Sunday, 26 October 2014

Veggie Savoury Muffins

Ooh look! Yummy savoury snacks. ;)

Hi again Fodmappers. As you can see I've been doing a bit of baking this week. But these aren't any muffins, these are fodmap friendly flour-free muffins! And they pack a bit of a surprise. These muffins are a nice source of veggie protein and they are incredibly easy to make. I confess I'm not into complicated cooking - I want to eat, not cook.

I've made these a couple of times now so they can't be bad eh? I discovered them at Everybody Loves Pretty and have pretty much stuck to that recipe so far.  However the second time I made them I used a mature cheddar rather than a mild one, and next time I'm going to try adding a little asafoetida as I felt they needed a bit of a bite. As onions are not a 'safe' food for me, asafoetida does go some way towards replacing that sharpness. (If you haven't discovered it yet, it's worth tracking down and adding to your spice collection.) But on with the recipe.

I used:

1/3 cup of quinoa grains
1/2 a cup of grated Cheddar Cheese
2 large eggs
1/3 cup of shredded spinach
A generous pinch of oregano
A generous pinch or basil
A sprinkle of salt and pepper.

(This makes 6 muffins).


First cook your quinoa. Rinse the grains well (I used my salad sprouter for this) and then toast them lightly in a large saucepan for a couple of minutes. Add 2/3 cup of cold water. Bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer for approximately 15 mins or until it has absorbed all the water.

While the quinoa is cooking, preheat your oven to 350/180.

When the quinoa is ready, remove the pan from the heat and add the grated cheese, herbs, salt and pepper. Stir in well.

Finally add the eggs (make sure the pan and contents have cooled slightly so that the eggs don't cook on contact) and mix in.

Spoon mixture into muffin cases or directly into a greased muffin tin and bake for 20 to 25 minutes.
The finished bake has a texture part way between a muffin and a quiche which isn't as odd as it sounds. Give them a go, experiment with different flavours, and let me know what you think.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Fodmap Friendly Halloween

Just a couple of weeks to go until Halloween and these little peppers were so cute I had to give them a try. I'd seen several recipes for these online but most were either meat filled or full of non-fodmap friendly ingredients. I decided to go for a Feta and Walnut filling, partly as those were ingredients I had in, and partly because walnuts look like brains. Yes I'm completely in the Halloween spirit already! 

As always, this is a vegetarian recipe but it could be very easily adapted for vegans, just skip the cheese! In fact feel free to tweak this recipe however you like (I did) but just remember to stick to low-fodmap ingredients.

So here's what I used

2 large yellow bell peppers.
Half a cup of quinoa grains.
A small handful of walnuts.
Approx 100g of feta cheese
8 to 10 pitted black olives
1 tomato.
Black Pepper

Cook the quinoa in a cup of water until all moisture is absorbed. (Approx 15 to 20 minutes).

Preheat the oven to 180/350 degrees.

Meanwhile prepare the peppers. Cut around the top and remove the seeds and, using a sharp knife, carefully cut a little 'pumpkin' face into the peppers.

Chop the walnuts, feta, black olives and tomato into small pieces, keeping just two walnuts whole for decoration.

When the quinoa is cooked simply stir in the rest of the ingredients and season with the herbs, salt and pepper to taste. Fill your peppers.

Finally place one half of a walnut inside the top of each pepper (as a spooky brain) before replacing the top.

Place in the oven on a baking tray for approx 1 hr or until the pepper is soft.

Alternatively you could try a cheddar and spinach combo or, if you'd like to see the filling oozing out of your pumpkins eyes, maybe a fodmap-friendly version of a ratatouille?

Have fun and let me know how you get on.

Friday, 17 October 2014

Beating the Bloat

Hi Fodmappers

Just a quick visit as I thought you might find this interesting.

