Monday, 20 July 2015

The Fabulous FODMAP Recipe Challenge

Hi Fodmappers - Fancy a bit of a challenge?

A while ago I wrote a post telling you how I gained a more varied diet through FODMAP but since then I have found myself slipping back into a pattern of eating the same things all the time. Isn't it funny how quickly we can get into a rut with meals especially when we're pushed for time!! So lately I have been making a conscious effort to do things a little differently. And that has meant me having another look at what foods I can include on FODMAP in order to add a little more variety to my diet.

So I have set myself a challenge and that's simply to do things differently! For me this has meant coming up with meals like the one above. What's different about this? Well I realised I hardly ever eat new potatoes for a start. And I know I've never had cooked green beans in a salad before. (They're actually very good). I've also discovered a fondness for combining nuts and cheese and, let's face it, it only takes a moment to sprinkle some nuts or seeds on top of a salad. These little changes aren't time consuming but they do make meals more interesting. And it's important to have as varied a diet as possible.

And I'd like to invite you to take up this challenge too.

The Fabulous FODMAP Recipe Challenge


You are invited to share an idea which can be anything from breakfast to brunch to baking! It can be an idea for a family meal or it can be your variation on a working lunch. In fact it can be almost anything as long as it's vegetarian (or vegan) and, of course, needs to be low FODMAP.

I'd also love to know why it is different from what you normally eat. (This challenge is all about getting out of your recipe rut.) Maybe you're doing something interesting with herbs and spices or perhaps trying a vegetarian recipe for the first time? If that means you're trying one of the recipes on this blog that you haven't tried before, that's good too.

Share your meal idea in the comments below, or better still, post a photo to my Facebook page or to Instagram. (Instagrammers please use #fabulousfodmapchallenge so I can see what you come up with). I shall feature my favourites in a future post.

So let your imagination run wild. I look forward to seeing what wonderful meal ideas you come up with.

'Til next time Fodmappers - Stay Fabulous. x

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Anyone For Strawberries And Cream?

Hi again Fodmappers

Apologies for my recent absence. Unfortunately my partner recently had an accident which resulted in him needing surgery. To cut a very long story short he's now home and recovering, though still in a lot of pain. Sometimes blogging has to take a back seat for a while.

But I wanted to stop by quickly to share some good news with you. If you're watching the Wimbledon final today this is what you'll want to know. And it's simply this. Strawberries and cream are low FODMAP!

Yes you read that right. Monash gives the green light to a portion of up to 10 medium strawberries and up to half a cup (125ml) of whipped cream, though if you are particularly sensitive to lactose you might prefer to opt for a lactose free cream. Either way it's good news for summer and for tennis fans.

'Til next time Fodmappers - Stay Fabulous

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

The Low FODMAP Festival Survival Guide

Hi Fodmappers

Hope you've got your wellies ready? It's festival time! And you know what that means? Food, drink and festival loos! I know that sounds like a Fodmapper's nightmare but don't panic! A little planning will get you a long way. And with that in mind, here's my ...

Low FODMAP Festival Survival Guide


First choose your Festival

If you have tickets for Glastonbury this weekend then it's probably too late to talk to you about choosing your festival. But for those of you who haven't - this is where a successful festival experience starts! Choosing the festival that's right for you can mean you have an event to look forward to, rather than one you'll dread. This is important, not only because you want to enjoy yourself, but because many people find their IBS is triggered by stress. If the mere thought of a huge festival and thousands of people worries you, then that's not the event for you. Luckily, there are plenty of festivals out there (from rock, jazz, folk, medieval festivals, literary and food festivals - to name but a few) so you're not short of options. So start by choosing one that you will enjoy.

Location, location, location.

When you're thinking about your event, you might also want to think about the location. Big events in far off places are all well and good when you're feeling well. But when you're not, do you really want to be stuck miles from home in a muddy field? Only you know how well controlled (or not) your symptoms are, and how ready you are for the festival loo experience. (We get to that a bit more in a minute). If you're not feeling great (yet) you may want to look for an event happening near to home. You'll be able to relax knowing that you can easily nip off if you do need to beat a hasty retreat.

Food

Once you've decided on your event you might want to start thinking about what you're going to eat. Festivals can be great places to discover new foods and it's likely that there will at least be gluten free and vegetarian options available, but they may not be completely FODMAP friendly. Be prepared to ask whether the food contains onions, garlic, soya etc. This is where food festivals come into their own. The sellers take pride in knowing about the ingredients and in talking to you about the different food on offer. Don't worry about being seen as a fussy eater. At a food festival everyone is a fussy eater. That's kind of the point.

Of course if you're camping you can take a stove, some pans and all the ingredients you'd use at home. You could even make cooking for your friends part of your festival experience. Be sure to remember to pack some wheat free cereals and a carton of long-life lactose free milk for breakfasts.  Rice cakes, peanut butter and bananas are another great festival stand by.

If you're just going for the day, why not take a picnic? Make some gluten-free sandwiches to take with you. Cucumber sarnies with the crusts cut off are so British, and so summery. A tub of salad, some carrot sticks to nibble on, nuts, plain crisps and a selection of cheeses should keep even the hungriest Festival goers happy. Or take a mini barbecue and rustle up some vegetable kebabs and grilled halloumi. Yum!

Drink

Let's face it, festivals are a chance to let your hair down and most people like to enjoy a drink or two (or more) as part of the event. Unfortunately alcohol is a gut irritant and can trigger symptoms for a lot of people. But this doesn't mean you have to avoid alcohol altogether. One glass of wine or one can of beer should be OK - especially if consumed with food.

You should also be aware that coffee, strong tea and certain fruit juices can also trigger symptoms so make sure you have a bottle of water to hand.

Festival Toilets

This has got to be the one thing that makes even the most hardened festival-goer cringe. Festival loos are never the most pleasant (I pity the people who have to clean them) but for Fodmappers they have to be the scariest thing about a Festival. If it's not the long queues then it's the inevitable lack of toilet paper when you get there. But I'm sure you don't need me to remind you to pop some toilet paper into your bag. That's just a normal day out, right?

But if you're going to Glastonbury, you might be in for a pleasant surprise. They now have a range of different loos including provision for people with disabilities. In fact, they are so proud of them that the loos even get their own page on the Glastonbury Festival website. Who would have guessed?

As for the queue, you may just have to forego etiquette and nip to the front. Needs must.

And Finally

Remember that a festival is a great opportunity to meet up with friends, enjoy some fantastic entertainment and most of all, have some fun. So relax (remember that bit about stress?) and have a great time.

'Til next time Fodmappers - Stay fabulous!

