When the holidays roll around each year, many people enjoy baking cookies, cakes, and pies to share with family and friends. From sugar cookies to fruit pies, sweets surround you everywhere you go this time of year. Sure, it sounds delicious. However, for those with food intolerances or allergies, it can be hard to avoid the temptation of such treats that could trigger digestive symptoms. Therefore, the best thing to do is to create your own low FODMAP safe treats to share with others so you can still enjoy sweets without any side effects. Let’s talk about some low FODMAP baking alternatives you can use to create delicious desserts without sacrificing flavor.
Many recipes call for wheat flour as the base for crusts and doughs. However, to make the recipe low FODMAP it’s necessary to swap out wheat flour and instead use gluten-free alternatives. There are many gluten-free flour blends out there with many using rice flour or brown rice flour as their main flour source. Many of these blends also use tapioca starch and potato flour for added density, and some also add in xanthan gum to help bind and thicken the gluten-free ingredients.
Other low FODMAP flour alternatives for baked goods include using buckwheat flour, corn flour, sorghum flour, millet flour, arrowroot flour, or gluten-free oats. For example, you can use gluten-free oats and mashed banana to make a foundation for a cookie recipe. A little cinnamon and some unsweetened chocolate chips help make this dough example into a delicious cookie treat.
When it comes to milk in recipes, there are several low FODMAP alternatives. Unsweetened almond milk, small servings (about ¼ cup) of coconut milk or cream, macadamia milk, quinoa milk, as well as hemp milk (1/2 cup), rice milk, and lactose-free milk are great dairy-free alternatives to milk in baked goods recipes. Also, if soy milk is made from soy protein and not whole soy beans, then it can be considered low FODMAP in a one cup serving. Coconut yogurt and lactose-free yogurt may also be used in certain recipes to replace milk.
When a recipe calls for fruit, there are certain fruits that should be avoided if you want to keep your recipes low FODMAP. Apples are common fall and winter recipe fruits, but they are high in fructose and sorbitol in even small servings above 1/8 cup. Also, apricots, blackberries, dates, figs, mango, pear, plum, prunes, and sultanas should be avoided to be low FODMAP safe. Instead, you can use the following fruits to stay low FODMAP safe.
- 1 medium unripe banana or ½ medium ripe banana
- 2/3 cup fresh coconut or ½ cup shredded and dried coconut
- 1 tablespoon dried cranberries
- Dragon fruit
- Navel oranges, clementines, or mandarin oranges
- 1 cup pineapple
- Peeled plaintain
If you want to sweeten your holiday dish, there are a few sweeteners to avoid to stay low FODMAP. Agave syrup, golden syrup, honey, sorghum syrup, and molasses should be avoided to stay low FODMAP safe. Instead, use cane sugar, brown sugar, maple syrup (no more than two tablespoons), brown rice syrup, or sweetener substitutes like stevia or sucralose. Spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and vanilla extract can also provide some low FODMAP sweetness to certain recipes.
Erythritol may also be tolerated by some people on the low FODMAP eating regimen, since it is better digested than most sugar alcohols. However, some people may still experience some gas and bloating when consuming this polyol.
Other low FODMAP alternatives
Other common baking ingredients are chocolate, jam, and nuts, but not all are low FODMAP safe. Dark chocolate is safe in a 30 gram (about one ounce) serving, while only about 20 grams of milk chocolate or 25 grams of white chocolate is tolerated. When it comes to jam, stick to two tablespoons of jams like marmalade or strawberry jam. Finally, when it comes to nuts, avoid cashews and pistachios, and instead stick to the following safe serving sizes of the following nuts and seeds.
- 10 almonds
- 10 Brazil nuts
- 20 boiled chestnuts or 10 roasted chestnuts
- 1 tablespoon flax seeds or pine nuts
- 20 macadamia nuts
- 32 peanuts
- 10 pecan halves or walnut halves
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds, hemp seeds, or hulled sunflower seeds
Take home message
Low FODMAP baked goods can be hard to come by during the holiday season. However, if you create such recipes yourself with a few baking alternatives, then you can still enjoy sweet treats while staying safe on your low FODMAP regimen. Visit Casa de Sante for low FODMAP recipes to enjoy this holiday season and throughout the year.
-written by Staci Gulbin, MS, MEd, RD of LighttrackNutrition.com