FODMAP friendly eating is fantastic for those who suffer gastrointestinal symptoms such as bloating, excessive gas, diarrhea and constipation. Let me tell you I am thrilled at the reduction in my general farty-pants-ness (so is my husband!) BUT it does take some dedication. Stocking up on versatile items that are nutrient packed ‘super foods’ and are naturally FODMAP friendly is a great start.
You will find these ingredients appear in many of my recipes. Happy Shopping!
Coconut Oil – I use this in just about everything. It is a short-medium chain saturated fatty acid, and is actually pretty darn good for you. Saturated fat was long considered to be the enemy of heart health, but we now know that naturally occurring saturated fat (like coconut oil) are good, and it’s the trans and hydrogenated fats that are to be avoided. Be sure to buy virgin, unrefined cold-pressed coconut oil, and you will enjoy benefits like reduced sugar cravings, improved thyroid function and digestion, increased metabolic rate, anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-inflammatory action. I also love other coconut products – cream flour and shredded!
Versatile Veggies – Some veggies are off limits to us FODMAPers, so you will need to adjust some of your usual recipes. Carrot, Asian greens, pumpkin, spinach, cucumber, capsicum, tomato, spring onion, zucchini and sweet potato can be used to make a huge range of salads, soups and side dishes
Almond Meal – Gluten free flours are typically made of refined rice, tapioca and corn flours, all of which cause blood sugar spikes, which can lead to metabolic dysfunction and weight gain. I avoid these and bake with almond meal! Available in all supermarkets, almond meal has the added bonus of being high in vitamin E, calcium, magnesium and potassium. Perfect in FODMAP friendly muffins. May be substituted for other nuts, feel free to experiment.
Unsweetened Almond Milk – When following a low FODMAP diet, we only have a few milk alternatives available to us: lactose free, rice and almond. (You can make many types of nut milk, but these are the only ones available to purchase in supermarkets) I avoid rice milk as it is high in sugar, and I will occasionally have some full cream lactose free milk (don’t buy low fat cows milk), but unsweetened almond milk is my new favourite. It is amazing in smoothies and baking, and tastes good enough to drink on its own.
Berries and Citrus Fruits – These are low sugar fruits, with the right fructose to glucose ratio, and are high in vitamin C, antioxidants and all sorts of other goodies. Great as a snack, in smoothies, in baking, on pancakes and as a dessert.
Cheese – Need I say more? Just avoid fresh deli cheeses like ricotta and feta. Hard cheeses and brie and camembert should be fine. Avoid having cheese with crackers (remember we want to avoid the sugar spikes associated with starches found in crackers and other such products), instead pop it on a nice homemade pizza (recipe coming soon!), omelet, or enjoy on its own.
Seeds – Specifically, I love sunflower, pumpkin, flax and chia seeds. Fat, fibre, protein and Omega 3. You can get these pretty cheap too! So many uses, look out for them in posts to come. Nobody can seem to decide if quinoa is a seed or a grain, but either way, it is a great substitute for a whole range of grains in your cooking.
Meats and Eggs – Sorry if you are a vegetarian, but I love meat! We are going to experiment with some different cuts of meat – beef cheeks, chicken thigh fillets, lamb shanks – and all the old favourites. Be careful when buying tinned fish – many of the flavoured varieties contain onion, garlic or other non FODMAP friendly things.
Organic Rice Malt Syrup or Stevia – these aren’t technically ‘good’ for you, but are much better than regular sugar or artificial sweeteners (which can be hard for tummies to tolerate, among other reasons). We need just a little bit of these for some of our recipes. Rice malt syrup is cheap, look for it in the health food section. Stevia is with the normal sugar and sweeteners in the baking aisle.
Pea Protein Powder – Protein is the building blocks for a healthy body, and is readily available in plenty of natural whole foods. However, many of us need a little extra help to get a sufficient amount of protein (more on how much is sufficient another time!), and traditional protein powders are a disaster for the low FODMAP eater. Pea protein is easy to digest, vegan (if that matters to you), low in sugar and delicious. I use this in smoothies, cakes, slices and even hot chocolate. Stay tuned for some Pea Protein recipes!
That’s great. Now how do I use them?
FODMAP Friendly Omelet
You will need:
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- 2-3 eggs
- ½ zucchini, grated
- splash of milk (lactose free or unsweetened almond milk)
- 20g grated tasty cheese
- 50g baby spinach leaves
- 50g roasted pumpkin (Leftover from Roast Pumpkin Salad)
- 90g tin flavoured tuna (I love basil or sundried tomato)
Lightly whisk the eggs, adding in a small splash of milk and the zucchini.
In a small fry pan, melt the coconut oil and swirl to cover the bottom of pan. Pour in egg mixture. Cook for 3-4 minutes over a low heat, and then carefully flip over.
Once you have flipped the omelet, sprinkle with cheese then spinach leaves. Allow cheese to melt and spinach to wilt slightly. Spread roasted pumpkin and tuna on top. Once egg is set, carefully slide omelet onto a plate. Serve immediately.
Or how about a…
Filling FODMAP Chocolate Pancake
You will need:
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup mlk (lactose free or unsweetened almond milk)
- 2 tbs desiccated coconut
- 2 tbs almond meal (OR I often use 1 tbs almond meal and 1 tbs ground flax seeds)
- 1 scoop chocolate protein powder (rice OR pea)
Combine coconut, almond meal and protein powder in a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs lightly and add milk. Pour egg mixture into dry mixture and mix well to combine.
Melt the oil in a small fry pan, and warm pan for a minute. Pour pancake mix in, and swirl to get even coverage. Cook for a few minutes, when you see some bubbles starting to come up, flip the pancake carefully and cook for a further minute.
I like to serve mine with a tiny dollop of natural yoghurt and some strawberries. If it isn’t sweet enough for you, drizzle half a teaspoon of rice malt syrup over pancake.
OPTIONS: You can add ½ tsp cinnamon to help keep your blood sugar stable, 1 tsp chia seeds for extra Omega 3, 1 tbs raw cacao nibs for some chocolatey crunch. Simply pop any combination of these in with your dry ingredients at the start.