"Professor Peter Gibson is Head of Gastroenterology at Monash University and an internationally renowned expert in the field. On 30 October 2013, he presented on the problem of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and gut symptoms in general and about the world-wide fascination with dietary cures. He describes the controversy surrounding wheat intolerance, the most current research and outlines the new dietary approach, the low FODMAP diet, that is changing the way doctors and dietitians help people with IBS to manage their problem."

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Chocolate Gets the Green Light

I love to share good news and, if you like chocolate, I have some very good news indeed. Dark chocolate is low-FODMAP!! (Doing a little happy dance right now - feel free to join in).

When I wrote about Rainbow Drops I promised I'd seek out more fun foods for you, and I just love chocolate so it had to be next. Well it seems Monash University (who we have to thank for coming up with the low-FODMAP diet) have kindly delved into this topic for us and the results are as follows.

Marked according to their traffic light system, one 30g serving (approx 5 squares) of dark chocolate, gets a green light. This means that it's low FODMAP and safe to enjoy as part of your diet. Right now I'm imagining dark chocolate chips in yummy low-FODMAP muffins. Mmmmmm.

However, the same size serving of both milk and white chocolate are given an amber light. This indicates that these contain a moderate amount of FODMAPs due to the lactose content. Depending on how well you tolerate lactose will depend on whether you can enjoy these too.

But a word of caution is probably called for before you dash off to buy the very best (and darkest) chocolate you can find, and that is to say that it's vitally important to stick to the serving size. FODMAPs are cumulative - the more you eat the more you increase your FODMAP level, and the higher the FODMAP level the greater the risk of tummy upsets.

Also Monash advise sticking to small portions as "Chocolate is high in fat, and when consumed in excess can affect gut motility and may trigger symptoms." (1)

Having said that, I think this still counts as good news and I hope it's brought as big smile to your face as it has to mine. I've always been partial to a nice bit of dark chocolate and don't we all deserve a treat now and then?

I think FODMAP just got a little more fabulous!


Monday, 6 October 2014

Buckwheat - The Wheat You Can Eat

Don't panic Fodmappers! If you haven't already discovered Buckwheat I have a surprise in store for you. Buckwheat isn't wheat - which means you can eat it as part of a low-FODMAP diet.

Buckwheat is something which is called a 'pseudocereal' (1) because, though it isn't a grass (which wheat is) it can be used in much the same way as grains which are. Buckwheat flour can be made into bread, pastry or pancakes (though when making pancakes remember to use a lactose-free milk) or bought as pasta or noodles. The grains can be toasted and then cooked in twice the volume of water (one cup of grains to two cups or water) to make a nice and nutty change from rice. Alternatively they can be sprouted in just a few days and added to salads, breads or breakfast cereals.

Sprouting Buckwheat couldn't be easier. Of all the grains I've sprouted over the years, this is definitely one of the quickest to grow. I use the Bio-Snacky jar but you could also use an ordinary large jar and a piece of muslin. Simply put a couple of tablespoons of grains into the jar, rinse well, soak for about 30 mins and then strain. Rinse and strain twice daily until the grains develop little tails - which in warm weather might be as quickly as 2 days.

Alternatively you could just use a sieve, like this guy does here. Take it away chef!

If you're still not convinced you might be interested to know that Buckwheat is incredibly good for you! (2) It is high in zinc, copper, potassium and manganese and also high in protein. Protein can be a bit of a challenge for vegetarian and vegan fodmappers as many of the usual sources (such as lentils, chick peas, soya and tvp) are high-fodmap and therefore to be avoided. Buckwheat can replace some of the lost protein. It is also a good source of soluble fibre.

As you can see from the sneaky peek into my kitchen above, I've rather taken to Buckwheat. You might even notice that the label on the taller jar reads 'Buckwheat - Yum'. To be honest, unless it's toasted it doesn't have a strong taste at all, which means it will pretty much go with anything you fancy. Right now I fancy cake. I found this recipe on 'A Clean Bake'. Mmmm - Buckwheat cup-cakes. Got to try that.

'Til next time Fodmappers.