With barbecue season in full swing, friends and family happily gather to celebrate one another's company through the joy of good food.
As you know, having IBS certainly doesn't define you -- but when it comes to these types of gatherings, especially backyard BBQs, the topic of food is hard to ignore.
The good news is that there are plenty of low FODMAP foods that you can enjoy and share with those you love. Build your own one-of-a-kind menu based on the suggestions below.
The Best (and the Worst) Low FODMAP foods
When you better understand the types of foods you should be eating, in comparison to those you should avoid, cooking becomes a fun activity, instead of something you dread.
- Bell peppers
- Lemon and lime
- Garlic -- don't worry, there are substitutes
- Pickled vegetables
- Processed meat -- yes, this includes hot dogs
- Sausages and chorizo
- Foods that contain wheat
- Ice cream
Low FODMAP Barbecue Menu
Although you can enjoy a glass of wine or a beer, stay clear of rum and mixes with high-fructose corn syrup. Just remember, alcohol can cause irritation and contributes to dehydration.
Instead, try this refreshing alternative:
Infused, Refreshing Tonic Water
- Combine tonic water with mixed berries, cucumber, lemon slices and mint. Your guests will surely want to try this hydrating drink -- especially when the sun is shining!
- Please note: If you are experiencing slight discomfort and/or bloating, this nutrient-dense lemonAID is the perfect solution. You can also enjoy a soothing tea -- better yet, drink green tea chilled and infused with ginger and mint.
Choose from a selection of dishes that feed your body and mind, without irritating your digestive system. Your guests will love them.
Antipasto skewers: Skewer some cherry tomatoes; spinach and basil leaves; an aged, lactose-free cheese; quality prosciutto (without any additives); and olives.
Deviled eggs: Boil eggs, peel and halve them. Pop out the yolks, combining them with gluten-free mayonnaise, mustard, salt and pepper. Pipe the mixture back into the eggs and sprinkle with paprika.
Artisan spicy Indian granola: Put out a small bowl of this handcrafted snack.
Mini veggie taco bowls: Your guests have never had anything like this before!
After your friends and family try what you have to offer, they'll be begging for all your recipes. For your main dish, stray away from the norm and try one of the following:
- Cedar plank salmon: Barbecue a whole salmon on a cedar plank, then serve it with fresh lime wedges.
- Vegetarian quinoa pizza: If you have never had a pizza on the barbecue, you haven't lived. Using fresh, vibrant ingredients, this recipe will be one for the books.
- Veggie burgers: This burger is anything but boring, and with the accompanying baked celeriac fries, you'll inspire your guests to "eat outside the box."
Depending on what you choose for your main dish, there are plenty of side dishes to make your meal one to remember. After all, the following side dishes are anything but ordinary.
- Low FODMAP vegetarian pineapple fried rice: This recipe is great alongside shrimp or chicken.
- Spiralized veggie salad with quinoa: This goes great with beef kabobs.
- Vegetarian parmesan potato wedges: Make your own homemade beef patties (without onion), and instead of serving them on a bun, make your guests these wedges and a couple of full-flavored salads.
The following desserts are not only low FODMAP, they're irresistible!
As you become more creative with your menus, focusing on the right ingredients, the anxiety you feel surrounding food prep will quickly subside. After all, "eating is a necessity, but cooking is an art" -- take care of your health and, more importantly, have fun!