Before I started to eat low FODMAP, I did this very often: choosing a recipe from a cookbook or from the internet and making it for dinner. It is so nice not having to think about what to cook and follow an existing recipe. But how do you do that when you follow the low FODMAP diet? Even though you can find plenty of low FODMAP recipes online these days, you might have a favourite recipe that you would like to make low FODMAP or a favourite cookbook that you would like to cook from again.
Luckily it isn’t that hard to cook low FODMAP from a cookbook because many recipes can be made low FODMAP. With the 5 simple tips below you can change many recipes into a low FODMAP recipe in no time!
(Of course there will always be recipes that can’t be made low FODMAP. Apple pie for example. Apples are high in FODMAPs and without apples an apple pie isn’t an apple pie. But there are plenty of recipes that can be made low FODMAP!)
1. Replace the grains in the recipe for a low FODMAP version
Most grain products have low FODMAP variants that you can simply replace in the recipe. Does a recipe ask for spaghetti or macaroni? Replace this with gluten-free spaghetti or macaroni. Does a recipe ask for couscous? Then you can use millet instead of couscous (this is a gluten-free grain that has a similar structure to couscous). If you need bread in a recipe, you can replace it with low FODMAP sourdough spelt bread.
Also when you want to bake something, you can replace the wheat flour with gluten-free flour (always check whether the flour also is low FODMAP). Baking with gluten-free flour usually takes some experimenting because gluten-free flour reacts different in recipes than normal flour does.
2. Replace the dairy products with a low FODMAP dairy product
For dairy products you can find a lot of low FODMAP alternatives nowadays. You can use butter when you are on the low FODMAP diet, but if you react to lactose strongly, you can also replace it with margarine or try to use coconut oil.
You can replace milk with lactose-free milk in almost all recipes or you can use a plant-based milk. Almond milk, rice milk, macadamia milk and coconut milk (limited) are low FODMAP for example.
Many kinds of cheese are low FODMAP and therefore you don’t have to replace them. It is important to check the serving sizes of the cheeses though. Feta is low FODMAP up to 125 g for example, while mozzarella is low FODMAP up to 60 g. Also cream cheese can be found in lactose-free versions. Vegan cheeses made from soy beans have recently been tested and those are low FODMAP up to 40 g per portion. Therefore you can also use vegan cream cheese or cheese.
Instead of yoghurt, you can use lactose-free yoghurt. Coconut yoghurt is also low FODMAP.
3. Season your recipe with low FODMAP spices
Onion and garlic are used in almost every recipe for flavour and even though you cannot have this on the low FODMAP diet, you don’t have to be afraid that your food won’t have any flavour.
You can replace garlic with garlic-infused oil. This can be bought in the store or you can make it yourself by simply heating oil in a pan. When the oil is hot, you add one or two cloves of garlic. Fry this for a few minutes and discard the garlic. The oil that is left can be used in the recipe and gives it a garlic flavour. Because FODMAPs are not soluble in oil, garlic-infused oil is low FODMAP.
Onion can be replaced with the green part of the spring onion or the green part of leek. Those are low FODMAP. Asafoetida (powder) tastes a little like leek, onion and garlic. Asafoetida is used often in the Middle east and Indian cuisine.
Apart from garlic or onion, all spices are low FODMAP (you just have to be careful with spice mixes, that may contain onion or garlic). Just experiment with different spices to flavour your recipes!
4. Check the vegetables in the recipe and change them if necessary
If a recipe contains vegetables that are not low FODMAP, you can simply replace them with vegetables that are low FODMAP.
You can also be creative with vegetables that are limited low FODMAP. Canned tomatoes are nice to make tomato sauce with, but are only low FODMAP up to 90 g per portion. This is not enough if you want to make a sauce, but you can simply add some low FODMAP stock to the canned tomatoes and bind the sauce with corn starch. Like that you have a tomato sauce that is low FODMAP!
5. Always check the ingredient list!
It is most important to always check the ingredient lists of products. Many products have low FODMAP variants, but it often differs per brand whether a product is low FODMAP or not. Jars of pickled gherkins for example sometimes contain fructose or onions, while other jars don’t and are low FODMAP.
Sauces such as mustard and mayonnaise usually are low FODMAP, but there are brands that add ingredients to their sauces that contain FODMAPs. Always check the ingredients before you buy something!
Those are my tips! With these tips you can make many recipes low FODMAP and cook from cookbooks that are not low FODMAP!
What is your favourite recipe that you would like to make low FODMAP?