In a world filled with crazy crash diets (raise your hand if you've tried at least five fads!), the low-FODMAP elimination diet stands out as a plan that is actually legit. It's got some serious science behind it, and we all know real-life people plagued with intense digestive issues who have experience relief by going low-FODMAP.
But the problem with low-FODMAP is that nobody really talks about low-FODMAP. This isn't Fight Club, people! Low-FODMAP may be effective, but it's also pretty complicated. How the heck are we supposed to follow this super-important diet if we can't figure out what we're allowed to eat?
We've got some recipes for you that completely take out all of the guesswork.
What is the low-FODMAP diet?
First developed by researchers at Monash University to control symptoms of IBS, the FODMAP "diet" is not a diet but a lifestyle change that's necessary and beneficial for those who are in excruciating pain on a daily basis. I encourage you to read this article to learn more about FODMAPs to see if this way of life is right for you.
Once you're armed and ready to take on this challenging way of eating (it's not that easy of a transition), you'll scour the internet for recipes that are FODMAP-friendly and maybe join some Facebook groups. There are also lots of FODMAP-friendly recipes available on sites you might already frequent, though they aren't necessarily marketed as such. Here are 21 recipe options for you to get cracking in the kitchen.
1. Salt cod and potato cakes recipe
I love this recipe because it combines your protein with your side dish and tastes better than a crabcake. (Sigh... Remember crabcakes?) Since you're following a low-FODMAP diet, you won't be able to partake in the tartar sauce side, so try some FODMAP-friendly mustard instead.
2. Dilly egg salad recipe
This egg salad recipe calls for a great combination of dill, mustard and mayo flavors. As with any products, please make sure your mustard and mayo have only low-FODMAP ingredients before using them.
3. Coconut-peanut butter bars recipe
I love these bars because you can eat them as breakfast, a snack or even dessert. Make sure you use either Enjoy Life chocolate chips or over-70-percent dark chocolate chips. The serving sizes are small enough to not hurt your belly. (Just don't eat the whole batch in one sitting!)
4. Quinoa porridge with berries recipe
Quinoa is an extremely versatile food. If you can't tolerate a large amount of oats, then using quinoa in your morning meal is a great alternative. Add in a mix of maple syrup and berries, and breakfast is served.
5. No-bake dark chocolate peanut butter bars
These bars let you indulge your sweet tooth while keeping things healthy. Plus, they're no bake. Does life get any better?
6. Eggs in clouds recipe
This FODMAP-friendly recipe uses just three ingredients and looks delicious when plated. Serve with your favorite breakfast sides for a nice Sunday brunch option.
7. Maple banana walnut scones
Thought you'd have to kiss scones goodbye on the low-FODMAP diet? Think again. These are amazing, and perfect with tea.
Next up: Greek chicken salad recipe
Originally published May 2015. Updated August 2017.
8. Greek chicken salad recipe
If you're looking for a way to use your leftover chicken for lunches over the course of a few days, look no further. This combination of ingredients with a nod to Greek flavor is great over a bed of greens or on some gluten-free bread.
9. Salmon with broccoli recipe
This one-pan, healthy dinner recipe is perfect when you're in a rush (and hate to clean up). Be mindful of your serving size of the broccoli to keep it FODMAP friendly.
10. Gluten-free pasta recipe
This FODMAP-friendly roundup wouldn't be fair without the mention of zucchini pasta, or zoodles, as they're affectionately named. Since the vegetable is gluten-free and packed full of nutrients, it is a lighter option than gluten-free pasta.
11. Pumpkin pancakes recipe
Whether or not it's pumpkin season, these delectable pancakes make for a yummy breakfast or snack item. They're perfectly paired with maple syrup or a bit of peanut butter.
12. Summer salads, 2 ways
If you're having a summer barbecue and craving some healthy side salads, go straight for the cucumbers and the squash. The squash and cilantro salad uses the same citrus dressing as the cucumber one, so you won't have to spend too much more time creating both dishes.
13. Bone broth recipe
Making a soup on a low-FODMAP diet can prove to be difficult, since most broths call for onion or garlic. This bone broth recipe can act as the base of many of those soup recipes and even stands as a soup on its own. Add some FODMAP-friendly veggies, and you've got yourself a meal. Note: The acceptable portion size for an avocado is 1/8, so be mindful of that.
14. Rosemary polenta fries recipe
These "fries" are made as easily as cutting, brushing, sprinkling and baking. You can buy the premade polenta at your local supermarket, making this side dish or snack an easy option during mealtime.
15. Espresso-crusted, pan-seared steak recipe
I like this recipe because you don't need to fire up the grill to enjoy a nice piece of steak. It calls for chili powder, so make sure you purchase one that is FODMAP-friendly, as some packaged spices have garlic added. The green onions are OK, but only the green parts, so don't eat the white.
16. Quinoa tabbouleh with feta recipe
Take all the fixings of a proper salad, add quinoa and feta, and congratulations: You have a protein- and vitamin-filled meal. Remember, when using the green onion, you can only eat the green parts — no white.
17. Carrot banana muffins
I love these muffins because they keep for a while in Tupperware, making them last for days. Have them in the morning with your tea or coffee or as a nighttime snack before bed.
18. BLT bites recipe
These stuffed tomatoes pack a mouthful of flavors in every bite. I love to make these as an appetizer option when I'm hosting a party or to bring them to a party I'm attending. To keep it FODMAP friendly, be sure you're buying plain bacon and not honey smoked or any other flavors.
19. Coconut-lime quinoa breakfast bowl recipe
Breakfast is the kickoff point to your entire day. When you start it off right, the rest will unfold in your favor. This recipe keeps you fueled up for hours thanks to its high-quality plant protein and abundance of fiber.
20. Pop-Tarts recipe
Yes, you read that right: Pop-Tarts! These gluten-free and low-FODMAP treats will bring back the nostalgia of morning breakfasts past. Be sure to use milk you can tolerate (rice and almond are options).
21. Buffalo-style pork chops recipe
Four ingredients and 15 minutes give you these pork chops, served with a kick. Pair with steamed green beans or a side salad. When I make these, I'll double ingredients so I have leftovers. I've also substituted the pork for chicken, and it's just as yummy!
An important note: Portion sizes and ingredients that might be OK for one person might not be OK for another. When starting the elimination part of the low-FODMAP diet, it is essential that you are educated, that you follow portion size rules and that you consider consulting a professional to help you through the process. As mentioned, updated research comes from Monash University, and they are one of the best online resources to visit. Keep in mind that these recipes were not necessarily created by those who follow a FODMAP diet but who happen to be low-FODMAP. Therefore, some ingredients and portion sizes will have to change accordingly.