The Australia day long weekend is quickly approaching. For many Australians this means BBQ’s, beverages, music, and socialising with family/friends. Like most social events, chances are yours will revolve around, or at least include, food and drinks. This can bring about anxiety for many individuals with IBS, especially if you’re not the one hosting the occasion. Whilst eating low FODMAP at social events can be challenging, where there is a will…there is a way!
Classic Aussie BBQ
BBQ’s are actually one of the easier meal occasions to eat low FODMAP at, but some preparation is required. One of the reasons I say this, is that a BBQ generally revolves around meat. Meat itself does not contain FODMAPs, BUT, most store-bought marinades/rubs do. An easy solution for this is to make your own marinade for the meat using fresh herbs, spices, chilli, soy sauce, lemon and lime. Some great flavour combinations include:
- Lime, chilli and coriander
- Lemon, basil and chilli
- Freshly grated ginger, soy sauce and sesame oil
- Garlic-infused olive oil and smoked paprika
- Rosemary, lemon and garlic-infused olive oil
Now you have some flavour inspiration, here is a few ways you could use the previous marinade/rub combinations:
- Meat and vegetable skewers. Some great low FODMAP vegetables/fruit which BBQ nicely include zucchini, eggplant, capsicum, cherry tomatoes, and pineapple.
- Lamb skewers served with a lactose-free mint yoghurt
- Beef/lamb/pork steaks (great simply with a bit of infused olive oil)
- Fresh fish, especially salmon!
- Home-made meat patties/rissoles
- Chicken wings/drumsticks
Yes, you CAN make friends with salad! Serving a tasty low fodmap salad(s) at a BBQ/gathering is perfect, as you can fill up half your plate and not feel left-out. If you aren’t the one hosting the BBQ, then offering to bring a salad is an excellent way to guarantee there is a low FODMAP side-dish (as well as earning brownie points for making a boss salad). Salads are also quite easy to create as low FODMAP. The key is being mindful of the vegetable varieties used, and in what quantities. Some great combinations are:
- Baby spinach, roast pumpkin, tinned baby beetroot, walnuts, feta, and a dressing that is half red wine vinegar and half extra virgin olive oil. Choose Kent or Jap pumpkin varieties, and note tinned beetroot is low FODMAP at ½ cup per serve.
- Baby spinach + rocket, roast red capsicum, roast pumpkin, cherry tomatoes, goats cheese, toasted flaked almonds, and a drizzle of garlic infused extra virgin olive oil. Note: almonds are low FODMAPat a 12g serve (so for 4 people use 50g flaked almonds).
- Greek salad! Just swap the onion for the green end of shallots.
- Potato salad using low-fat mayonnaise, lemon, fresh basil, shaved leg ham, the green part of shallots and boiled eggs.
- Caprese salad! Simply layer slices of tomato, slices of bocconcini, and torn fresh basil. Drizzle with some garlic-infused extra virgin olive oil and finish with sea salt and cracked pepper!
Snacks are another great option to bring if you aren’t hosting the event. This is because many store-bought snack options, such as flavoured chips and dip, are high in FODMAPs. I love a good snack spread, and here are some of my favourite low FODMAP options:
- Cheese plate! Most cheese is low FODMAP (music to your ears, right?). So, this makes a cheese plate the perfect nibbles option for your Australia day soiree. I like to include a soft cheese like brie, a blue cheese, and a hard cheese like vintage cheddar. Then add some plain or seaweed rice crackers, olives, strawberries, grapes and some roast nuts and voila – sorted!
- Home-made dips are an easy win. In true Aussie fashion, it would be rude not to whip up a beetroot dip. Our low FODMAP Beetroot Dip is always a crowd pleaser, and is so easy to make. Some of our other low FODMAP dips you could make include Hummus, Roast Pumpkin and Walnut Dip, and Spinach Dip! Pair with some plain rice crackers and/or salad sticks and you’ve got yourself a winner!
- Air-popped popcorn. A lighter alternative to plain chips, and easy to either make yourself or purchase!
- A board with toasted traditional sourdough bread, infused extra virgin olive oil and dukkha – heaven!
If you are planning on making a dessert for your weekend gathering, then why not make one everyone can enjoy!? It is certainly no fun missing out on dessert because it will upset your stomach. So, make something which is both lofo AND delicious, such as:
- Pavlova! It doesn’t get much more Aussie than a classic pav (sorry New Zealand). The base itself is low FODMAP, which makes sense considering it is basically just sugar and a bit of egg white. To make the toppings low FODMAP whip a lactose-free cream, or use lactose-free vanilla yoghurt (for a lighter option). Then finish with delicious low FODMAP fruits like raspberries, strawberries, banana, passionfruit and kiwi fruit!
- You could try making your own lofo lamingtons by whipping up a gluten-free sponge, and slicing. Then dip in a chocolate icing and roll in toasted coconut. Keep in mind that shredded coconut is low FODMAP at ¼ cup serve.
- Our Fudgey Pecan Brownies or Choc-walnut Brownies. Because everyone loves chocolate, and these are an absolute treat!
- Our ANZAC biscuits! It may not be April yet, but this low FODMAP spin on an aussie classic certainly fits the long weekend theme.
- A simple fruit platter
- Fresh strawberries drizzled with dark chocolate.
Considering our country is well-known for its love of drinking, many of us will be enjoying a drink or two this Australia day long weekend. If you choose to drink alcohol, but would prefer a lower calorie option, then try:
- Vodka, lime and soda
- Mineral water with ice, fresh passionfruit, fresh lemon and either vodka, gin or non-alcoholic.
- Soda water with ice, muddled pineapple, fresh mint leaves, fresh lime and either vodka, gin or non-alcoholic.
- Home-made mojito without the sugar syrup
- Spritzer of half white wine, half soda water, fresh passionfruit and pomegranate seeds.
- Light beer or sparkling wine
Additionally; dry white wine, red wine, spirits (except rum), champagne and beer are low FODMAP. Be mindful, however, that alcohol itself is a known gut irritant. This means any alcohol, even if low FODMAP, may trigger symptoms. Alcoholic beverages which are more likely to provoke symptoms include rum, liqueurs, cider and carbonated beverages. For more information, see our article on alcohol and IBS.
Enjoy your long weekend!
Wishing you all an enjoyable and safe Australia day long weekend, from all of us at The Fodmap Challenge!
Image sourced from Pinterest
Start feeling better now! By signing up to The FODMAP Challenge you will receive meal plans, recipe ideas, and regular support with other resources, such as a private Facebook group, to make this as easy for you as possible.