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Ice Cold and Elegant - Introducing Faloudeh

Hi again Fodmappers

Well it's another glorious day here and the garden is alive with bees and butterflies and the hum of distant lawn mowers. I really need to be cutting the lawn too but I just have to share my latest discovery with you first.

Today's recipe comes from an ancient city of 'poets, gardens, wine, nightingales and flowers' where it has been enjoyed for over 2000yrs. Elegant and sophisticated, it's reminiscent of Sherbet and Turkish Delight crossed with a Slush Puppy. It's light and refreshing and the perfect summer treat.

Faloudeh (or Faloodeh) is one of the oldest cold desserts in the world - though I admit I only discovered it recently. (Thanks The Simple Things.) Originating from Shiraz in around 400BC it combines rosewater and lime or lemon juice with sugar syrup and noodles to create a dish which is as exquisite as it sounds.

What's more, it's easy to make, it's suitable for vegans and, of course, it's low FODMAP. And if you're having friends round to dinner, this is going to impress!

Faloudeh


Serves 4

Ingredients

1/2 cup of caster sugar
1/2 cup of water
1 tablespoon of rosewater
Juice of half a lemon
1 block (approx 50g) of rice vermicelli noodles

Optional - Squeeze of lime juice, slice of lemon or freshly picked mint garnish.

Method

Add the sugar and water to a pan and heat until dissolved.
Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Add the rosewater and lemon juice and stir.
Pour into a large tub with a lid and pop into the freezer.

Place rice noodles in a pan and add boiling water.
Allow to stand for slightly longer than the instructions suggest as they need to be soft.
Rinse in ice cold water until cool.
Add to the sugar syrup solution and stir.
Return tub to freezer.

After approximately 1 hr remove the tub from freezer and fluff contents with a fork to break up any ice crystals which are forming.
Return to freezer and repeat twice more at half-hourly intervals.
Allow to freeze for at least 2 hrs.

Serve ice-cold in a glass topped with a slice of lemon, a squeeze of lime juice and a sprig of mint. And maybe a little Persian poetry?

I'm already looking forward to relaxing in the garden with a glass of Faloudeh in my hand. (I have some in the freezer right now). And with that in mind, I'd better get out there and mow the lawn.

'Til next time Fodmappers - Stay fabulous.

Sunday, 7 June 2015

How To Make Tasty Wheat-Free Pasta In Minutes

Hi Fodmappers

I hope you're well and enjoying some sunshine wherever you are? It's been a funny few weeks here but it does seem like summer is finally on it's way. And with summer comes salad!

I love salads (I've never understood why some people find them boring?) and earlier this year I treated myself to a spiralizer so that this summer's salads can be even more fun! So today I've been making zoodles!

For those of you who haven't discovered zoodles yet, they are simply courgette/zucchini pasta. (You can't get a lot more 'wheat-free' than that). They are known as zoodles because zucchini + noodles = zoodles. But if you don't have a spiralizer - don't panic! A vegetable peeler will do the trick.

I also made a yummy vegan low FODMAP pesto, because pasta and pesto are made for each other.

This was my first foray into the land of nutritional yeast. I'd never fancied it (you have to admit it doesn't sound appealing) but it's actually very good. It's light and cheesey and, I'm glad to say, not at all yeasty. The finished pesto is fresh and full of flavour. A real 'deli' pesto without the price tag.

So here's how to make a tasty wheat-free pasta and vegan pesto in minutes. Perfect for those summer evenings or for popping into your picnic basket.

Wheat Free Pasta and Low FODMAP Vegan Pesto


Serves 2.

You will need

1 courgette/zucchini
5 brazil nuts
5 walnuts
A good handful of basil
1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast
(Non vegans could replace the nutritional yeast with cheese)
1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil
Pinch of salt.

Method

Using a spiralizer or vegetable peeler, cut the courgette into ribbons. Set aside in a bowl.

Put the nuts, herbs and nutritional yeast into a mini chopper or food processor and pulse. Add the vegetable oil and salt.

Stir the pesto through the courgette ribbons and serve.

It's really that easy, that quick and and that summery!

And if you happen to be curious about the little flowers in the picture, they are basil flowers and they are fantastic! Too pretty and too tasty not to use.

'Til next time Fodmappers - Stay Fabulous.

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

How (And Why) To Be A Mindful Eater

Hi again Fodmappers

As Fodmappers we know we need to be mindful of what we eat but is that the same as mindful eating?

Today I am delighted to bring you a special guest post from my friend, and fellow health blogger, the fabulous Samantha Russell. I hope you enjoy.

How (and Why) to be a Mindful Eater


Are you looking for a simple way to boost the goodness you already get from your meals? Mindful eating might be the practice you’re looking for.

It’s becoming increasingly obviously that when it comes to health, wellness, and food there is a lot more going on than simply the kinds of foods we eat. While following a low FODMAP diet is an awesome way for many people to work on digestive issues, health concerns, IBS, or other health situations, we can also start to look at our thoughts and behaviours and use them to improve our lives too. In this post we are going to explore the idea of ‘mindful eating’ and how this practice can help you do everything from get more pleasure and nutrition from your food, to aid your digestion and help you lose weight. It’s exciting stuff!

Why try mindful eating?

So, first of all, why should you care about mindful eating? Isn’t eating nutrient-dense, low FODMAP food enough?

Well, it certainly can be, but if you want even more bang for your buck when it comes to your way of eating, getting mindful can have a range of benefits including:

  • Finding more pleasure in food
  • More efficient digestion
  • Improvement of digestive complaints
  • Improvement of emotional or binge eating behaviours
  • Being better able to hear the bodies hunger and fullness signals

How can simply being mindful achieve all this? As I see it, there are two main ways:

1. When you sit down to a meal, or really pay attention to what you are eating, feel it, smell it, and see it, you begin what’s called the ‘cephalic phase of digestion’. Basically, this is the very first phase of your digestive system, and it’s in your head. That’s right - our digestion starts in the brain!

When you see, smell, taste, or even vividly imagine food and eating your body begins to prepare to digest the food. You literally ‘get your juices flowing’. Wikipedia suggests that a whole 20% of your gastric secretions (juices in your tummy and gut that helps you break down and absorb your food) comes from this ‘head phase’ of digestion - so if you’re not paying attention and don’t stop to notice or think about your food, you’re missing out on a big contribution to your digestive system. Obviously, if you are having issues with your digestion then you want all the help you can get, so eating mindfully and getting the cephalic digestive phase going is a great idea.

2. When you concentrate on eating and enjoying your food, you relax. Relaxation is really important to digestion, pleasure, and appetite. The more you notice your food, the less you will worry about other things and this allows your body to properly send, receive, and act on all the complex messages and reactions that need to happen for healthy, happy mealtimes. Stress is a major contributor to digestive complaints, and so relieving stress, especially while we are eating and immediately after is essential to improving your experience.


