Simplifying cooking on the low FODMAP diet
When you are first starting on the low FODMAP diet it can be quite challenging coming up with tasty meal ideas. However eating low FODMAP does not need to be bland and boring. With a few simple tweaks to your cooking we can have you enjoying delicious meals again including many of those family favourites.
The first step in cooking low FODMAP is to check what ingredients are in the recipe and highlight any potential high FODMAP ingredients. If you identify a food that you feel contains FODMAPs check if the portion size is appropriate. If the portion size is high FODMAP consider whether you can reduce the amount of that ingredient or whether you could substitute with a low a FODMAP alternative. Below are a list of some of my favourite low FODMAP ingredient swaps. In addition to these ingredient swaps don’t forget to boost the flavour of your dishes by including more herbs and spices.
Onion & leek
For the flavour of onion and leek great substitutions include onion-infused olive oil, green tips of spring onions, fresh or dried chives or a pinch of asafoetida powder. If you are using the green tips of spring onions or chives, these are best added towards the end of cooking to get the most flavour. I also love adding diced capsicum and zucchini into my tomato based sauces for some added texture and flavour.
My favourite substitute for garlic is garlic-infused olive oil. Whilst I tend to use premade garlic infused oil you can make your own by peeling and cutting garlic into large pieces. Sauté the garlic in oil for 1-2 minutes to develop flavour in the oil, then discard the garlic pieces and retain the oil.
Look for stocks which contain no added onion or garlic such as Massel. Alternatively you can make your own homemade stock with low FODMAP ingredients. Here is a base stock recipe from Monash University.
The best alternatives for regular bread are spelt sourdough and certified low FODMAP wheat breads such as Bakers Delight LowFOD bread or Alpine bread. Gluten free bread is another alternative however look out for potential high FODMAP ingredients including soy flour, lupin flour coconut flour, amaranth flour, inulin, apple or pear juice.
Pasta, wheat noodles & couscous
Instead of regular wheat pasta or noodles a good substitute is gluten free pasta or rice noodles. For gluten free pasta just make sure to check the label for high FODMAP flours such as soy flour and lupin flour. Another alternative is to use low FODMAP grains such as rice, quinoa, polenta, bourghul or millet.
Some good alternatives include rice flour, sorghum flour and other gluten free flour blends provided they are not made with high FODMAP flours. LoFo Pantry also have a low FODMAP plain wheat flour which can be useful especially when baking.
Cow’s milk & yoghurt
Regular cow’s milk and yoghurt can be easily swapped with lactose free cow’s milk or yoghurt alternatives. Plant based milk such as soy milk (made with soy protein), almond milk and rice milk may also be used in place of regular cow’s milk.
Legumes (red kidney beans, split peas & baked beans)
Try using either canned chickpeas or lentils and remember to rinse before using to lower FODMAP content.
Cashews & Pistachios
These nuts can be replaced with nuts such as macadamias, peanuts, walnuts and pecans. Almonds and hazelnuts can also be used but limit to 10 nuts.
Great substitutions for honey include pure maple syrup, rice malt syrup or brown sugar.
If you need more help with cooking low FODMAP or modifying your family favourites get in touch with us at Lifestyle Nutrition. We offer low FODMAP dietetic consultations with personalised meal plans.