of high fiber foods, smart moms have chosen foods high in fiber for their family's daily diet. There is an alarming number of today's children that are overweight. The new Food Guide Pyramid recommends that children consume 1 to 3 servings of whole grains daily. The wise mom serves (but certainly not on Mother's Day) a variety of healthy fiber-rich foods to keep her kids trim and their digestive tracts running smoothly. Fiber helps regulate blood sugar which is vital to your children's energy and digestive health. If your little ones are exposed to a diet of foods high in fiber, their instinct will naturally lean towards choosing whole foods throughout their lives.
Fibrous foods tone up your intestines which helps prevent diverticulitis. Cancer-causing toxins speed out of the digestive system more quickly when a high fiber diet is followed. By maintaining proper colon health, the risk of irritable bowel syndrome is dramatically decreased.
Researchers have found that a high-fiber diet significantly reduces blood pressure levels among people with high blood pressure or hypertension. High fiber foods offer vital phytochemicals that we need for a healthy immune system. Fiber-rich foods tend to be higher in vitamins and minerals.
After eating fiber-rich foods, there is a feeling of fullness which helps to control overeating. A fiber-rich meal is processed more slowly. Losing weight is a natural result of eating high fiber foods such as whole grain breads and cereals; fruits such as raspberries, strawberries, unpeeled apples and pears; beans and legumes like kidney beans, lima beans, and lentils; nuts and seeds; vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, swiss chard and peas.
Whatever you do, Mom, don't go near the kitchen. You know what it looks like. Dads and kids have a different approach to kitchen duty and baking is a messy business. Trust in their high fiber wisdom. (You taught them, after all.) So what if the muffins don't come out light and moist? With every bite, let them know how much you appreciate their efforts. Enjoy the pampering and the acknowledgment of your family's adoration of you. Happy Mother's Day!
Carrot Bran Muffins/Blender Method
yield: 12 Large Muffins
1. Spray muffin pan with no-stick cooking spray
2. In a large mixing bowl thoroughly stir water into bran; stir in raisins, nuts, and carrots; let stand at least 5 minutes:
1 1/2 cups wheat bran (not boxed cereal flakes; just plain bran)
1/2 cup boiling hot water
1/2 cup raisins (soaked in water 5 minutes to soften; drained)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup grated fresh carrot
3. Place in blender; blend at high speed 4 minutes until smooth:
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup honey
1 cup whole wheat pastry grain (not flour)
4. Combine and add all at once to liquid ingredients in blender and blend in briefly, but thoroughly:
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
5. Pour batter into softened bran mixture; blend all thoroughly, but briefly with rubber spatula or mixing spoon. Do not overmix!
6. Fill muffin cups evenly, each almost full; bake at 350°F for 20-25 minutes. Allow to cool 5-10 minutes until muffins can easily be removed from the pan with a gentle tug on one side of muffins.
Per Muffin (using whole medium eggs, 1% fat buttermilk)
Calories: 189; Total Fat: 5 grams
Fiber: 5 grams
Stephanie Shank aka Fiberlady has studied nutrition for many healthy years which prompted her commitment to a high fiber lifestyle and the development of her informative website High Fiber Health.