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.


1 small banana per person


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


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 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 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, 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


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


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


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.


'Til next time Fodmappers - Stay Fabulous!