The low FODMAP diet excludes onion and garlic. During the challenge phase, many discover that they do not tolerate fructans (O in FODMAPs), which onion and garlic contain.
So how does one survive without garlic and onion in the kitchen? It isn’t as hard as you think!
This can be a great time to experiment with new flavours and recipes and there is plenty of garlic and onion substitutes out there that are sure to keep your taste buds happy.
Here are a few suggestions:
Garlic infused olive oil – Fortunately, the fructans in garlic are water-soluble, but not oil-soluble. This means its flavour can transfer to oil, while the fructans remained trapped. This makes garlic-infused olive oil a perfect way to flavour your meals safely.
Spring onions (scallions) and leek (but ONLY the green part) – Although these vegetables get a red light warning on the low FODMAP diet, the green parts are actually low in fructans and a great way still get that onion flavour in meals such as stir-frys, soups and salads. Just remember to stop chopping as soon as the colour starts changing to lighter green!
Spices – Spices will not only excite your taste buds, and add great colour to your meals, they are also packed with micronutrients and antioxidants with numerous health benefits. Turmeric, cumin, paprika, cinnamon and allspice are some of my favourites but the list is truly endless. Challenge yourself to experiment with a new spice each week.
Herbs – Herbs are naturally low in FODMAPs, packed full of flavour, and like spices have several health benefits. Fresh or dried is fine. Basil, rosemary, parsley, coriander, chives
Asafoetida – This bright yellow powder is a great low FODMAP additive. This is because the flavour mimics that of onion and garlic. Some Indian grocery stores and health food shops will stock this. Simply add a small pinch to a little warm oil and briefly cook before adding other ingredients.
Low FODMAP sauces and condiments – Sauces and condiments are often a trap for those attempting to follow a low FODMAP diet. While many are definitely forbidden, there are still quite a few that will work within the guidelines of the low FODMAP diet. Rice wine vinegar, chutney, mustard, fish sauce, oyster sauce, gluten-free soy sauce and wasabi can all be used.
Figuring out how to recapture that much-loved garlic and onion flavour may seem daunting at first, but get creative with some of the substitutes on this list, and your meals are sure to pack a flavour punch.
By Fiona Kupresanin