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freaky {food} friday: psyllium seed husks

Helloooo there! I am so happy that…

thank god!

this cat = me

And today I wanted to do a fun little Freaky Food Friday since I haven’t done one in so long! This Friday’s freaky food is psyllium seed husks!

What is psyllium seed husks?

Ever heard of Metamucil? It’s made of psyllium seed husks!

Plantago psyllium is a plant native to Iran and India. The stalks of the plant contain tiny seeds covered in husks, which is the psyllium seed husks we can eat! It has a long history of use in traditional and herbal medicines, and is quickly becoming popular for use in weight control and intestinal health. It contains a spongy fiber (soluble fiber) that reduces appetite, improves digestion and cleanses the system, making it an excellent choice for healthy dieting. If you are following a low carb diet, chances are you aren’t getting enough fiber – psyllium can provide that fiber you need! Every 100 grams of psyllium provides 71 grams of soluble fiber; a similar amount of oat bran would contain only 5 grams of soluble fiber. Only recently have scientists learned that soluble fiber has unique effects on metabolism. The herb also provides a feeling of fullness that is helpful before meals. Psyllium is one of the simplest, healthiest and most effective herbs for weight control.

Psyllium fiber is not broken down as it passes down the gastrointestinal tract and so it has no nutritive value other than as a source of fiber. Adding water to dry psyllium causes it to swell to up to ten times its original volume – the reason why it helps with satiety. For many years products containing psyllium (aka Metamucil) have been used to increase fecal bulk and loosen stools, as ways of treating constipation. It also has the advantage over other sources of fiber for reducing flatulence and bloating. It may be recommended by a physician to help soften stool and reduce the pain associated with hemorrhoids.

Psyllium husks are great to use in gluten free baking. It can be used as a replacement for xanthan gum and pectin (which helps bind and thicken substances).

What does it taste like?

It has a earthy, wheaty taste. It reminds me of this cereal!

Why should you eat it?

Well, for one, it gets things movin down there if ya know what I mean! If you’re constipated, psyllium husk should be your go-to!

But it also keeps you full, is tasteless (so it can be added to anything), has been proven to lower cholesterol, and is an excellent herb to promote overall health and wellness! I would recommend adding a teaspoon or two to your smoothies (it will also make them thicker) at first every day and then you can gradually go up to adding a tablespoon!

What are its nutrition facts?

2 tablespoons are 35 calories with 9 g of fiber and 10 g of carbohydrate. I usually only use about a tablespoon or less.

Where can I find psyllium?

I found my psyllium at Trader Joe’s, although I don’t think they sell it anymore. It can be found online at amazon.com or at your local health food store. Sometimes it’s even in the bulk bins! Be sure to look for “whole psyllium husks.”

thank you trader darwins!

Recipes!

Healthy cookies with flax and psyllium? These are a must try!

Dr. Oz’s Magical Breakfast Blaster smoothie calls for psyllium (he says psyllium is an essential ingredient for every smoothie)!

Gluten free flatbread recipe using psyllium here!

Raw strawberry pie. I need to make this ASAP!

My overall score:

Psyllium is awesome. I love adding it to my smoothies because it really makes them thicker and I can’t even taste or tell a difference in texture. After a few days of unhealthy eating, I always turn to psyllium to help detoxify my body. My favorite way to add it in my diet is to make the recipe below! It gets an A+.

A Blondie Bakes and Bikes Recipe!

Vanilla-y Cinnamon Fiber Pudding

serves 1 (a great low-cal snack in between meals that keeps you full!!)

Ingredients:

1 T psyllium seed husks

couple shakes cinnamon

half a packet of stevia (I use NuNaturals stevia) or the full packet if you want it more sweet – you could also use agave, honey, real sugar, nothing…

1/3 c unsweetened vanilla almond milk (can also use plain and add a little vanilla extract) + a little more for mixing in afterwards

Directions:

Mix the first three ingredients in a cup.

up close to the psyllium!

dry ingredients

Add 1/3 c almond milk and stir.

VAM added

Let sit for about 5-10 minutes (the longer you wait, the thicker it will get). I personally don’t like it super thick (sometimes I just drink it right after so it’s more like cereal and milk) so I wait for about 5 minutes and then add a splash more of almond milk!

looks nast but i swear it’s good!

And that’s it! So quick and easy. You could also mix in some oats, fruit, nuts, coconut, nut butter, etc and add more almond milk for a filling breakfast porridge! Yum 🙂

Have a happy Friday friends!! Don’t forget to write “psyllium seed husks” on your next grocery list!

xoxox

Kara