The holiday season can be a joyful time. However, if you are trying to eat healthy on your low FODMAP diet regimen, it can be full of temptation and challenging social outings. This does not mean though that you must forgo your delicious holiday favorites just because you are on a restricted diet. With a little creativity and use of some low FODMAP certified products, you can still create delicious holiday meals and snacks. Read below for tips on which holiday foods to avoid and ways to enjoy your favorite holiday foods while staying safe on your low FODMAP eating regimen.
Holiday foods to avoid
Common holiday foods include cookies, cakes, casseroles, and other baked treats. The major high FODMAP ingredients found in such holiday favorites that you should avoid include:
- wheat flour
- wheat pasta
- cow’s milk
- high fructose fruit like apples, pears, and peaches
- sweeteners like high fructose corn syrup, agave syrup, honey, or molasses
- nuts like cashews and pistachios; almonds should be limited to 10 pieces
Using these high FODMAP ingredients as a reference, you should avoid such holiday food favorites as wheat-flour based cakes and cookies, macaroni and cheese, and apple pie.
Enjoy low FODMAP versions of your favorite holiday foods
For meal time, if you like mashed potatoes, use almond milk instead of cow’s milk to whip up with some butter and boiled potatoes. For gravy, choose gluten-free pre-packaged gravies, or make your own using the stock or bouillon of your choice and cornstarch as a thickening agent. If macaroni and cheese is your favorite dish, use rice or quinoa-based pasta instead of wheat flour pasta. Then combine with a bit of butter, cheddar and mozzarella cheeses, and some almond milk for a creamy and cheesy delicious dish.
For dessert, if you crave cookies or baked goods, try gluten-free flour blends with arrowroot flour, corn flour, quinoa flour, or rice flour. Use cane sugar for your sweetener and use plant-based milks like almond milk or coconut milk instead of cow’s milk. If you like apple pie, instead opt for fruits like pineapple, strawberries, or rhubarb. Bake up or stew these fruits with a bit of cane sugar and eat alone or with a cake or cookie baked using gluten-free flours.
Other common holiday food ingredients that are low FODMAP safe include:
- Two slices sourdough bread
- Green beans
- 1 cup diced yams
- 1 medium unripe banana
- ½ cup dried coconut flakes
- ½ cup whipped cream
- 2 tablespoons whole cream
- 20 boiled chestnuts or 10 roasted chestnuts
- 10 pecan or walnut halves, 32 peanuts, or 20 macadamia nuts
- 2 heaped teaspoons cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons marmalade, peanut butter, or strawberry jam
Low FODMAP certified food products for the holidays
There are also some low FODMAP-certified products found on the Casa de Sante website that can help you create delicious holiday dishes.
- Low FODMAP spice mixes
- Low FODMAP chicken broth concentrate or beef broth concentrate
- Low FODMAP dark chocolate sea salt flavored brownie brittle
- Low FODMAP Tomato Oregano soup or Ginger Carrot soups
- Low FODMAP Brown rice syrup sweetener
- Low FODMAP tomato sauce
- Low FODMAP chocolate whey protein powder
You can add low FODMAP safe veggies to already prepared low FODMAP soups and stocks for healthy and comforting holiday soups and stews. Or for dessert, add low FODMAP chocolate whey protein powder to your baked good recipes to add protein and chocolate flavor. You can also add low FODMAP protein powder to lactose-free frozen yogurt to make a low FODMAP and high protein chocolate milkshake.
Take home message
Just because many holiday foods may be off limits on a high FODMAP diet, that doesn’t mean your holidays can’t still be delicious. A few substitutions and recipe modifications can help you enjoy your holiday favorites while staying safe on your low FODMAP diet regimen.