What is mindful eating?

Ok, so that list of benefits and explanations has you interested? Now you want to know: What is mindful eating and how can I do it?

Well, the simple part is that mindful eating means really being present when you eat. Pay attention to your food, think about eating as you do it, and feel the experience of eating. This means no multi-tasking during meals or snacks. It as easy (and as difficult!) as that.

So, how do you do it?

  • Eat slowly (Harvard Medical School has some suggestions on how to do this)
  • Use your senses to explore your food (sight, smell, taste, touch, sound)
  • Focus on eating. This famous study found that distraction (in this case listening to two different lectures at the same time) reduced the amount of water participants absorbed for an hour after they drank it. If we can’t even efficiently absorb water while distracted, proper nutrition is going to suffer as well.
  • Sip your drink and chew your food. This will not only help you slow down, but will mean you can taste your food (yay for cephalic phase digestion!), and it’ll be really well prepared for great digestion once it makes it to your stomach and intestinal tract.
  • Be prepared for thoughts and emotions. You may find some stuff comes up when you slow down and eat mindfully. Stress around food, body image, eating, health, or anything can bubble to the surface when given this kind of quiet and space to do so. The best thing to do is to try to let it go and return your attention you eating. Jot it down to think about later if you must, but don’t get caught up now. Now is for the food.

However you feel like achieving it, that is totally fine. You may like music while you eat, you may prefer the quiet - it’s all about how it feels to you. There are a couple of things you should try to avoid, though.

What shouldn’t you do?

  • Over analyse or over-think. You don’t have to spend 45 minutes with a handful of nuts, sniffing each one and imaging it growing from a seed, being harvested, blah blah blah, until you eat it. You just have to eat the nuts and think about eating the nuts while you’re doing it.
  • Stress about it. The whole point of mindful eating is stress reduction. If you’re trying out a technique and it leaves you MORE worried, stressed, or feeling like you ‘failed’, stop doing that! Try something else, be gentle with yourself, and enjoy the process.

This whole process should feel good, pleasurable, and kind. Sure, it may be a little uncomfortable at times, as you deal with old habits, stale or out-dated beliefs or emotions, and so on, but I trust you to know the difference between those feelings and when something is legitimately not working for you.

So, if you are on a journey to better digestion try practicing mindful eating as you go. I’m positive it will have nothing but benefits and is a perfect accompaniment to the wonderful recipes here at Fabulous FODMAPS!


This post was written by Samantha Russell, the blogger and Eating Psychology coach behind Live the Whole. Her site and services are dedicated to helping people be happy, healthy, and whole no matter who they are, where they are, or what they do. She takes a holistic mind-body approach to health, with a particular focus on the effects of stress, psychology, and belief systems on our health. You can read more from Samantha at livethewhole.com

'Til next time Fodmappers - Stay Fabulous. x

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Take A Low FODMAP Pizza My Heart Now Baby

Hi again Fodmappers

Talk about not enough hours in a day, right now there aren't even enough days in the week! So what is a Fodmapper to do? What I need right now is low FODMAP fast food. So tonight I'm making pizza!

This week also happens to be National Vegetarian Week and the lovely people at the Vegetarian Society are travelling round the UK sharing pizzas with the people they meet. As a vegetarian that seems like another good reason to indulge in a little cheesey, tomatoey (is that even a word?) yumminess - made in the way only Fodmappers know how.

So here's what you need to make your own low FODMAP fast food pizza.

You Will Need

Gluten free pitta bread
Tomato puree or tomato ketchup
A few slices of peppers
Some olives
Grated Cheese
Oregano and Basil

Method

1. Heat the oven to 180C.
2. Meanwhile spread a little tomato puree or tomato ketchup onto the pitta bread. (Tomato ketchup has been shown to be low in FODMAPs). Add the grated cheese, peppers, olives and sprinkle with herbs.
3. Place the pitta pizza on a baking sheet and pop into the oven for approx. 8 to 10 minutes or until the cheese melts and starts to golden.

And there you have it. Low FODMAP fast food for busy Fodmappers. And if you're not busy? Well everyone deserves a night off now and then.

Til next time Fodmappers - Stay Fabulous. x

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Wheat Free Tabbouleh You'll Want To Share


Hi Fodmappers

National Vegetarian Week is fast approaching and this year it's all about sharing! And as sharing food can be problematic for those with IBS I thought it would be fun to join in with the spirit of this event in a low FODMAP way. So I've come up with a low FODMAP recipe you can safely share with your friends whether they are vegetarian or not.

Tabbouleh is one of those innocent looking summery salads which nevertheless can be problematic for Fodmappers. Most recipes uses couscous or bulgar wheat which are high FODMAP and can cause the symptoms we know too well. Luckily quinoa makes a great low FODMAP alternative.

Quinoa is highly nutritious. It is a complete protein (meaning that it contains all essential amino acids) so it's a particularly useful addition to a vegan diet or whenever extra protein is needed. It also contains magnesium, calcium and manganese, as well as B vitamins and vitamin E. And it's very easy to prepare.

The other Tabbouleh ingredient which can cause digestive problems, is onions. Though I normally replace onions with the green part of spring onions in cooked dishes, I have left them out altogether here and added plenty of herbs and spices instead. I'm pleased with the result - it has plenty of flavour despite the lack of onions. And when sharing food with friends I'm sure you'd rather be safe than sorry. Try it and let me know what you think.


Spicy Low FODMAP Quinoa Tabbouleh


Ingredients

1/2 cup of quinoa
1 cup of water
A little oil of your choice
1 tomato
Approx 3" cucumber
2 Tbsp of olive oil
Juice of half a lemon
1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
Fresh coriander
Fresh mint
Salt and pepper

Method

1. Rinse quinoa thoroughly and drain.
2. Heat a little oil in the bottom of a saucepan and toast the quinoa until it stops popping.
3. Add the water to the pan and bring to the boil.
4. Reduce the heat and allow quinoa to simmer until all water is absorbed.
5. Transfer into a bowl and allow to cool. Fluff with a fork.
6. Quarter the tomato and remove the seeds.
7. Dice tomato and cucumber and add to the quinoa.
8. Combine the olive oil, lemon juice and spices.
9. Add a generous amount of coriander and just a little mint to the dressing. Pour over the quinoa salad and stir gently.
10. Season to taste.

Serve with wheat free walnut and rosemary soda bread and a green salad.

Share the love.

'Til next time Fodmappers - Stay Fabulous. x

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Because It's Never 'Just' IBS

Hi again Fodmappers

It seems that most weeks I find myself talking to someone who has been diagnosed with IBS but who is sure their doctor has got it wrong. They are genuinely suffering and feel sure something has been missed. They wonder whether they may have Coeliac disease or Crohns or worse.

