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All About Garlic Scapes & Garlic Chives

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Missing your garlic flavor while following the low FODMAP diet? Learn all about what garlic scapes and garlic chives are, whether they have been tested for FODMAPs, and whether we can or cannot include them in a low FODMAP diet.

Know Your FODMAPs

For so many of us, one of the first things we learn when we discover the low FODMAP diet is that onions and garlic are off-limits during Elimination. And then we learn that it is the fructans in garlic and onions that we need to avoid. 

Oligosaccharides – Fructans & GOS

The “O” in FODMAP stands for oligosaccharides (sometimes referred to as “Oligos”) — a category that comprises both fructans and galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS). This is a large and diverse category, populated with items from most of the major food groups, and certainly onions and garlic are high on that list.

You May Want To Read: What Are Oligosaccharides? Learn All About the “O” in FODMAP!

The “O” in FODMAP stands for oligosaccharides (sometimes referred to as “Oligos”) — a category that comprises both fructans and galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS). This is a large and diverse category, populated with items from most of the major food groups.

Fructans can be a trigger for a great percentage of those with IBS, so most folks following the diet want to know how they can incorporate garlic and onion flavor into their diet in a low FODMAP way.

Let’s Talk About Garlic Scapes

When you think of garlic you probably envision the heads of garlic at the market, with the papery covering and the individual cloves within – that you used with abandon, pre-FODMAP. These bulbs grow below ground. 

You May Want To Read:  All About Garlic

Garlic scapes are the green flower stem that grow above ground emerging from the tops of hardneck garlic, Allium sativum var. ophioscorodon. Traditionally, commercial garlic farmers would remove the garlic scape in order to focus energy back into the bulb, which is their main harvest, but chefs and food lovers have shown an interest in the scapes themselves as a culinary item.

Now, if you are lucky, you might be able to find fresh garlic scapes at the market in early spring. But are fresh garlic scapes low FODMAP diet compliant?

Fresh garlic scapes cut and gathered laying on a beige towel on a wooden board

Are Fresh Garlic Scapes Low FODMAP? 

As of Fall 2021, Monash University has lab tested garlic scapes – called Garlic Shoots in the app – and they state that a low FODMAP serving is is 30 g. They become Moderate for fructans AND fructose at 40 g and high FODMAP at 75 g.

Please note that they contain two types of FODMAPs, for general knowledge and also for stacking purposes.

Gourmend Garlic Scape Powder 

Enter a prepared product: Gourmend Garlic Scape Powder is freeze-dried garlic scapes, ground to a powder. It comes in a wide-mouth glass jar and is ready for you to add to your recipes and food. And it is lab tested and certified low FODMAP by Monash University. Learn more about Gourmend here in our interview with the founder!

Ketan Vakil Feature Image

What Does Garlic Scape Powder Taste Like?

While raw garlic scapes can have an assertive garlic flavor, Gourmend Garlic Scape Powder has a unique flavor profile.

It has a mild garlic flavor, a faint vegetal quality and it changes with cooking. Meaning, just tasting on the tip of your finger will not give you the full picture. We suggest just getting in there and using it to experience for yourself how it enhances your dishes.

A jar of garlic scape powder viewed from the side with a hand scooping some with a spoon

How Do You Use Garlic Scape Powder?

The dry, shelf stable Gourmend Garlic Scape Powder sits alongside our other spices and herbs, waiting to be used in a variety of ways. It is not a replacement for conventional “garlic powder” or “onion powder” but rather it is a unique product that adds a flavor all its own.

You can sprinkle it on top of food as you are cooking as you would either garlic or onion powder. You can add it by the measuring spoon-full to add to food as you cook as well. 

Can I Make Garlic Scape Powder?

Gourmend Garlic Scape Powder is freeze dried; it is not simply dehydrated. While you could buy fresh garlic scapes at home and dehydrate them, that is not the same as freeze-drying. In lab tests, dehydrated garlic scapes were not shown to be low FODMAP.

