Inulin is a substance derived from plants that is used to increase fiber content in food. Cancer researchers are currently studying the potential role of inulin in colon cancer prevention, and many manufacturers are now marketing inulin as a health food. Inulin is also an ingredient in many fiber supplements, including FiberChoice and FiberSure. Adding inulin to your baked goods can be an easy way to increase the fiber in your diet; the National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends that every adult get between 20 and 35 grams each day.
Purchase a powdered inulin supplement from your local health or grocery store. Most powdered inulin supplements are derived from chicory root, giving them a mild sweetness, and many people use powdered inulin as a sugar substitute. If you prefer less sweetness, FiberSure modifies its inulin to be tasteless as possible.
Add inulin to your diet gradually. One teaspoon of inulin provides between 2.25 and 3 grams of fiber, and eating too much fiber too quickly can lead to gas and bloating. Add it to only a few baked goods at a time to see how it affects you.
Add a teaspoon of inulin powder per serving to your baked recipes. Inulin can be used in all types of recipes, including cookies, brownies, cakes, tarts and pies.
Decrease the sugar content of your recipes if you are using an inulin powder derived from chicory root, by about a teaspoon for every teaspoon of inulin powder. If the extra sweetness doesn’t bother you, feel free to leave the sugar content unchanged.
In yeast rolls and buns, substitute an equal amount of inulin powder for sugar. Use the inulin powder derived from chicory root for this, as the tasteless powders will not sweeten your recipe sufficiently.
Experiment with adding more or less inulin to your baked goods depending on your fiber needs. Avoid adding more than 1½ to 2 teaspoons per serving to your recipes, to avoid stomach upset.
Try adding inulin to other foods. The powder can be added to yogurt, applesauce and pudding, and can even be stirred directly into a cup of coffee or tea.
Inulin can slightly alter the texture of some baked goods, so it may take some trial and error to determine how much inulin will work for you. You may want to start with some recipes that already include inulin.
References and ResourcesMayo Clinic: Inulin and Colon Cancer
FiberSure: Recipes with Inulin
NIH: About Fiber