And it seems to me that they are sure it can't be 'just' IBS because we've all been led to believe that IBS is a trivial illness.

IBS is the kind of thing that comedians like to poke fun at. Sean Lock is one comedian who jokes about IBS, but he also says ".. IBS isn’t that bad, is it? I’ve got a sister-in-law who has it." Some people have even had their doctors tell them it's 'just' IBS. For the record, I once saw a doctor who told me it would 'pass'. It seems doctors are comedians too. Just.

So let's get this straight. There is no 'just' about IBS.

IBS is a nasty illness which affects every part of your life. It's not 'just' the bloating and the way that, over a few hours, you can appear to have become several months pregnant. Neither is it 'just' the way your bowels develop a life of their own, apparently rebelling against you at every opportunity. It's certainly not 'just' the intense pain which the pain killers don't seem to touch. It's an awful lot more.

It's the way you begin to fear for your job as you are taking more and more time off work.

It's the way you're surviving on very little sleep as finding a comfortable position at night seems impossible.

It's the look on your friend's faces when you make another excuse not to go out for food.

It's the way you've had to give up on that yoga class as you can't trust your belly to stay silent for that long.

It's not being able to remember the last time you did anything spontaneously.

It's having to cancel that trip at the last minute.

It's being scared to eat.

It's the way you lack the energy to carry out the simplest tasks.

It's the way your whole life seems to revolve around knowing where the nearest loo is.

It's the way your friends and family don't quite understand.

It's the embarrassment of it all.

It's the way it knocks your confidence.

It's the way it drags you down. 

And yes, much of that is true for others who suffer with chronic conditions, but we wouldn't (I hope) trivialise those. Having said that, I have a lot of sympathy for people with M.E which, until fairly recently, was referred to as 'yuppie flu'. Talk about trivialising!

So this week I was pleased to discover a petition started by the IBS Network to 'recognise it's not 'just' IBS'. (You can find out more about the IBS Network here.) It strikes me that this is exactly what is needed. But because IBS is embarrassing I do wonder how much publicity this campaign will get.

So, if this is something you feel strongly about, please add your name to the petition and let's stop trivialising this awful condition. It's a small step but you never know, it might 'just' make a difference.

'Til next time Fodmappers - Stay Fabulous. x

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Easy Ice-Cream Your Tummy Will Love

If you're looking for an incredibly easy, lactose-free and low FODMAP ice-cream. Here it is!


Hi again Fodmappers

You are not going to believe how easy it is to make this yummy ice-cream. And you might be surprised to learn that all it takes is one banana. Yes, this really is completely lactose free ice-cream which means it's also vegan, as well as being FODMAP friendly. And despite there being no added sugar it's sweetly satisfying. Great for an after dinner treat or for children's parties.

And it takes no time at all to whisk together.

Ingredients

1 small banana per person

Method

1. Slice the bananas into approx. 1" pieces.

2. Freeze for at least 2 hrs.

3. Remove banana from freezer and put into a mini-chopper. Pulse. (You may find you'll need to loosen it from the sides of the chopper with a spoon.)

4. Continue for a couple of minutes until the ice-cream becomes soft and creamy.

5. Enjoy.

I added choc chips to mine (though I added them a little too soon and ended up with speckled ice-cream) and topped it all with coloured sugar stars and one large chocolate star for extra fabulousness. Alternatively, you could try adding a little peanut butter, coffee essence or chopped nuts to the mix.

If you fancy making your ice-cream a little fruitier, remember that to stay within the safe limit of FODMAPs you need to restrict fruit to one portion per meal. By all means add a little raspberry or strawberry but remember to reduce the overall portion size accordingly.

Guess what I'm going to be eating this summer?

'Til next time Fodmappers - Stay Fabulous.

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Low FODMAP Vegan Rainbow Buddha Bowl


Hi again Fodmappers - Guess who's discovered Buddha Bowls?

There is something incredibly satisfying about preparing (and eating) a meal which is as pretty as this, so I'd like to start today's post by saying 'thank you' to Sam for introducing me to Buddha Bowls.

If you haven't come across them yet, Buddha Bowls are a nutritious mixture of raw and cooked foods which typically include a starch, fresh vegetables, a protein, seeds and a dressing. You can make them from left overs as well as from fresh ingredients. I must have been feeling organised as I made mine fresh but prepared enough for a packed lunch the following day.

In fact I must have been feeling more than a bit organized, as though this meal doesn't take long to create, you do need to plan ahead if you want to use home sprouted seeds like I did. I wanted to include sprouted quinoa and buckwheat for the Vegans amongst you as these contain all essential amino acids - and also because I hadn't tried sprouting quinoa before. If you want to do the same you'll need to get them sprouting in advance. Mine were ready for harvest in just 2 days.

I chose to use rice noodles as the starch layer as I wanted to create an oriental style Buddha Bowl (it seemed appropriate) and made an easy, garlic infused ginger and soy sauce to drizzle over the top. Even though I say it myself, it was rather good. But you could just as easily combine meditteranean ingredients such as tomatoes, olives, feta cheese, basil and pine nuts, served on a wheat free pasta base. Get the idea? A Buddha Bowl is less of a recipe and more of a meditation in bringing together some yummy (low-fodmap) ingredients in tasty way.

And as we're often told to include as many different coloured fruit and vegetables as possible, I couldn't resist making a rainbow! Yes, I'm completely embracing my inner hippy with this one.

So here's my Low-fodmap, Oriental inspired, Vegan, Rainbow Buddha Bowl. I hope you enjoy it.


Low-Fodmap Vegan Rainbow Buddha Bowl


I used

Rice Noodles
Slices of Red Bell Pepper
Strips of Carrot
Slices of Yellow Pepper
Slivers of peeled Cucumber
Mixed salad leaves
Finely sliced Red Cabbage
Sprouted Quinoa and Buckwheat
A few Almond slices.
Garlic Infused Oil
Wheat Free Soy Sauce
Grated Ginger

Method

Start by preparing the rice noodles. Simply pour boiling water over the noodles and allow to stand for about 3 minutes. Drain then rinse well in cold water to cool. Leave to drain while you prepare the dressing.

Combine the grated ginger, garlic infused oil and soy sauce to make the dressing.

Place the noodles in the bottom of your bowl and arrange your salad ingredients as you like them. Top with the sprouted quinoa and buckwheat.

Pour the ginger and garlic oil over your salad and sprinkle with sliced almonds.

Relax next to a stream of blossoming lotuses (in your mind at least) as you savour your yummy low-fodmap Buddha Bowl. Reality can wait.


