Today I’m writing on a specific area of food and something that is personal to me. I do not know how many people have heard of FODMAPS; I think it sounds like a sort of industrial company with red towers that resemble nuclear reactors. They aren’t. But, as I have endured heartburn for years, trying different meds with no real success, they seem to provide an answer for my small trouble and have given people with IBS a guide for eating which suits them. I say I have heartburn because it is the easiest symptom to cite but often my throat feels very tense, my chest feels really tight and breathing is uncomfortable. Anyway, my Mum, who is a dietician, did a course on this group of foods called FODMAPS which stands for the Fermentable, Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides and Polyol (short chain carbohydrates) in foods. In short, there are certain sugars such as fructose, lactose, fructo- and galacto-oligosaccharides (fructans, and galactans), and polyols (such as sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol and maltitol) which are best avoided by some in order to relieve stomach discomfort.
If you read the list of foods permitted and banned it is quite overwhelming. First, there is seemingly no pattern to the foods allowed and not allowed. Second, an important aspect of the diet is that within the food list certain people can cope with some of the foods while others won’t. When someone typically starts on the diet all the foods are excluded and then different ones are gradually reintroduced to work out for the person which foods are ‘irritants’.
I did a half-hearted attempt last year and now I’m fairly certain that I can tolerate gluten and lots of the veggies. What I did find was that onion and garlic really set me off. Having eliminated them almost completely from my lunches and dinners, my life has been revolutionised! It has been SO great! I’m not constantly swallowing pills and each day is so much more comfortable. I believe it has also meant that when they creep into a meal I can tolerate them better, but although the thought of roasted garlic still makes me salivate, I don’t think of it as a sacrifice at all.
Anyway, I thought it would be quite fun to have, as the title of this post suggests, a FODMAP free Friday post which offers recipes for those trying this diet (or who are perhaps interested to see if it would help them). As I’ve said, there are a lot of foods that are potential triggers so each recipe may use one ingredient that a specific person can’t tolerate. But it may give food for thought.
So, here’s a recipe for a lunch ‘cake’ I made, the recipe coming from my friend whose absolutely delicious blog (written in French) can be found here. Her recipe suggested using mozzarella but I made mine using chorizo, tomatoes and hard cheese, both ingredients green on the FODMAP list.
– 125 g any tomatoes
– 8 slices chorizo, cut into quarters (this will stop them from sinking to the bottom too much)
– 3 eggs
– 10 cl milk
– 200 g flour
– 10 cl olive oil
– 1 sachet of rising agent
– fresh or dried basil
– salt and pepper
– shavings of Red Leicester cheese to top
- Mix the flour with the raising agent and then add each egg and mix.
- Gradually add the olive oil and then the milk.
- Add the chorizo, tomatoes and basil and season.
- Pour the mixture into a greased loaf cake tin making sure the chorizo and tomatoes are spread out.
- Sprinkle the cheese shavings on top.
- Cook in an oven at 180 degrees C for around 45 minutes.
NB: if you’re gluten/lactose intolerant you can try using the free-from alternatives.