10 Ways to Increase the Fiber Content in Recipes

Do you need to get more fiber in your diet? Perhaps you deal with irregularity or want to reap the health benefits associated with a high fiber diet such as staving off certain cancers and keeping your heart healthy.

Or maybe you’re just trying to hit the recommended amount of daily fiber you should be eating:

Men: 38 grams per day

Women: 25 grams per day

Children and Teens:

  • 1 to 3 year olds should get about 19g of fiber each day
  • 4 to 8 year olds should get about 25g of fiber each day
  • 9- to 13-year-old girls should get about 26g of fiber each day
  • 9- to 13-year-old boys should get about 31g of fiber each day
  • 14- to 18-year-old girls should get about 26g of fiber each day
  • 14- to 18-year-old boys should get about 38g of fiber each day

You can try to eat more fiber from fruits and vegetables, and wheat- and other grain-containing items, of course. If you're facing a wheat allergy requiring a wheat-free diet everyday, it's a different story. A wheat-free diet poses certain dangers of which you must be aware, like missing out on certain nutrients.

You can add fiber by incorporating some of these nutritious wheat-free grains in your cooking and meal plans, or even by altering your recipes to include more of these fiber sources.

The following list will give you several options, whether you are allergic to wheat, deal with gluten intolerance, or are free to eat whatever you want! Just make sure to only eat the fiber sources you can eat.

Try these 10 recipe hacks to increase fiber in your diet:

Whole Wheat Flour

Wheat allergy. The 10 Cent Designer/Flickr

Substitute whole wheat flour in just about any recipe calling for white flour such as cookies, pancakes, waffles, quick breads, muffins, and more.

Side benefit: Not only will you get more fiber, whole wheat flour is a good source of B vitamins and folate.



Add oats to baked goods such as muffins or cookies, to smoothies, or make your own granola.

Side benefit: Oats are good source of magnesium.


Getty Images

Mash a banana into smoothies, oatmeal, on top of cereal or yogurt, and include in muffin mix. One medium banana adds about 3 grams of fiber.

Side benefit: Banana is a good source of potassium.

Dried raisins, cherries or other dried fruit

Nuts and Dried Fruit. PhotoAlto/I. Rozenbaum/F. Cirou/Getty Images

Dried fruit contains the fiber of regular fruit in a more concentrated version. Add dried fruit to trail mix, on top of whole grain cereal, stir into oatmeal or other hot cereal, or sneak into baked goods like cookies and quick breads.

A side benefit: Raisins are a good source of iron.


Flax has a delicious nutty flavor when fresh. Store it in the refrigerator to keep it from becoming rancid. ©iStockphoto/FotografiaBasica, licensed to About.com

Flaxmeal and flax seeds are a great source of fiber, and they are easy to add to recipes! Mix them into hot cereal, yogurt, and puddings. Toss them into the blender with your smoothie fixings. Add to recipes for baked goods such as cookies, granola bars, muffins and quick breads.

Side benefit: Flax is a good source of omega 3 fatty acids.

Chopped nuts

Tree Nut Allergy: Walnuts
Walnuts need to be avoided with a tree nut allergy.

Nuts are a versatile source of fiber. From adding them to Asian dishes and salads to mixing them into quick breads and cookie dough, nuts are a quick and easy way to add fiber.

Side benefit: Nuts are a good source of healthy fats.

Chopped apple or pears

An apple a day may not keep the allergist away. Lauren Burke/ Getty Images

Mix these into fruit or a green salad, pile onto a bowl of hot or cold cereal, and stir into pancake or muffin batter to boost fiber. Be sure to leave the skin on!

Side benefit: Chopped fruit is a good source of vitamin C.

Zucchini (with skin)

Corn Zucchini Pancakes. Tatiana Fuentes/Getty Images

Shred this veggie powerhouse into quick breads, muffins, and pancakes.

Side benefit: Zucchini hold moisture and add a nice texture to baked goods.

Any vegetable with skin (tomatoes, potatoes)

Potatoes in strainer
I can mash potatoes, I can do the twist. Martin Poole/ Getty Images

The obvious way to get boost fiber with vegetables is to leave the skin on and pack them into as many dishes as you can. Try to infuse vegetables into casseroles such as lasagna or macaroni and cheese; add them to salads such as chicken or tuna salad; and top pizzas and sandwiches with a variety of veggies.

Side benefit: Most vegetables are a good source of vitamin A.

Frozen tidbits

Edamame is a soy product, and a protein punch in pasta salad. United Soybean Board/Flickr

Sweet peas, edamame, and berries are all easy to find in the freezer aisle and are an easy way to add a source of fiber to your entrees. Stir in frozen peas to stews and pasta; toss shelled edamame into salads and other grains such as quinoa; mix frozen berries into batters and smoothies.

Side benefit: These foods contain a myriad of nutrients but also boost the color of your entrees.

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