Tuesday, 29 October 2013

FODMAP Diet Friendly Coconut Flour Chocolate Cake

I suddenly needed a FODMAP diet chocolate cake recipe the other day for a friend and couldn't find one I thought was both tasty and healthy enough so I had an experiment in the kitchen and came up with this delicious FODMAP diet plan friendly Coconut Flour Chocolate Cake. This is a pudding-type cake which is similar in texture to a chocolate mousse cake. It's gluten-free and grain free and is sweetened almost entirely by natural sources. Coconut flour makes it high in fibre and it is also much lower in calories than a traditional chocolate cake. Whilst it does contain dried fruit (which you can see on the printable FODMAP list of foods here, is only ok in small quantities), the amount per slice is only equal to about 3/4 of a date so should be tolerable for most people - but as always, be guided by your own judgement. The recipe makes one small cake but you could double the recipe and increase the cooking time by 15 minutes to make a large, deeper 23cm cake.

50g coconut flour
20g cocoa 
2 medium eggs
2 medium egg whites
150ml almond milk
100g dried, pitted dates
1 medium banana
1 tablespoon sunflower or macadamia nut oil (you could use coconut oil but I'm not sold on the supposed health benefits)
40g dark, dairy free chocolate
1/2 tsp instant espresso powder (optional)
1/4 tsp salt
1tsp vanilla extract
1tsp gluten-free baking powder

Makes 8 slices

Heat the dates with the almond milk in a small pan or the microwave until they begin to soften. Add the banana, chocolate, oil and vanilla essence to the date and milk mix and then puree in a blender. Allow to cool for 10 minutes whilst you prepare the dry ingredients.

Place the coconut flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt and espresso powder in a large bowl and stir together. Add the date mix, followed by the eggs and beat well for 2 minutes (you could use your blender again for this or food processor/stand mixer).

Grease a 15cm cake pan and pour in the cake batter. Smooth the top and give the tin one good whack on the kitchen counter to help level the mix.

Bake at 150C/300F for 20 minutes of until the centre has risen slightly and is just set. Remove from the oven and allow it to cool in the tin for 30 mins before plating up.

Friday, 25 October 2013

FODMAP Friendly Recipe: Spinach, Pepper and Bacon Frittata

It can be a bit easy to get stuck in a rut when you are following the FODMAP diet plan. I find that I tend to stick to the same dishes, week in week out, so as to make meal times quick and easy. Frittata is one of our staple FODMAP suppers but it is easily varied by throwing in different things from the fridge. Spinach, bacon and peppers makes a nice, well balanced and IBS friendly meal but you could also try adding potatoes or other root veg. The smoked paprika gives a little spicy kick and really complements the bacon and pepper mix so don't be tempted to skip it.

6 medium eggs
150g frozen spinach (or you could use wilted fresh instead)
1 large red pepper, cut into strips
4 rashers of bacon, cut into dice
1 tablespoon garlic oil
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
Black pepper and salt to season

Serves 2-3

Pre-heat your grill on a high heat. Cook and drain the spinach (I do this in the microwave) and put to one side. Beat the eggs and add the paprika. Season lightly with salt and black pepper.

Heat the garlic oil in a large non-stick frying pan and add the peppers and bacon. Gently fry until the peas are just cooked. Add the spinach and spread the vegetable mixture out evenly across the pan, then pour the beaten eggs over. Cook the eggs over a low heat until the frittata looks just set with firm edges and a slightly liquid centre.

Put the pan under the grill and cook until the frittata has puffed up and is golden all over

Cut into wedges and serve.

Monday, 14 October 2013

FODMAP Diet Plan Friendly Recipe: Healthy Pumpkin Muffins

These pumpkin muffins are a really great FODMAP diet plan friendly Halloween treat. You could use puréed squash if you can't find canned pumpkin or even the cooked insides of your Jack-O-Lantern. Make sure any canned pumpkin you buy only contains pumpkin and is sweetened with any FODMAP nasties like fructose syrup or thickened with any gluten containing additives. I've suggested that the ginger is optional in this recipe, but do try it - it adds a real spicy kick and ginger is a great traditional IBS soother.

1 can pumpkin purée (454 grams)
2 medium eggs
200g gluten-free flour
50g ground almonds
50g gluten-free rolled oats
100g light brown soft sugar
1 tablespoon treacle or molasses
1tsp ground ginger
1tsp cinnamon
1tsp baking powder
50g chopped glace ginger or 1tsp fresh grated ginger (optional)

Makes 12

Using an electric whisk or stand mixer, beat the eggs and sugar together for 3 minutes or until pale and fluffy. Add the pumpkin purée and treacle and briefly mix again. Tip in all the other ingredients and fold them into the wet mixture until just combined.

Fill each muffin case two-thirds full. Bake at 180C/375F for 25 minutes of until a knife inserted into the centre of the muffin comes out clean.

Monday, 7 October 2013

What Can I Eat on the FODMAP Diet? Best FODMAP Diet Plan Web Sites

There are loads of FODMAP diet plan websites and FODMAP diet food lists around the internet. It's increasingly easy to find recipes, tips and advice on what you can eat and cook on the FODMAP diet plan. However, not all sites are as accurate of as helpful as others, so here are my favourites that will help you whether you are brand new to the FODMAP plan or have been following it for a while.

The Principles of the FODMAP Diet 
The Monash University - this site is a great source of basic information on how the low FODMAP plan works by one of the teams of researchers who helped develop it. They also provide apps and run research studies which are often recruiting people with IBS to help them test the diet. There is a good basic list of low FODMAP foods available here too.

Shepherd Works - Sue Shepherd was one of the authors of the original research papers on the low FODMAP diet plan. Her site offers paid-for resources and consultations for people living in Australia. 

WebMD - not a FODMAP specific site, but there is an excellent discussion about the pros and cons of FODMAP and restricted diets for those with IBS.

Arizona University - the best printable fact sheet and FODMAP food list out there for those starting out

Living with the FODMAP Diet Plan
Cassandra Forsythe - one of the first to blog about the FODMAP diet, Cassandra's site is a goldmine of useful information, tips and recipes about the diet

Taste.com - the FODMAP diet is well-established in Australia (where it originated) and Taste.come has a great selection of FODMAP friendly recipes for every occassion

The Intolerant Gourmet - Pippa Kendrick writes beautiful recipes for those avoiding various allergens. Her site isn't designed for those on the low FODMAPs diet plan but there are plenty of great ideas here and recipes that are easily adapted.

I hope these are helpful to you and do add a comment below if you have a favourite you'd like to share.
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