Tag Archives: high fiber diet

Sometimes, Homemade is Best

Not for the usual reason, The Curmudgeon is under a doctor’s orders to eat a high-fiber diet. For some people that’s easy, but not for him: other than fruit, there’s probably not a single high-fiber food that he finds palatable. He doesn’t like whole wheat bread or avocados or, heaven forbid, beans, which alone can almost single-handedly enable a soul to meet their daily fiber quota.

This has been a way of life for The Curmudgeon for nearly ten years and he’s become a real pro at it. He’s learned how to make some of those unpalatable foods palatable, mostly by coating them in some kind of glop, and makes judicious use of supplements that you either can eat directly or put into your food. He tried – and managed to find tolerable – butternut squash. He learned to eat potato skins (okay, after crisping them up a bit in a sauté pan). A former girlfriend introduced him to edamame, which, when eaten cold in a salad, manages to squeak just past his hypothetical Threshold of Inedibility. He learned that if you put that really high-fiber cereal – you know, the stuff they put in buckshot – into enough yogurt, you keep the crunch and the fiber but lose the nasty taste. He only draws the line at brown rice: he can’t stand the stuff and it doesn’t have enough fiber to make it worth the sacrifice.

One of his tricks is to use fiber powder in his cooking. It’s tasteless and dissolves completely and can give a real fiber boost, and you always get to decide how much. He puts it in muffins and homemade granola and rice and soups and sweet potato pie. He even sneaks it into brownies, waffles, homemade iced tea, and corn fritters. The only limits are your own imagination. The idea is a simple one: when life sticks you with lemons, make lemonade. (And you can put it in that lemonade, too, for that matter).

During this past decade more products boasting high-fiber content have hit grocery store shelves, and The Curmudgeon tries them all. His newest favorite is Fiber One wraps – eight grams of fiber and only eighty calories; he can’t find them anywhere in south Jersey but has located a willing supplier on the Pennsylvania side of the Delaware River (thanks, mom!). Some of these new-fangled fiber products are good, some are not, but when he learns of a new product, he’ll definitely seek it out – unless it’s made by Kellogg’s. Those folks have never even come close.

The Curmudgeon did some seeking out recently when came across an ad in the weekly CVS flyer for a product called the “Meta Health Bar” that boasted a high fiber content. Most of these high-fiber bars are a disaster: they don’t resemble actual, you know, food, either in taste or in appearance. But they sure are chewy: you chew and chew and chew and chew and wonder if the stuff is ever going to break down into something you might risk attempting to swallow.

So he went to CVS, found the bar, and bought one: the cranberry lemon drizzle. It was actually quite tasty but lacked enough fiber to justify either the price or the calories. He’ll have it again, but it’ll never become a staple in his diet. Eventually he’ll figure out how to make it himself, only with twice the fiber and at less than half the cost, because the cranberry/lemon combination really worked for him.

While he was there, though, he came across another high-fiber product on an adjacent shelf: a high-fiber chocolate.

NOW we’re talking, The Curmudgeon thought.

That’s because chocolate just so happens to be his favorite of the major food groups. The “Active D’Lites” chocolates came in three flavors: chocolate mint, chocolate almond, and chocolate caramel. The Curmudgeon chose the chocolate mint, took it home, and dug in.

Not bad, he thought. Way too expensive, not great, not awful, but somewhere right in the middle, just north of okay.

But not as good as his own creation, because The Chocolatier Curmudgeon has his own chocolate creation: he goes to Trader Joe’s (five minutes from his house), buys the one-pound chocolate bar, melts it in the microwave (half of the bar at a time), stirs in fiber powder by hand until it dissolves and then whips it with an immersion blender until it’s light and airy, pours the hot mixture into a silicone candy mold (occasionally dropping in a few dried cranberries or dried cherries, which he keeps around the house to make otherwise inedible oatmeal at least a little palatable), pops the filled mold into the fridge, and an hour later removes one-ounce pieces of chocolate, each with five grams of fiber, and puts them in a plastic bag and into the freezer for future consumption.

And they’re…excellent!

Sometimes, homemade is just better.