Fiber up baked goods
'Tis the season for holiday entertaining! For many, that means baking batches of quick breads, cookies and other sweet goodies for open house buffet tables and tasty gift ideas. Here's an easy way to give your favorite baked goods a healthful fiber boost: add barley flour.

One-half cup of barley flour contains 7 grams of total dietary fiber compared to 1/2 cup of all-purpose enriched wheat flour, which contains less than 2 grams of total dietary fiber.

Like wheat flour, barley flour contains gluten, which is a protein that helps baked goods rise. But the type of gluten found in barley flour does not promote adequate rising on its own. So it's best to use barley flour in combination with wheat flour in baking applications. As a general guideline, barley flour may be substituted for approximately 1/4 of the total flour used in yeast breads. For quick breads, bars and cookies, barley flour may be substituted for approximately 1/2 of the total flour used.

For more information on the health benefits of fiber, click on Nutrition Notes. Here's to a happy, healthy and delicious holiday season!