Thursday, 19 March 2015

Low FODMAP Rebellious Ratatouille

And a quick lesson in using garlic as part of a low-fodmap diet.

Hi again Fodmappers - Today I want to share another simple vegetarian and vegan recipe idea that's so yummy, you'd never know it was low-fodmap, or vegetarian. But first I want to talk to you a little about garlic, particularly as I know some of you have asked ...

Can I have garlic as part of a low-fodmap diet?

It dawned on me recently that I rarely talk much about the ingredients I use and why it's ok (or not ok) to include them. For me, getting myself well has been as much about what I've learned as what I've eaten because, as I've mentioned before, low-fodmap is not about cutting back on what we eat, it's about replacing high fodmaps with low ones. I'm sure that understanding what I can incorporate, and how, has been a vital part of my success. So I'd like to pass on something which I think you'll find helpful too.

I like my food to have plenty of flavour and unfortunately garlic is high-fodmap (don't run away Fodmappers, there is good news to follow) so it's not surprising that I discovered it to be one of my main triggers. But there is a way we can still enjoy a little garlic flavour in our food. I shan't baffle you with science, but if you just want to skip to the recipe, feel free.

(If you're new to fodmaps you might like to read this.)

In a nutshell, garlic (along with onions and pulses) is a type of oligosaccharide and is water soluble. This means that when you add garlic to soups, sauces, stock etc, the oligos (the O in fodmap) will leach into your food. It is the oligos, along with other fodmaps, that trigger symptoms of IBS.

However, they are not soluble in oil. (I remember this seemed like a revelation when I learned this). This means we can still enjoy a little garlic as garlic infused oil. You can buy garlic infused oil but it's easy enough to make. And by making garlic infused oil we can safely include what is a high-fodmap ingredient in a low-fodmap diet!

So here is my simple ratatouille recipe. I'm calling this Rebellious Ratatouille as that's how I feel when I add 'naughty' ingredients like garlic to my recipes. I think you'll see that I've just made a couple of tweaks to make it low-fodmap. So easy when you know how. I hope you like it.

Rebellious Ratatouille


Olive Oil
A few garlic cloves
1 red pepper
2 courgettes
1 small aubergine
4 or 5 spring onions
1 small carton of passata
Fresh basil
Black pepper


1. Chop garlic into fairly large pieces to make them easier to remove.
2. Heat the oil in a pan and add the garlic. Cook over a medium heat for about 15 minutes allowing the garlic to infuse.
3. Remove the garlic from the oil. You' now have garlic infused oil. (Didn't I say it was easy?)
4. Cut the white parts from the spring onions and discard. (This part is high in oligosaccharides).
5. Roughly chop the spring onion greens (leaves) peppers, courgettes and aubergines and add to the oil. Cook until softened, stirring continuously.
6. Add the passata and heat through.
7. Add the pepper and basil and simmer.

Serve with wheat free pasta and a side salad alongside a little grilled halloumi (watch portion size) or tofu sprinkled with paprika for extra yumminess.

'Til next time Fodmappers - Stay Fabulous. x

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