The world is going ga-ga over gut health these days—and for good reason. With Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and even plain old stress-related digestive distress becoming more prevalent these days, it’s no wonder people are so eager for ways to tame their triggered GI tracts.
While the jury’s still out on what exactly causes the pain, bloating, and gassiness that accompany these gastrointestinal disorders, one thing that’s been shown to help manage the symptoms is making some dietary tweaks—specifically, avoiding fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols.
Kind of a mouthful, huh? More commonly known as FODMAPs, they’re short-chain carbohydrates (a.k.a. sugars and fibers) found in some dairy, fruits, veggies, and wheat that those of us with digestive ailments can’t quite stomach—literally.
It’s always best to consult your GI doctor before starting any elimination diets to treat gut health. But if you’re experiencing symptoms and get the go-ahead from the doc, you may want to give the low-FODMAP life a whirl. The diet is said to be restrictive—and we won’t sugarcoat it, it can be—but with these breakfast-to-dessert recipes up your sleeve, you won’t feel too limited.
Low-FODMAP Breakfast Recipes
Breathe a sigh of relief and do a happy dance: Bacon is a low-FODMAP food! Still, rather than gorge on it for breakfast, opt for the moderation route and pair just a few strips of it with kale as the stuffing for these healthier “loaded” potatoes.
With a few simple tweaks, you can still enjoy classic banana pancakes on a low-FODMAP diet. Just make sure your fruit is on the unripe side and that you’re using gluten-free oats instead of regular wheat. We’re willing to bet you’ll never taste the difference.
No more choosing between a smoothie or overnight oats for breakfast. This recipe not only gives you both (adorably served in a jar, no less), but makes sure to use lower FODMAP berries and plant milk to make the meal as easy as possible to keep your gut happy.
With just four low-FODMAP ingredients, this might be the most fuss-free frittata ever. The prosciutto makes it just rich enough, but if you absolutely cannot fathom a frittata without cheese (and can tolerate the dairy), opt for a lower-lactose kind like feta or cheddar.
A modest number of almonds and a higher ratio of pumpkin and sunflower seeds keeps this granola safely in low-FODMAP territory. While there are only two tablespoons of added sweetener in the entire batch, go for the brown sugar instead of the honey option.
As delicious as oatmeal is, we could all use a break sometimes. Replace it with fiber-rich quinoa in this fruity but hearty breakfast bake. You could dig into a generous serving of this and still stay within the low-FODMAP boundaries; plus, you’ll have plenty left over for breakfast throughout the week.
Soups and Salads
Roasting your carrots before pureeing them gives the final result a delicious, caramelized sweetness without a hint of added sugar. Balance it out with earthy herbs, warm cinnamon, and a kick from the ginger, and you’ve got yourself a pretty standout soup.
Traditional potato salad usually contains both garlic and onions, both high-FODMAP foods. This version is careful to use only the top portions of green onions to get the same flavor without the unwanted side effects and opts for a lighter olive oil dressing over mayo.
A lot of the low-FODMAP diet is about being mindful of portion sizes. Take this salad, for instance: Sure, it contains avocado and cherry tomatoes, which are considered high-FODMAP foods, but the blogger helpfully provides tips on decreasing the amounts of each so that your taste buds can enjoy them and your body can tolerate them.
Since garlic- and onion-filled bottled dressings aren’t an option for low-FODMAP eaters, it’s a chance to get creative with homemade alternatives. This one, with tahini and curry powder, is rich and robust, holding up well to the hearty kale leaves.
Just because certain fruits, veggies, and whole grains are off-limits, that’s no reason for fiber intake to get compromised on a low-FOMAP diet. There are plenty of ways you can still get that roughage in, and this soup is a fantastic example. With collard greens, carrots, and quinoa, it offers plenty of fiber without upsetting your stomach.
With the addition of a quick sweet-and-spicy glaze, you can turn plain old chicken and potatoes into a dinner you can proudly entertain with, whether you’re feeding low-FODMAP guests or not. Just check the label on your mustard to make sure it’s free of garlic (plenty of varieties should make the cut!)
If it’s true that we eat with our eyes first, then these squash boats are the perfect way to stir up an appetite. They're colorful, beautifully presented, and fragrant from the roasted veggies and lemony quinoa—you know they’re delicious even before you dig in.
Garlic is a high-FODMAP food, but if you can’t imagine meatballs without it, this recipe has your answer: garlic-infused oil. Simply cook some cloves in olive oil, then remove them so all you have left is super fragrant cooking fat. Sautee your meatballs in it and you’ll enjoy authentic flavor while staying symptom-free.
The low-FODMAP diet has a confusing love/hate thing going on with soy, so as far as tofu goes, stick to the firm and extra firm varieties. Here, the plant-based protein is smothered in a peanut butter and coconut milk sauce, dispelling all notions that tofu is tasteless.
This Korea-inspired macro bowl fires on all nutritional cylinders while keeping the FODMAPS to a minimum. With wheat-free brown rice, extra-firm tofu, stem-free greens, and a sunny-side-up egg, it’s proof that even with food sensitivities, eating well is totally possible.
Omitting the garlic, swapping the onion for dried chives, and nixing the bread crumbs all make this meatloaf lower in FODMAPs than the traditional loaf. Go a step further with freshly pureed tomato instead of ketchup for a lower-sugar glaze.
Gluten-free pastas and garlic-infused oils are kitchen staples for many low-FODMAPers. Both ingredients come together in this easy recipe, which can be whipped up in a fast 15 minutes thanks to jarred peppers and capers. Can’t do pasta without cheese? Throw in a compliant variety like feta or Parmesan.
Low-FODMAP Dessert Recipes
From the oaty crumb topping to the silky chocolate in the middle, these taste every bit as decadent as your regular layer bars but come with carefully chosen ingredients to keep them a bit cleaner, a bit healthier, and a bit kinder to your gut. If low-FODMAP life comes with dessert like this, things just got a bit easier.
The lactose in dairy can be hard on the gut, so go vegan with your cheesecake to keep it low in FODMAPS, with a base of heart-healthy nuts instead. Just don’t forget to soak them before you use them—the extra step is crucial for making them more easily digestible.
Rhubarb may not be an ingredient you cook with often, but if you’re trying the low-FODMAP thing, you’ll make friends with it fast. The low-sugar fruit’s tartness is a perfect contrast with the sweeter strawberries in this wholesome crisp, which can easily be made vegan too.
Finding a good-quality dark chocolate for this mousse is key for two reasons: First, it’ll make it taste extra good (duh), and second, it’ll keep the coconut milk-based dessert free of dairy. No added sugar in here, either!
We know what you’re thinking: Sugar cookies on a diet that frowns upon sugar?! Hey, they’re possible when you’re using FODMAP-approved maple syrup instead of the refined white stuff and making the batter with gluten-free flour. Still, these aren’t totally free of potentially triggering ingredients, so stick to one cookie at a time.
This homemade take on Bounty bars leaves behind all the glucose syrup and sugar of the original and sticks to the good stuff—coconut and chocolate chips—to make much cleaner bites. What’s even better: These freeze super well, helping you stick to moderate portions.