I know, I know, the title of this post seems somewhat contradictory doesn't it? Well, if you're anything like me (and I know you all are) you have at some point found or realized that when eating gluten free it can be just that much more challenging to get in your daily recommended fiber. Now, I won't bore you with the gory details about the importance of getting enough fiber in your diet, mostly because I am quite certain everyone already knows all about it.
In my experience many gluten free products contain little or no fiber in comparison to their non-gluten free counterparts. Some companies work tirelessly to add fiber wherever possible and we've written about some of those products here on the blog.
I recently was talking with a pregnant colleague at work who told me that in pregnancy getting enough fiber is of the utmost importance as well and often can be very challenging and uncomfortable. She has often remarked at my lunches and snacks saying that they are "so super healthy" without realizing that they were often chosen for their fiber content (and often the ease with which I can calculate my insulin needs). I like to bring/eat lots of fresh fruits and veggies and the occasional high fiber snack. Now, she understands that my choices are not simply intended to be "healthy" they are intended to up my daily fiber content, otherwise...well, there could be problems...in my tummy, enough said.
Here's a really tasty and super easy high fiber soup that my friend from work shared with me. It turns out it's naturally gluten free and loaded with fiber. She said she got it from the "What to expect when you're expecting" website/emails that she subscribes to. (Sorry no link provided)
Sunset Lentil & Sweet Potato Soup
1 tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 large stalk celery, thinly sliced
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
1 cup chopped carrots
2 garlic cloves, minced (if desired)
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
2 cups red or green lentils, rinsed
2 cans (14.5 oz size, or about 4 cups) reduced sodium chicken (or vegetable) broth
1 can diced tomatoes
1 large or 2 small (about 1 lb total) sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4 inch cubes
1) Warm oil in 10-quart dutch oven (super large pot) or heavy pot over medium heat. Add onion, celery, red pepper, and carrots. Cook 3 minutes, stirring. Add garlic, cumin, coriander, and thyme. Cook 10 minutes, until vegetables soften, stirring often.
2) Add lentils, broth, tomatoes and sweet potatoes. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 35-40 minutes, until potatoes are cooked through, stirring often. Add water, if needed, to bring soup to desired consistency.
3) Remove half of the soup to food processor or blender (or immersion blender); puree until smooth. Stir puree back into pot over low heat, then serve.
I did not have fresh thyme leaves, so I used dried and it was just as good. In future I would recommend cutting the recipe in half because this makes a LOT of soup! As well, the most important step is the final one, if you puree the entire soup then you'll lose the chunky goodness of the vegetables in the soup.