A word about Red Cabbage

At the time of writing this post, the fodmap content of red cabbage has not been analysed. Both Savoy cabbage and common cabbage have been tested by Monash University and it's been found that Savoy has a high fodmap content while common cabbage is low. Having said that, the same source states that up to half a cup of Savoy should be tolerated by most people with IBS, even though it is high. Though this sounds like a contradiction, it should be remembered that fodmaps do not need to be avoided completely but simply kept to a low level. I used only the smallest amount of red cabbage here but if you are concerned that it may be a trigger for you, simply leave it out.

'Til next time Fodmappers - Stay Fabulous. x

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Agave, Aspartame And The Low FODMAP Diet




Hi again Fodmappers

This week I had a message from a friend who, having been advised by her doctor to try a low-fodmap diet, was concerned at some of the things she had read online. She was particularly worried about some of the information she saw regarding Agave and Aspartame ..

'I was disheartened to see that agave was on the bad food list and aspartame was on the good food list.... this has made me lose hope and confidence in fodmap even before starting.'

I should say that my friend, like many of us, tries to eat as healthily as possible, opting for fresh fruit and vegetables and avoiding unnecessary additives as far as possible - so I could completely understand her concerns regarding Aspartame, and her doubts on seeing this recommended as part of a low-fodmap diet. So this post is dedicated to my friend, in the hope that it addresses her concerns.

But before I talk about Agave and Aspartame I want to say a little about Fructose in relation to a low-fodmap diet.

The Low-Fodmap Diet

As regular readers will know, the low-fodmap diet is a process by which a person initially eliminates all high-fodmap foods, later reintroducing them one at a time to identify their personal triggers. (If you're new to the low-fodmap diet, it would be worth you visiting 'What are FODMAPs' before reading on).

Fructose

Fructose is a Monosaccharide (the M in FODMAP) a type of carbohydrate which is poorly absorbed by people with IBS. Though it isn't possible to avoid fructose altogether, it is possible to choose foods which are low in fructose and other fodmaps, and by doing so gain some control over IBS symptoms.

Agave.

Agave has become popular as a 'healthy' alternative to sugar and has been promoted as 'natural' and low G.I. (1) alternative to sugar. It has long been used as a sweetener in South America where it is also used in the production of Tequila. However Agave syrup should be avoided on a low-fodmap diet due to it's very high fructose content.

'Most agave syrup has a higher fructose content than any commercial sweetener -- ranging from 55 to 97 percent, depending on the brand, which is FAR HIGHER than high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), which averages 55 percent.' (2)

Most Fodmappers would realise that high fructose corn syrup is to be avoided, but many people might not realise that fructose is harmful, whether you have IBS or not.

'Your body metabolizes fructose in a much different way than glucose. Fructose is broken down in your liver just like alcohol and produces many of the side effects of chronic alcohol use, right down to the "beer belly".' (2)

Aspartame

Aspartame, an artificial sweetener, is generally chosen by people wanting a low-calorie sweetener, but many fear it is carcinogenic. However, 'the US National Cancer Institute conducted a study of nearly half a million people, comparing those who consumed drinks containing aspartame with those who did not. Results of the 2006 study found that aspartame did not increase the risk of leukaemia, lymphoma or brain cancer.' (3)

But the reason that Aspartame might be included on a low-fodmap diet has nothing to do with whether it is carcinogenic or not, and everything to do with the fact that, unlike Agave, it is low-fodmap and therefore unlikely to trigger symptoms of IBS.

When you see Aspartame included on a list of low-fodmap foods, it isn't that it is recommended that you do include it, it's just that it would be preferable to high-fodmap sweeteners such as Agave.

Other low-calorie options such as Xylitol and Sorbitol are high-fodmap and best avoided for that reason.

Honey vs Sugar

While we're talking about sweeteners I think it's worth mentioning honey and sugar. I think it's fair to say that many of us would presume that honey is healthier than sugar. But from a fodmap perspective, honey should be avoided due to it being high-fodmap. Like Agave it is also high in fructose. Sugar, on the other hand is low-fodmap. Interestingly honey and sugar are listed on the current Monash App (4) but neither Aspartame or Agave are.

If you wish to avoid sugar - Stevia, maple syrup and rice syrup are suitable low-fodmap options.

So, what can we conclude from all this? It certainly throws some of our 'knowledge' of what is healthy and what is not into question. I think we have to remember that a low-fodmap diet is a way to address a specific medical condition. Just as we are used to the idea that many other health problems (such as diabetes, raised cholesterol, coeliac disease and obesity) benefit from certain dietary restrictions, so people with IBS can benefit from changes in what they eat. What is 'healthy' for one person, may not be for another.

But as for Aspartame, I have to say I'd rather go without. Even with evidence to the contrary I'd rather not risk my health, which means I'll probably continue to use sugar (in small amounts) despite the known health hazards! However, I won't be using Agave either.

And maybe that's the answer to this concern? If in doubt, leave it out.

'Til next time Fodmappers - Stay Fabulous. x

1. http://www.nhs.uk/chq/pages/1862.aspx?categoryid=51
2. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-mercola/agave-this-sweetener-is-f_b_537936.html
3. http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Goodfood/Pages/the-truth-about-aspartame.aspx
4. http://www.med.monash.edu.au/cecs/gastro/fodmap/iphone-app.html

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Low FODMAP Vegetarian Kedgeree


Hi again Fodmappers - I hope you've had a great week?

Today I want to share a tasty low-fodmap vegetarian recipe that's already a favourite in our house. It was inspired by one of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's recipes in River Cottage Veg Everyday, we've simply tweaked it to make it low-fodmap. It's easy to make and it's fantastic as a week day supper.

For a vegan variation, simply use tofu instead of egg. Or alternatively, replace the rice with quinoa.

Interesting fact: Did you know kedgeree was traditionally eaten as breakfast as a way of using up the previous night's left-overs. Now there's a thought.


Low-FODMAP Vegetarian Kedgeree (Vegeree)


Serves 3 - 4

Ingredients

2 courgettes
1 red bell pepper (seeded)
1 yellow bell pepper (seeded)
1 aubergine
1 chilli pepper (seeded)
Some spring onion greens
Garam Masala
Olive Oil
Basmati Rice
4 eggs
Fresh coriander

Method

1. Pre-heat oven to 180C/400F
2. Chop all the vegetables into large chunks and spread in a baking tray. Don't be tempted to skimp on the veg. It will look a lot initially but cooks down considerably during roasting.
3. Pour olive oil over the vegetables and generously sprinkle with Garam Masala.
4. Roast in the oven for approximately 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
5. Prepare the Basmati rice according to the instructions on the packet. Drain.
6. Boil the eggs for 6 minutes. Remove from water and run under a cold tap to cool. Remove shells.
7. Add the vegetables to the rice stirring through thoroughly.
8. Serve the vegeree topped with chunks of boiled egg (or tofu) and fresh coriander.

