Before starting a low-FODMAP diet the most important thing to do is see your doctor! Digestive problems can be symptoms of many health issues and changing your diet before getting a diagnosis can cause issues for certain tests and put your health at further risk. The elimination of foods as part of this diet should be done with the support of a dietician or nutritionist to ensure you get the right balance in your diet. I am neither a dietician nor a medical professional, what is included in this blog is simply my personal experience.
I’ve suffered from IBS since my early teens and I’ve been put on various diets by doctors, none have helped more than the low-FODMAP diet. FODMAPs are fermentable oligo-, di-, mono-saccharides and polyols; in more understandable terms, they are a certain group of carbohydrates that some people find hard to digest. To start the diet you eliminate everything considered high-FODMAP then, after three consecutive weeks of elimination, reintroduce things one at a time (I did it for 3 days per FODMAP) to see what your own tolerance is. I have never felt healthier than when I eliminate FODMAPS, however it isn’t a convenient diet and takes a lot of effort to get right. It took me a long time to actually find meals that I enjoyed and therefore wanted to spend the time preparing. For this post I wanted to share my favourite low-FODMAP (or adaptable) recipes.
I’ve come across a couple of these noodle jar recipes and I love them. These are perfect for work lunches and don’t take that long to make. I based my recipe on this from notfromapacketmix.com and this one from eatyourveg.co.uk. Adapt it to suit your own tastes, add the ingredients to a glass mason jar and keep in the fridge. When you’re ready to eat fill with boiling water, cover for a few minutes then enjoy.
My favourite noodle jar mix (in order of going into the jar):
- Small bundle of rice vermicelli noodles (I’ve recently been using pre-cooked Barenaked Noodles, I prefer the texture much more!)
- Veg cut into small chunks and pre-cooked; I use carrot, courgette, celery, red cabbage and spinach.
- To add lots of flavour, top with thinly chopped chives and spring onion (remember just the green bit to be low-fodmap!). I then add half a packet of gluten-free & vegan friendly miso paste, a large pinch of tumeric and a small pinch of chinese five-spice.
- Finally for a little bit of crunch add a sprinkling of sesame seeds
I am not a salad girl, I don’t get on with lettuce at all and hate most ingredients used in standard salads. I do, however, love quinoa and spinach and just 6 months ago discovered the world of quinoa salads. This recipe is one of my faves purely because of the added colour the carrot gives. Due to my allergies I don’t include the ginger, cumin or coriander in this recipe. Instead I use similar flavours to the noodle jars above.
This is one that can be enjoyed warm or cold so another great addition to the work lunch menu.
The recipe I’ve linked isn’t low-FODMAP but can be easily adapted by removing the garlic and onion. Again I didn’t include the ginger or pepper due to my allergies, instead replacing with 1/4 teaspoon of chinese five-spice.
- 1 large butternut squash
- 1/4 cup tamari
- 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 stalks celery, sliced diagonally
- 2 cups shredded cabbage and carrots
- 1/4 teaspoon chinese five-spice
- Cut the butternut squash in half length wise and scoop out seeds. Lay skin side up in a 13 x 9 pyrex and pour 1/2 inch of water in the bottom of the pan. Bake at 200 degrees (celsius) for 30-40 minutes, until flesh is very tender. Once done, scoop out flesh with a fork so it breaks apart into strings, set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the tamari, coconut sugar and five-spice; set aside.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add celery, and cook, stirring often, until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in cabbage and carrots until heated through, about 1 minute.
- Stir in spaghetti squash and sauce mixture until well combined, about 2 minutes.
- Serve immediately.
One of the biggest issues I had when moving to the low-FODMAP diet was snacks. There was nothing convenient and I’m incredibly picky! Then I came across a few flapjack recipes and starting making these in batches so I always had something I could just grab from my cupboard. These are great because you can adapt to have whatever flavours you like. This is my adaption of this recipe by fodmapfun.com.
- 150g lactose-free ‘butter’ ( I use Pure Olive Spread, found in most supermarkets)
- 175ml maple syrup
- 250g gluten-free oats
- Small handful of flax seeds
- A handful of any fruit that you like – Generally I use sultanas as I’m not that adventurous in the fruit department. Just make sure you check what you use is low-FODMAP.
It’s so simple to put together, pre-heat oven to 180 (celsius), and heat syrup and butter together in a pan on low-heat. Once melted, stir in the oats until evenly mixed. Add the seeds and fruit and stir in. Line a baking tray and pour in the mixture, using a spatula to spread evenly. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, it should come out golden brown. Once cooled, cut into even pieces and enjoy your homemade snack!
IBSsano.com is a great resource for low-FODMAP recipes, including this one for a Quiche Lorraine. The first time I made this I was amazed by how easy, and tasty, it turned out! Note, this isn’t vegan friendly as the recipe uses eggs (and bacon but that could just be left out). I’m not vegan myself so don’t know enough yet about offering substitutions for this.
There’s a great gluten-free pastry recipe linked in this one which can be used for any of your pastry needs.
Let me know what your favourite recipes are, and how you’re finding the low-FODMAP lifestyle. Also what substitutions are you using to be more FODMAP and vegan friendly? You can see these and more on my Pinterest Board!