In my last blogpost in the series the low FODMAP diet for friends and family I explained what the FODMAP diet is and what someone who follows the low FODMAP diet can eat and cannot eat. It probably is a bit clearer now what the FODMAP diet is, but low FODMAP cooking is something that people still find tricky. Especially because there are so many things to think of.
In this blogpost, I will give you some tips and options to make low FODMAP cooking for a guest easier for you. And you will find out that there are actually many things that you can make for someone who is eating low FODMAP.
SAFE LOW FODMAP COOKING
- Always discuss with your guest what you are planning to cook. The tolerances of people with IBS for different foods can differ. For most people the low FODMAP products in the right amounts will not give any problems, but it is possible that some people have a lower tolerance for a certain food than other. That is why it is important to always discuss with your guest what you are planning to cook or just send them the recipe so they can look at it. In this way, you will be sure that your guest won’t get any problems.
- Avoid pre–packaged or readymade products. When you cook for someone eating low FODMAP it is best to use fresh ingredients. Readymade products often contain ingredients that are high in FODMAPs such as garlic powder, onion powder or fructose. Fresh products without a long ingredient list are therefore the safest.
- Check ingredient lists. Strawberries are low FODMAP and strawberry jam technically is low FODMAP too. As long as no high FODMAP ingredients have been added to it. Apple juice and berry juice, for example, aren’t low FODMAP and this is sometimes added to jam which makes that jam a high FODMAP product. Products that seem low FODMAP are thus not always low FODMAP. Therefore, it is important to always check the ingredient list.
- Pay attention to the amount you use of a certain food. Some products are low FODMAP, but only up to a certain amount. Oats, for example, are low FODMAP up to 50 grams and diced tomatoes in a can up to 100 grams per portion. You can use those products, but only to a limited amount. The information about this can be found in Low FODMAP smartphone app or ask your guest for more information.
WHICH PRODUCTS CAN YOU CERTAINLY USE FOR LOW FODMAP COOKING?
- All kinds of rice: brown rice, white rice, risotto rice
- Gluten-free pasta
- Rice noodles
- Millet (this is a grain that looks a bit like couscous. Couscous is not low FODMAP, but millet is)
- Potatoes: fried, boiled or pureed
- All kinds of meat and fish are allowed. Make sure to check the ingredients. Sometimes meat from the supermarket is marinated or seasoned and this usually isn’t low FODMAP, because often onion, garlic or wheat is added. Also, for meat and fish, it is best to buy it as pure and fresh as possible and marinate or season it yourself. Burgers from the supermarket often contain high FODMAP ingredients, but simple chicken breast, beef, canned tuna, fresh fish or frozen fish is usually low FODMAP.
- Vegetarian substitutes for meat are usually difficult because they contain a lot of additions. Simple tofu and tempeh are allowed on the FODMAP diet.
- Soy products, such as soy milk or yoghurt are not allowed on the FODMAP diet. Only soy milk that is made of soy protein and not of soybeans are low FODMAP. Tofu and tempeh are also made of soy, but this is low FODMAP.
- Almond milk is also low FODMAP. Coconut milk is low FODMAP up to 100 ml per portion, canned coconut milk up to 100 ml. Next to that, you can use lactose-free milk. The same goes for lactose-free yoghurt, whipped cream, creme fraiche and cream cheese.
- Yellow cheeses such as cheddar are usually tolerated by Fodmappers too.
- Some white cheese is also low FODMAP in small portions. You can, for example, cook with mozzarella (max. 60 grams), feta (max. 125 grams) and goat cheese (max. 60 grams).
- Butter contains a very small amount of lactose and is therefore also low FODMAP.
- Almonds (max. 10 nuts)
- Hazelnuts (max. 10 nuts)
- Macadamia nuts
- Brazilian nuts (max. 10 nuts)
- Pecans (max. 40 halves)
- Pine nuts
- Eggplant (up to 2 cups)
- Bean sprouts
- Bell pepper
- Red cabbage (1 cup)
- Spinach (up to 3 cups)
- Red and green chilli
- Zucchini (up to 1/2 cup)
- Japanese pumpkin
- Spaghetti squash (up to 2 cups)
- Canned tomatoes (up to 1/2 cup)
Except for garlic and onion powder fodmappers can eat almost all kinds of herbs. Just pay attention when using readymade seasoning mixtures, because this sometimes contains garlic or onion powder. You can flavour your food with all kinds of dried or fresh herbs.
To replace the garlic and onion flavour you can use the green part of the spring onion (the white part is not allowed). You can also heat olive oil in a pan and add a clove of garlic to the oil when the oil is hot. Bake it for a bit and remove the clove of garlic. Then you can continue with the recipe. When you bake garlic in olive oil the oil will take the flavour of the garlic, but the FODMAPs in the garlic can’t leach into the oil. This will give a bit of a garlic flavour to the food. All kinds of oil, vinegar (balsamic vinegar to a maximum of 1 tablespoon per portion) and soy sauce are also low FODMAP.
As you can see there are actually quite a lot of ingredients available for low FODMAP cooking. It takes some getting used to, but with a bit of creativity, you will be able to create many delicious meals. If you are looking for ideas, you can find many low FODMAP recipes on my blog or check out my low FODMAP recipes guide, where I explain how you can make your own favourite recipes low FODMAP.