Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Pumpkin Fiber Bars

We're just a bit obsessed with fiber in our household. Technically a form of carbohydrate that cannot be digested, as you likely know, fiber comes in two forms - soluble and insoluble - both usually lacking in the typical American diet. Thus, Zach and I have been on an evangelical quest to encourage our family and friends to consume more fiber. Granted, this creates interesting dinner table conversations, and at work I'm known as the fiber-girl who's always telling her coworkers "yay fiber," but fiber is worth it! The average American consumes only 15 grams of fiber a day, yet the recommended quantity is at least 25 to 30 grams per day! Zach and I aim to consume at least 50 grams of fiber from dietary sources each day, and most days we exceed our goal. (Just in case your interested, my dietary fiber count for yesterday was 65.3 grams... Score!)

While most of the time we simply focus on whole grains, lots of legumes, and lots of veggies for our fiber sources, I have become a recent fan of FFactor cereals, particularly the Skinny's and Skinny's n Fruit, both of which contain 18grams of fiber in a 1/2 cup, 70 calorie serving! I'm very pleased with the way this cereal uses minimal ingredients and real dietary sources for the fiber - just wheat bran and oat bran. Most mornings if I'm having Greek yogurt or cottage cheese for breakfast I'll sprinkle some of the cereal on top... But last weekend I decided I should branch out and bake a high-fiber treat! Our pumpkin obsession continues, naturally, as we drift from Halloween into Thanksgiving, thus, voila, pumpkin bars. Pumpkin bars with an enormity of fiber. Surprisingly, they emerged still very moist and full of rich pumpkin flavor, a wonderfully cozy and satisfying spice bar. After serving a few to Zach's friends one evening and finding them polished off with rapidity, I even felt confident enough to spread the fiber love further and bake a big batch for Zach to take to work the next day, where Zach reported they were much enjoyed for breakfast. As we are fans of not-so-sweet deserts that are healthful enough to double as breakfast, I love how these seamlessly transition from dessert with a scoop of ice cream one night to breakfast with a bit of peanut butter the next morning...

Pumpkin Fiber Bars

(Adapted from Betty Crocker)
  • 2 cups high fiber cereal, such as FFactor or FiberOne original
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup apple cider
  • 1 can (15 oz) pumpkin puree
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat or white whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cups raw turbinado sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts 
  • ~ Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 13x9-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
    ~ Place cereal in resealable food-storage plastic bag. Seal bag and crush with rolling pin - or crush in food processor).
    ~ In large bowl, beat oil, apple cider, pumpkin, and egg whites until well blended. Stir in crushed cereal, and let stand 10 minutes.
    ~ Beat in remaining bar ingredients except walnuts until well blended.
    ~ Stir in walnuts. Spread evenly in pan. The mixture will be thick.
    ~ Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until top springs back when touched lightly in center. Cool completely, then slice and enjoy! 



    Gina; The Candid RD said...

    mmm, I love a post about fiber! Especially when it involves a fiber-filled treat like pumpkin bars! I think Nick and I probably get close to 50 grams of fiber each too, from fruits and esepcially broccoli and cauliflower! I'll have to add these bars to my recipe list, they sounds fantastic.

    Joanne said...

    haha my fiber consumption is usually off the charts also...eating a diet that consists mostly of veggies will do that to you! But fiber in dessert also? I'm so in. These look awesome!

    Margaret Murphy Tripp said...

    Ha! We've been trying to incorporate more whole grains and fiber into our diet as well. These bars look great...you've just made fiber sexy!

    Mary said...

    This is a wonderful way to incorporate more fiber into our diet. I love it when healthy and good for you is paired with delicious. You've done that here. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

    Rambling Tart said...

    I've been eating a lot more fiber too, and it feels good. :-) These sound so healthy and autumnish. :-)

    MelindaRD said...

    LOL I have a shirt that you would love. It says fiber is your friend (I will also mention the shirt is brown). These bars look great.