Enjoy.

'Til next time Fodmappers - Stay Fabulous!

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Easy, Wheat Free, Walnut and Rosemary Soda Bread

There's nothing like home-made bread fresh from the oven - especially when it's this easy to bake.
























Hi again Fodmappers - I hope the sun is shining where you. It's officially the first day of summer here in the UK and it's cold, wet and windy! Not that I'm complaining as it's given me a chance to try my hand at something I've wanted to do for a while, and that's making my own soda bread. I've never been a big fan of bread but I do enjoy soda bread, maybe partly because it reminds me of holidays in Ireland where I've enjoyed it for breakfast - fresh from the oven. So today, I've been hiding from the weather and cooking up a storm.

If you're a regular visitor to my page (hello and thank you for stopping by) you'll remember that in my last post I talked about the difference between gluten and fodmaps and why gluten-free isn't always the best choice if you have IBS. However this recipe is gluten-free, wheat-free, lactose-free and fodmap friendly. What's more, as it's a soda bread, it's also yeast-free, so if that's something you need to avoid then this recipe is for you too. It's also incredibly easy. In fact it's so easy I added my own twist.

I took as my inspiration the Doves Farm recipe for Emmer Soda Bread, but as Emmer is a form of wheat I replaced it with their Gluten Free Plain White Flour. (In case you're wondering, I'm not being sponsored by Doves Farm, that's just what I used). I discovered you don't need to use a strong flour for soda bread (who knew?) and as I already had the plain white at home I thought it was worth a go. I really had no idea how it would turn out but sometimes you've just got to try these things. I'm pleased to say it baked beautifully, so if you fancy giving it a go, here's how I did it.

Walnut and Rosemary Soda Bread


Ingredients

450g Doves Farm Gluten Free Plain White Flour
1 and 1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
450g of Lactose Free Yogurt
1/2 cup of Chopped Walnuts
1 Tbsp of Dried Rosemary

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/400F.
2. Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl.
























3. Stir in the yogurt and bring together into a ball. Note: Soda bread doesn't have to be kneaded and only takes moments to come together.
4. Place on an oiled baking sheet and sprinkle with flour.
5. Cut an X in the top and bake in the oven for approximately 55 to 60 minutes.
6. Remove from oven and tap on the bottom. If it sounds hollow, it's ready.
7. Leave to cool on a wire rack.























Enjoy with soup, cheese or a spread of your choice. Of course, if the sun is shining where you are, this would be perfect on a picnic with a glass of wine. Well I can dream. ;)

'Til next time Fodmappers - Stay Fabulous. x

Monday, 23 March 2015

Can A Gluten Free Diet Help IBS?

And how is that different from a low-fodmap diet?
























Hi again Fodmappers

I've noticed that there seems to be a lot of confusion surrounding gluten and whether going gluten-free can help reduce the symptoms of IBS, so that's what I want to talk about today. I also want to look at why you need to avoid wheat, barley and rye as part of a low-fodmap diet, and, finally, why some gluten-free products are not suitable for a low-fodmap diet. But first lets look at the difference between gluten and FODMAPs.

Gluten vs FODMAPs


Gluten is a protein (or more accurately a combination of two proteins) found in grains, particularly so in wheat but also in rye and barley, and it is this which gives dough it's stretchy quality. If you have bought flour for baking bread you will probably have bought a 'strong flour' as this type contains more gluten than the flour you might use for cakes or biscuits as bread making needs the elasticity that gluten provides. It's gluten that is a factor in coeliac disease.

Approximately 1 in 100 people in the U.K have coeliac disease. 'Coeliac disease is not a food allergy or intolerance, it is an autoimmune disease. In coeliac disease, eating gluten causes the lining of the small intestine to become damaged.' (1) People who have coeliac disease need to avoid ingesting even the smallest amount of gluten as to do so can cause further damage to the lining of the gut.

Fodmaps, on the other hand, are a group of carbohydrates found, not only in grains, but also in fruit, vegetables, nuts, pulses and dairy produce. 'Current research strongly suggests that this group of carbohydrates contributes to IBS...' (2)

IBS is much more common than coeliac disease, affecting between 1 in 4 and 1 in 10 people at any given time. (3) Though it is a chronic condition, it is a functional disorder. That is to say, the problem is in the way the gut functions, rather than in any damage to the gut itself.

Though wheat, barley and rye contain gluten they are also high-fodmap, and this seems to be where the confusion arises.

If you have IBS you may have discovered that you feel better if you eat gluten free products rather than wheat-based breads, biscuits, cakes, pastas and cereals. However, this is likely to be because, by choosing gluten free, you are also removing high-fodmap grains (such as wheat, rye and barley) from your diet.

A Gluten Free Caution


But if you have IBS, you do not need to avoid gluten, you need to avoid fodmaps. In fact fodmappers need to be careful when choosing 'gluten-free' as these products are designed for people with coeliac disease not IBS. Just because they are gluten-free doesn't mean they are necessarily low-fodmap. Remember fodmaps are found in more than just grains, and gluten-free products may also contain soya flour, apple fibre or inulin (from chicory) all of which are high-fodmap.

So the short answer to the question, 'can a gluten free diet help IBS?', is yes. But it has nothing to do with gluten. I hope that's cleared things up a bit?

'Til next time Fodmappers - Stay Fabulous. x

1. https://www.coeliac.org.uk/coeliac-disease/myths-about-coeliac-disease/
2. http://www.med.monash.edu/cecs/gastro/fodmap/
3. http://www.aboutibs.org/site/what-is-ibs/facts/

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Low FODMAP Rebellious Ratatouille

And a quick lesson in using garlic as part of a low-fodmap diet.
























Hi again Fodmappers - Today I want to share another simple vegetarian and vegan recipe idea that's so yummy, you'd never know it was low-fodmap, or vegetarian. But first I want to talk to you a little about garlic, particularly as I know some of you have asked ...

Can I have garlic as part of a low-fodmap diet?

It dawned on me recently that I rarely talk much about the ingredients I use and why it's ok (or not ok) to include them. For me, getting myself well has been as much about what I've learned as what I've eaten because, as I've mentioned before, low-fodmap is not about cutting back on what we eat, it's about replacing high fodmaps with low ones. I'm sure that understanding what I can incorporate, and how, has been a vital part of my success. So I'd like to pass on something which I think you'll find helpful too.

I like my food to have plenty of flavour and unfortunately garlic is high-fodmap (don't run away Fodmappers, there is good news to follow) so it's not surprising that I discovered it to be one of my main triggers. But there is a way we can still enjoy a little garlic flavour in our food. I shan't baffle you with science, but if you just want to skip to the recipe, feel free.

