As you may know, I recently spent six weeks following a strict low FODMAP diet. One of my main concerns upon beginning the diet was how I would flavour my meals. The low FODMAP diet cuts out garlic and onion, both of which form the base of many soups, sauces, casseroles and stocks. Because I love to cook, I knew I would have to get my thinking cap on and find a way to add flavour to my meals whilst still keeping them strictly low FODMAP. Below I have listed the main ingredients I relied on for adding low FODMAP flavour to my meals!
Low FODMAP Flavour
Garlic Infused Olive Oil
The holy grail of low FODMAP flavour is garlic infused olive oil. Garlic is most certainly out, but FODMAPs cannot leach into oil in the same way they can leach into water. This effectively means that infusing oil with garlic and then removing all of the actual garlic pieces will render the remaining oil low FODMAP. I didn’t make my own garlic infused olive oil but I did find bottles of it in Tesco. I love garlic so for me it was a great find!
Spring Onion & Chives
For onions I substituted spring onion (green part only!) and chives. I was really surprised at how great they were for flavouring my meals in place of onions. I tended to use the chives in salads and the spring onion in cooked meals.
I had never heard of this spice until I started the low FODMAP diet. It is a pungent spice that is said to mimic the flavour of onion. It should be used sparingly as it can overpower a meal. I typically used a half teaspoon or so when I was making the likes of a curry or bolognese.
I love capers and they are a great flavourful addition, particularly to fish and pasta dishes. I often added a few drained capers to my dishes.
Olives seem to be something one either loves or hates – I love them! They add great flavour to dishes. For a hotter flavour variation try pimento stuffed olives too.
Tabasco is a FODMAP safe hot sauce that can be used to add flavour to dishes. I’m a big fan of hot sauce so I was glad to find one I could use while on the diet!
Thankfully most spices are FODMAP safe. I used plenty of turmeric, paprika (smoked and sweet!), chilli flakes and cayenne pepper while on the low FODMAP diet.
Most herbs are FODMAP safe too! I stocked up on lots of fresh and dry herbs to use in my cooking. I mainly relied on basil, oregano, parsley, coriander, rosemary, thyme and sage.
Salt and Pepper
Plain and simple and FODMAP safe!
Tamari or Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
I used these to make sauces for stir fries and they gave great flavour. Try a FODMAP safe soy sauce for the same effect.
Lea & Perin’s Worcestershire Sauce
This is FODMAP safe in small amounts – up to 2 tablespoons.
Another great FODMAP safe condiment – make sure the brand you choose contains no added high FODMAP foods in the ingredients.
Tomato Ketchup and/or Purée
I sometimes mixed ketchup and mayo to make a mary-rose sauce for another low FODMAP flavour. I found tomato puree fantastic in bolognese and lasagne recipes. Be sure the ketchup you choose has no high FODMAP ingredients.
I usually peel my ginger root and freeze the thumbs to grate into dishes as needed.
This also freezes well and can be added to curries and other dishes for low FODMAP flavour.
Get the real thing from an Asian supermarket and use sparingly! I often add fish sauce to stir fries along with my tamari.
Lemon and Lime
Lemon and lime are great for salsas and salad dressings. They give a great kick and are FODMAP safe!
Vinegar is a great way to add low FODMAP flavour to salads. I often used apple cider vinegar. Be careful with balsamic vinegar as it has a FODMAP limit.
Low FODMAP Stock
I still made my homemade chicken stock while on the low FODMAP diet, but I had to make some changes to my recipe. I didn’t include any celery or onion but I did use green spring onion and carrot along with my chicken carcass and some other low FODMAP veggie scraps and herbs! Having lots of this stock in the freezer made flavouring my one-pot dinners very easy! I was pleasantly surprised that the low FODMAP version of my stock was just as flavourful as my normal recipe.
Fermented Vegetables and Pickled Foods:
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you will know that I love fermented foods. I had to be careful about which ones I included in my low FODMAP diet. I mainly stuck to fermented ginger carrots and sauerkraut. You can pretty much ferment any low FODMAP vegetable you like to make it burst with flavour! Pickles are also great, I used gherkins in some meals while I was eating low FODMAP.
There are plenty of cheeses that are FODMAP safe. Great low FODMAP flavour options are parmesan, mature cheddar, feta and blue cheese. Arla also do a great lactose free range.
I often used anchovies to make the base of sauces for pasta dishes. They add amazing low FODMAP flavour.
Red and white wine can be added to plenty of recipes to add a depth of low FODMAP flavour. Of course the alcohol evaporates when cooked but the flavour remains!
These have a FODMAP limit but can be used in small amounts for added flavour.
…And for Something a little Sweeter!
A great low FODMAP sweetener. Ration sensibly ???
Delicious in sweet recipes. Peanut butter can also be a lovely ingredient to add to a bowl of oats or to spread on low FODMAP toast.
Cacao and Dark Chocolate
A perfectly indulgent low FODMAP flavour to use in the creation of lots of decadent desserts.
Try using vanilla extract or vanilla pods when creating sweet options for another flavour option.
And there you have it; twenty eight low FODMAP flavourful additions to include in your diet. Of course I use most of the above whether I’m eating low FODMAP or not! Once you get the hang of eating low FODMAP you will start to feel less deprived and realise that there is a wealth of flavourful foods to choose from. Eating out still poses a challenge when eating low FODMAP but if you can get into the habit of cooking at home, you can be sure there are plenty of ways to create a variety of meals that are full of flavour.
Please remember that the low FODMAP diet is a medically recommended short-term elimination diet and should only be followed under the guidance of a registered, FODMAP trained dietician. Please also be aware that research into FODMAPs is ongoing and FODMAP safe foods and limits may change. Always consult the latest research and check the ingredients as these may change too. I found the King’s College London FODMAP iphone app invaluable while on the diet, as was the Monash low FODMAP app.
Don’t forget to share your low FODMAP flavour inspirations with me too!
The Clean Coconut x