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One of the recommendations for good colon health is to include a variety of high-fiber recipes. Here are some of our favorites.

Grapes and Walnuts with Lemon Sour Cream Sauce

TIP: The colorful outermost layer of the lemon, called the zest, is full of essential oils that contribute lively flavor and aroma to this sour cream sauce. Remove the zest by grating it with the fine rasps of a hand-held grater to form fine particles.

½ cup fat-free sour cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
½ teaspoon lemon zest
½ teaspoon lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ cups red seedless grapes
3 tablespoons chopped walnuts

In a small bowl, combine sour cream, powdered sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla. Whisk to mix evenly. Cover and chill for several hours.

Divide grapes equally among 6 stemmed dessert glasses or bowls. Add 2 tablespoons of the lemon topping to each dish. Sprinkle each serving with ½ tablespoon of chopped walnuts. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Information:
Serves 6
Values per serving:
Calories  110
Protein 2 g.
Carbohydrate   21 g.
Total fat      2 g.
Saturated fat    <1 g.
Monosaturated fat 1 g.
Cholesterol 2 g.
Sodium 29 mg.
Fiber 1 g.
Potassium 174 mg.
Calcium 37 mg.

Source: The Mayo Clinic Staff

Italian Bean Soup

TIP: Beans are a healthy high-fiber alternative to meat. V-8 Juice adds a lot of flavor.
Freeze leftovers in plastic sealed containers with ½ inch air space under the lid.

1 15-ounce can great northern beans
1 15-ounce can red kidney beans
2 15-ounce cans pinto beans
1 46-ounce can tomato juice or V-8 juice
1 15-ounce can Italian-style stewed tomatoes
1 15-ounce can vegetable broth, low-sodium
1 15-ounce can green beans, drained
1- ½ tablespoons Italian seasoning
1 medium onion, chopped
¼ teaspoon black pepper
2 cloves fresh garlic or ¼ teaspoon garlic powder

In a large pot combine all ingredients. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Serve with Italian or French bread or whole-wheat rolls.

Nutritional Information:
Serves 18
Values per 1 cup serving:
Calories 110
Fruits and vegetables 1 serving
Fat .5 g.
Fiber 7 g.

Source: UMass Extension Nutrition Information Program

Vegetable Stew

3 cups water
1 cube vegetable bouillon, low sodium
2 cups white potatoes, cut in 2-inch strips
2 cups carrots, sliced
4 cups summer squash, cut in 1-inch squares
1 cup summer squash, cut in 4 chunks
1 can (15 oz) sweet corn, rinsed and drained
(or 2 ears fresh corn, 1½ cup)
1 teaspoon thyme
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 stalk scallion, chopped
½ small hot pepper, chopped
1 cup onion, coarsely chopped
1 cup tomatoes, diced (add other favorite vegetables, such as broccoli and cauliflower)

Put water and bouillon in large pot and bring to a boil. Add potatoes and carrots, and simmer for 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients, except for tomatoes and continue cooking for 15 minutes over medium heat. Remove the four chunks of squash and puree in blender. Return pureed mixture to pot and let cook for 10 minutes more. Add tomatoes and cook for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit for 10 minutes to allow stew to thicken.

Nutritional Information:
Makes 8 servings containing 1¼ cups each.
Calories per serving 119
Fiber 4
Fat 1g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 196 mg
Total Carbohydrate 27 g
Dietary fiber 4g
Protein 4g
Potassium 524 mg.

Source: Keep the Beat: Heart Healthy Recipes, submitted by Clemson University Extension

Mixed Berry Crisp

7 cups frozen mixed berry medley, thawed
½ tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flower
1 - ½ teaspoons cornstarch
Nonstick cooking spray
¾ cup old fashioned oats
¼ cup whole wheat flour
¼ cup packed brown sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces

Place an oven rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat oven to 375°. In a medium bowl, mix berries, sugar, all-purpose flour and cornstarch. Spray a 9x9-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Pour fruit mixture into the baking dish. In a medium bowl, combine oats, whole wheat flour, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon and vanilla extract. Mix in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle oat mixture evenly over berry mixture. Bake until topping is golden brown, about 45 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Nutritional information:
Makes 6 servings, 1 cup per serving
Values per serving:
Calories 244
Carbohydrates  48 g.
Dietary Fiber 11 g.
Protein 5 g.
Saturated Fat 3 g.
Trans Fat 0 g.
Cholesterol 10 mg.
Sodium 235 mg.

Source: Soulful Recipes: Challenge for Change, by the California Department of Public Health