Let’s Talk About Garlic Chives

Fresh garlic chives, Allium tuberosum, are referred to as Asian chives on the Monash app and have been lab tested for FODMAPs. 

fresh garlic chives laying in a bunch on a stone surface

They are low FODMAP in generous serving sizes of 1 cup or 80 g. They become high FODMAP at 2 ¾ cups or 220 g at which point they contain a fair amount of excess fructose. If you malabsorb fructose then it is particularly important to pay attention to serving sizes, although since the low FODMAP serving size is generous, this should not be a problem.

The main problem is sourcing! Garlic chives are not the same as the more common chives, Allium schoenoprasum, which are easy to find in most supermarkets. If you have Asian markets or specialty farmers markets near you, garlic chives might be accessible, otherwise most likely not.

Conventional Chives vs. Garlic Chives

You might be familiar with chives, but not necessarily with garlic chives, so let’s look at the differences.

  • Conventional chives are round and hollow and taste of mild onion.
  • Garlic chives are flat and taste of mild garlic.

Gourmend Garlic Chive Powder

Gourmend Garlic Chive Powder is dehydrated garlic chives, 100% pure, ground to a powder. The product comes in a wide-mouth glass jar, is ready for you to use and is lab tested and certified low FODMAP by Monash University.

garlic chive powder pouring out of the jar onto the white background

What Does Garlic Chive Powder Taste Like?

Raw garlic chives are more garlicky than regular chives and garlic scapes. If you are looking for an all-natural powdered garlic replacement alternative without flavorings, additives and preservatives this is the place to start. 

How Do You Use Garlic Chive Powder?

We now keep Gourmend Garlic Chive Powder in our spice drawer  – your spices are sealed airtight and stored away from heat and light, aren’t they?

We use it in a very similar way as we used to use garlic powder. It is not quite as potent, but it does have a distinct garlic flavor. While it is not a 1:1 substitution with conventional garlic powder, you will get the gist of using it as you work with it.

Use it right out of the jar, sprinkle onto or spooning into dishes as they cook.

Can I Make Garlic Chive Powder?

We do not recommend it and here is why.

Similar to the comment above about making garlic scape powder, the answer is you could, but you would not know the FODMAP content of your finished product. Processing – meaning taking a raw food and altering it in some manner – can change FODMAP content. Let’s look at drying in particular:

  • Grapes contain no FODMAPs. Raisins (dried grapes) are high FODMAP.
  • Apples show a higher FODMAP content when dried.
  • Apricots show a higher FODMAP content when dried.
  • Coconut shows a higher FODMAP content when dried.
  • Cranberries show a higher FODMAP content when dried.
  • Figs show a higher FODMAP content when dried.
  • Mango shows a higher FODMAP content when dried.
  • Pears show a higher FODMAP content when dried.
  • Pineapple shows a higher FODMAP content when dried.
  • Plums show a higher FODMAP content when dried (prunes).
  • Dried shiitake mushrooms show a higher FODMAP content than fresh.

As you can see, drying can change FODMAP content – and it is not like the FODMAPs consistently change in the same way, percentage wise, or anything like that. If you dried and made your own garlic chive powder, any guess at FODMAP content would be pure conjecture.

Recipe Ideas

Here are some ways for you to play with your Gourmend Garlic Scape Powder and Gourmend Garlic Chive Powder using our existing recipes. Simply add to taste as you are seasoning your food while cooking.

Feature image of recipes using garlic scape and chive powder

The Takeaway

The fear for many is that the low FODMAP diet is going to be boring and that a sense of deprivation is going to set in – and searching for ways to incorporate onion and garlic flavor becomes a major focus.

Seasoning the foods that we can eat takes on prime importance. This is why even with simple salt and pepper we suggest that you make your choices carefully. We are huge fans of kosher salt for cooking, table salt for baking and freshly ground pepper – always.

When it comes to herbs, spices and other seasonings, make sure your fresh choices are fresh and that your dried choices are also “fresh”. Store your herbs and spices in a cool, dark location and replace as needed; they can go stale.

When it comes to new products like Gourmend Garlic Scape Powder and Gourmend Garlic Chive Powder, they can be stored alongside more traditional seasonings and used in similar ways. Onion and garlic flavor can be just a sprinkle away. Just as with any seasoning, the more you use it, the more familiar you become with the flavors and you will think of even more uses to enhance your low FODMAP meals. 

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