(If you're new to fodmaps you might like to read this.)

In a nutshell, garlic (along with onions and pulses) is a type of oligosaccharide and is water soluble. This means that when you add garlic to soups, sauces, stock etc, the oligos (the O in fodmap) will leach into your food. It is the oligos, along with other fodmaps, that trigger symptoms of IBS.

However, they are not soluble in oil. (I remember this seemed like a revelation when I learned this). This means we can still enjoy a little garlic as garlic infused oil. You can buy garlic infused oil but it's easy enough to make. And by making garlic infused oil we can safely include what is a high-fodmap ingredient in a low-fodmap diet!

So here is my simple ratatouille recipe. I'm calling this Rebellious Ratatouille as that's how I feel when I add 'naughty' ingredients like garlic to my recipes. I think you'll see that I've just made a couple of tweaks to make it low-fodmap. So easy when you know how. I hope you like it.

Rebellious Ratatouille


Ingredients

Olive Oil
A few garlic cloves
1 red pepper
2 courgettes
1 small aubergine
4 or 5 spring onions
1 small carton of passata
Fresh basil
Black pepper

Method

1. Chop garlic into fairly large pieces to make them easier to remove.
2. Heat the oil in a pan and add the garlic. Cook over a medium heat for about 15 minutes allowing the garlic to infuse.
3. Remove the garlic from the oil. You' now have garlic infused oil. (Didn't I say it was easy?)
4. Cut the white parts from the spring onions and discard. (This part is high in oligosaccharides).
5. Roughly chop the spring onion greens (leaves) peppers, courgettes and aubergines and add to the oil. Cook until softened, stirring continuously.
6. Add the passata and heat through.
7. Add the pepper and basil and simmer.

Serve with wheat free pasta and a side salad alongside a little grilled halloumi (watch portion size) or tofu sprinkled with paprika for extra yumminess.

'Til next time Fodmappers - Stay Fabulous. x

Monday, 9 March 2015

Low-FODMAP Rhubarb and Ginger Crumble
























You know how sometimes you promise yourself you'll just have a little dessert, and before you know it you're having seconds?

Hi again Fodmappers

I've been longing for rhubarb crumble for a while and finally remembered to buy in what I needed. After dinner this evening I finally got my wish. I love the simplicity and the sharpness of rhubarb. It's real comfort food. And it tastes even better than I remembered.

But I imagine you might be a little cautious about rhubarb. After all, doesn't it have a reputation for being a laxative? Well that's true, but it is also low-fodmap. Confused? Keep reading ...

Without getting too complicated, rhubarb is high in fibre and can be a gentle laxative. Some Fodmappers might find this beneficial as a low-fodmap diet can in fact be low in fibre. However, it can also reduce diarrhoea by adding bulk to stools. (This is not unlike the effect of some prescription laxatives.) But most importantly from our point of view, as it is low-fodmap, we know that it isn't likely to trigger symptoms of IBS. In fact Monash (who we have to thanks for developing the low-fodmap diet) states that up to a cup of chopped rhubarb 'should be tolerated by most individuals with IBS'. (1)

Up to a cup? That sounds like a generous portion of rhubarb to me! And I like rhubarb! So, with rhubarb given the green light, here's my recipe for a tasty crumble.

I used stem ginger instead of sugar to sweeten the rhubarb, partly because I love the combination of ginger and rhubarb, and partly because there is plenty of sugar in the crumble topping. If you don't like ginger, just leave it out and maybe add a little sugar or maple syrup instead.

I also added a little ground almond to the crumble. Up to 10 almonds are low-fodmap and though I haven't calculate how many almonds are equivalent to 1/4 cup of ground, I figure that as the recipe serves 4 this should still be within the 'safe' limit for most people. Of course, if you know you're sensitive to nuts, just leave them out.

One final word of caution - this is yummy! (Even though I say so myself). And as you'll be aware from the discussion above regarding the acceptable amount of rhubarb and almonds, portion size is vitally important when it comes to keeping your tummy happy. If you think you're going to find this crumble hard to resist you could cook it in little ramekins and limit yourself to just the one. And they'd look cute too.

Rhubarb and Ginger Crumble


Serves 4 - 6

For the filling

500g of frozen rhubarb (defrosted)
4 pieces of stem ginger
Approx 2 Tbsp of water

For the Crumble

1 cup of Doves Farm gluten free plain white flour
1 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of butter or vegetable margarine
1/3 cup of oats
1/4 cup of ground almond
1 tsp of cinnamon

1. Place the rhubarb in a pan with the water to prevent it burning.
2. Cut the stem ginger into small pieces and add to the pan.
3. Cover the pan and simmer until the rhubarb begins to soften. Remove from heat.
4. Add the flour and butter to a bowl and rub together until it forms large breadcrumbs.
5. Add the sugar, oats, ground almonds and cinnamon to the flour and stir through.
6. Put the rhubarb and ginger filling into a greased ovenproof dish.
7. Spoon the crumble filling on top.
8. Cook in the oven for approx. 30 minutes.

Enjoy with lactose free cream or yogurt.

'Til next time Fodmappers - Stay fabulous.

(1). From the Monash phone app.

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Low FODMAP Veggie Noodle Pot To Go

Hi again Fodmappers

Today I've got an easy hot lunch idea for you. And because I often forget the vegans amongst us - this one is vegan friendly.

You may remember a few weeks ago I shared a recipe for a Veggie Noodle Soup. Well it occurred to me that it would be easy to make something similar as a noodle pot to take with you to work or college. All you need is access to a kettle or a microwave and a few minutes of preparation the night before.

Vegetarian Noodle Pot


Suggested Ingredients

1 small to medium carrot
1 small courgette
Small piece of sweet pepper
Some spring onion greens
1/2 block of rice noodles
A few small cubes of firm tofu
A pinch of ground ginger
1 tsp of garlic infused oil
A dash of soy sauce
A pinch of sugar
A little salt and pepper

Method

Shred or grate the carrot and courgette.
Finely chop the spring onion greens and red pepper.
Pop all the ingredients into a microwavable plastic soup pot and snap on the lid.

When you're ready for lunch, simply pour on boiling water and allow to stand for a few minutes or add water and pop into a microwave. You'll have a quick, easy and nutritious lunch in no time. Low fodmap to go!
























Have a great week - and stay fabulous! x

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Why Keeping A Food Diary Didn't Help My IBS ..

And How You Can Make It Work For You.


Hi Fodmappers - How are you?

I have a couple of questions for you. Do you keep a food diary? And how useful are you finding it?

