Here are two delicious recipes from Rose Blackett-Ord
There are two kinds of edible fibre, and both are good for you.
As we grow older, our guts can grow weaker. A high-fibre diet can help us to move food more efficiently through our digestive system. It’s also been linked (though not conclusively) to lowering our risk of bowel cancer. However, bowel cancer sufferers undergoing treatment may actually find that a high-fibre diet upsets their digestive system. For more information on this, look here.
Soluble fibre is digestible, and can help to lower cholesterol and control blood sugar levels. It is found in fruit and vegetables, especially apples, strawberries, pears, oats, and citrus fruits.
Insoluble fibre is not digestible, but it helps food to move through the gut, which sometimes relieves bowel problems and constipation. It’s found in fruit and vegetables (especially skins and seeds), beans, pulses, whole grains, and brown rice. It’s important to drink enough water with this type of fibre; otherwise stools can be too hard, leading back to constipation.
The best way to get fibre into your diet is to make sure you eat plenty of beans, pulses and fruit and veg, and replace white bread and processed cereals with their wholegrain alternatives.
Here are a couple of ideas to get you started:
Lentil broth with fresh herbs
Try to get Puy lentils if you can – they hold together during cooking much better than ordinary ones. They don't have to be French and fancy. Lentilles vertes in supermarkets are Puy in all but name!
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 small carrot, diced
1 stick celery, diced (optional)
1 clove garlic, chopped small
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
125g Puy lentils
½ pint water
½ pint chicken stock (homemade if you can manage it – my recipe is here)
Salt and pepper to taste
Chopped fresh herbs – tarragon, parsley and chives are nice
Cook the onion, carrot, celery, garlic and balsamic in the olive oil over quite a high heat for 10 minutes. The vegetables should start to taste slightly sweet.
Add salt and pepper.
Add the lentils and stir in, then pour over the stock and water. Simmer for 45 minutes or until the lentils are softened but still have a little bit of bite. Top up with extra water if necessary.
Spoon the broth into a bowl, heaping up some extra lentils in the middle. Sprinkle the chopped fresh herbs on top and finish with a little swirl of olive oil and a generous squeeze of lemon juice.
Apple, berry and oat smoothie
You’ll need a blender for this recipe. A hand blender is fine, but make sure you cover the bowl with a cloth, otherwise you’ll have strawberry up the walls!
2 tbsp rolled oats
2 tbsp low-fat live yoghurt
Juice of 1 apple or 3 tbsp bottled apple juice
3 large strawberries
1 or 2 tsp honey
Put the oats in the blender and pulse until they’re nearly a powder. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth. Enjoy!