When I was diagnosed with IBS (and this was pre-fodmap) my G.P suggested I keep a food diary as I felt sure that my symptoms were, at least, aggravated by certain foods. And as this made perfect sense, I did just that. I still have it as it doubles up as my recipe book but looking back it's scary to see what I was eating!

But as careful as I was in recording everything I ate, as well as keeping notes on the events of the day in case stress was a factor, I couldn't make head or tail of what was making me ill. I had already cut out coffee and orange juice at that point as I had noticed that those were definitely a trigger for me but I wasn't getting any further in pin-pointing which other foods were a problem for me. Does that sound familiar?

When I discovered FODMAPs I realised why this was. I was going about this the wrong way round!

Let me give you an example of a meal from just one of my old diary entries. It was one of our favourites - Vegetarian Spaghetti Bolognaise.

The ingredients we would use were onions, garlic, red peppers, soya mince, passata, herbs and, of course, spaghetti. Nothing complicated there really, just a typical vegetarian meal, but if i'd known then what i know now! OMG!

In case you are still new to the low-fodmap diet, let me take you through that list.

Onions = High Fodmap
Garlic = High Fodmap
Red Peppers = Low
Soya =  High Fodmap
Tomatoes = Low
Herbs = Low
Spaghetti (Wheat) = High Fodmap

Looking at that, it really is no surprise I was unwell!

One of the problems with a food diary is that you need to list all the ingredients of everything you eat separately. And that includes the ingredients of shop bought products. You soon learn this, if you haven't already, as even foods which appear to be fodmap friendly (such as gluten free breads) can contain high fodmap ingredients like soya flour. But without knowing about fodmaps, unravelling the ingredients and the symptoms is pretty near impossible. Or at least I found it so.

As soon as I learned about the low-fodmap diet it just made so much sense. Rather than looking for a needle in a haystack (which is what I felt I was doing) you cut out ALL likely trigger foods and reintroduce them a few weeks later, one at a time, to see which ones cause the problems. It's so simple and so logical! This is when keeping a food diary comes into it's own. You can do just what I was failing to do, you can pinpoint EXACTLY what is upsetting you. And you can see how much better you can feel.

One of my first low-fodmap entries read;

"Felt pretty good most of the day, though a little bloating (very little) after lunch and evening meal. Both times this was short lived (less than an hour) and no pain!"

I'd been in a lot of pain prior to starting my low-fodmap journey, and though I think I was reluctant to get my hopes up at that point, that entry showed me there might just be light at the end of the tunnel. The bloating lessened soon after.

As for the bolognaise - I'm sure I've mentioned before that cutting out high-fodmap foods isn't about depriving yourself, it's about replacing them with low-fodmap alternatives such as spring onion greens instead of onions, garlic infused oil instead of garlic and opting for wheat free pasta. We do just that and we use diced aubergine instead of soya mince for that bolognaise texture. (See how I've just sneaked in another yummy recipe for you?) I'm also really enjoying discovering new pastas. Who knew there were so many out there?!

So if a food diary isn't working for you, maybe consider going about it the other way around?

'Til next time Fodmappers - Stay Fabulous! x

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Three Ways to Enjoy a Low-FODMAP Pancake Day


Hi again Fodmappers - Can you believe it's almost Pancake Day? It doesn't seem long since Christmas! And it's almost a year since I started my low-fodmap diet! I think that's a cause for celebration!! But pancakes? Why not?

A low fodmap diet isn't about cutting things out, it's just a matter of replacing high fodmap ingredients with low ones. For pancakes that's about choosing a non-wheat flour over wheat, and replacing the milk with a lactose and soy free variety.

Of course you also need to think about what you're putting into your pancakes, so to help you I've come up with three suggestions - one breakfast idea, one main course and one dessert. And because I prefer eating to cooking, they're all very easy.

I've used buckwheat flour for the pancakes (if you've been following my blog a while you'll know that buckwheat isn't wheat) as I like the earthy, wholefood hippiness of buckwheat. But if that's not your style just use a gluten-free flour blend instead. Or maybe try mixing the two together and create a low-fodmap flour blend of your own!

Buckwheat Pancakes


Ingredients

1 cup of buckwheat flour
1 egg
1 cup of lactose free milk of your choice
A little oil for cooking.

Method

Sieve the flour into a bowl. Make a well in the centre and add the egg.
Slowly whisk in the milk.

(After mixing the batter, I poured the batter into a clean plastic milk carton to use as needed.)

Heat the oil in the pan.
Pour in enough batter to coat the bottom of the pan evenly.
Cook until lightly browned, turning once.
________________________________________________________________________

Pancake Fillings and Toppings


Breakfast - Peanut Butter and Banana

Speaks for itself! Enjoy your pancake spread with peanut butter and topped with sliced banana for a protein packed start to the day.

Main Course - Provencale Pancakes

Lightly fry, or roast, some spring onion greens, courgette, bell pepper and tomatoes with a little basil.
Spoon into the centre of each pancake and roll up.
Top with grated cheese and serve with a side salad.

Dessert - Lemon Meringue Pancakes

Warning! This is particularly yummy!

Combine a crushed meringue nest with lemon curd and some plain lactose free or coconut yogurt. (I used CoYo.) Spoon onto cooled pancakes and top with syrup or a squeeze of lemon juice.

I topped mine with a drizzle of syrup from a jar of stem ginger. Lemon and ginger is just such a perfect combination! Yum!

And there you have it - three easy ways to enjoy a low-fodmap Pancake Day. Enjoy!

'Til next time - Stay Fabulous! x

Monday, 9 February 2015

A Low-FODMAP Treat For Valentine's Day


Hi again Fodmappers. How's this for a Valentine's Day treat?

I have to confess this didn't start out as a Valentine's recipe, but this project just grew and grew and this is the finished result. I guess it just wanted to remind you to love your tummy. ;)

So here is my little Valentine's offering to you. It was great fun to do and the combination of flavours is something I know you're going to enjoy. And best of all, it's low-fodmap!!

Sweet Omelette Stack with Raspberry Coulis


You will need

2 eggs
A tsp of sugar (or more to taste)
10 Raspberries
Lemon Curd
Coconut oil (or oil of your choice)

Method

Whisk the eggs and add the sugar. Add the oil to your pan and cook the omelette over a medium heat. I cooked mine as several small omelettes to make them easier to turn, but that's entirely up to you.

Meanwhile, press 5 or 6 raspberries through a sieve to remove the seeds, keeping the remaining raspberries as a garnish.

Using a pastry cutter, cut the omelette into circles and stack, spreading lemon curd between each layer.

Pour the raspberry coulis over the stack and garnish with remaining raspberries to complete your work of heart.

Enjoy as a fantastic Valentine's treat to yourself. You know you deserve it.