Plant Based Nutrition and the low FODMAP Diet
Whether you are vegan, vegetarian, mostly vegetarian or omnivorous and making an effort to eat more plant-based meals, the attraction of eating less animal products and focusing on vegetables, fruits and grains is a powerful one.
Research abounds on the positive impact that a plant-based diet can have on our environment and our own personal health. But what if you are also following the low FODMAP diet?
Plant-Based Nutrition Can Be Low FODMAP!
This article will help you navigate your low FODMAP lifestyle, from morning till night, with delicious, nutritious plant-based recipes for meals and snacks.
For our definition, we will discuss options that include fruits, vegetables, and also nuts, seeds, oils, whole grains, legumes, and beans. Some occasional dairy, which can be optional, might be suggested.
Eating plant-based doesn’t necessarily mean that you are inherently vegetarian or vegan, never eating meat or dairy, but rather that you are choosing more of your foods from plant-based sources.
You might also want to read:
Let’s take it meal by meal:
Breakfast is an important meal. It sets the tone for the day, but many of us find it hard to prepare a nutritious breakfast when time is short. Here are some ideas that we have found helpful:
This standby has become a new classic. One look at our variations and you will never be bored – and in fact will be excited to get to your morning meal. Combos like pomegranate and cacao nibs, or raspberries and almonds will keep your palate and tummy happy.
Smoothie & a Snack Bar
Sometimes you gotta grab and go! We have to admit that we have relied on a trusty protein bar when time is really short. Why not augment with a Turmeric Latte. Epicured offers one made with a combination of turmeric, cardamom, cinnamon, black pepper and ginger in a creamy almond-coconut milk base. We like it cold out of the fridge, but it is also lovely warmed and poured into a thermal to-go mug.
Try these smoothies:
And these plant-based morning starters:
- Low FODMAP Cinnamon Apple Breakfast Cookies
- Low FODMAP Pumpkin Cranberry Oat Breakfast Cookies
- Low FODMAP Cinnamon Apple Breakfast Cookies
- Clementine Almond Cake – Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free & Low FODMAP
Veggies & Hummus
Prep some easy to eat vegetables the night before, like carrot sticks and cucumber sticks (both have shown no detectable FODMAPs per serving in lab tests). Throw a radish or two in there. Some low FODMAP Hummus and maybe some lofo crackers or rice cakes and you are good to go.
Rice Cakes & Nut Butter
This is a standby. Rice cakes with a schmear of either peanut butter or almond butter and something sweet! I love them with a few slices of bananas or strawberries instead of jam. Nothing wrong, with jam, but this is a nice way to use straight fruit.
For many of us, lunch is eaten away from home, so we make sure that our lunch options are portable. Some are fancier than others, but all are plant-forward and low FODMAP.
We love Summer Rolls and we have a visual, step-by-step tutorial with our friend Ngoc, who brought us her Vietnamese family recipe. One version contains shrimp, but we also feature a tofu option. If you would like to substitute vegetarian fish sauce, just make sure it is low FODMAP, as many of them are based on mushrooms.
Are you into the bento box craze? We have one for you featuring tofu, seaweed and bright green kiwi! Make that rice ahead, and it will all come together quite easily. And shopping for bento boxes is fun; there are so many choices.
Hot or cold, we have several soups for you. From Gazpacho for warm weather or our Vegetable, Pasta & Bean soup for colder months, we have the recipes you have been looking for. Pack into a thermos and you will be nourishing yourself mid-day.
Did this get your attention? “Garlicky”? YES! Our Asian-inspired peanut butter sauce is indeed quite garlicky, but uses low FODMAP Garlic-Infused Oil. Tossed with slithery zucchini noodles (zoodles) and high-protein tofu and this is a fabulous cold dish! (Maybe pack a low FODMAP breathe mint, too).
Where to begin? Sometimes we want a quick weeknight meal and sometimes we are hosting guests. We have hundreds of recipes for you, but here are some highlights.
Whether you call it a Nourish Bowl, or a Veggie Grain Bowl, these one-bowl beauties are a great way to fill you up with plant-based nutrition at the end of the day. Epicured’s Buddha Bowl is packed with color, texture, flavor and nutrition: Curly kale, purple cabbage, cucumbers, watermelon radishes, rainbow carrot ribbons, alfalfa sprouts, red quinoa, sesame seeds & spiced chickpeas with a mint vinaigrette. And BTW, these bowls are just as great for lunch.
This is a perfect weeknight pasta and will come together in no time. You can add grated cheese if you like at serving time, or leave it vegan. It is delicious both ways and takes advantage of several low FODMAP vegetables in their proper portions.
Firm and extra-firm tofu are low FODMAP and a great way to get plant-based protein into your diet. This one-pan dish is quick to make, colorful, packed with texture and flavor and you can up the spiciness if you like with a little extra hot pepper sauce.
Looking for a vegan main dish that’s special enough for guests? This one fits the bill. Low FODMAP vegetables in a creamy non-dairy sauce made with Vegetable Broth and almond milk, underneath a gluten-free biscuit topping. Hearty and satisfying.
We have converted those who thought they didn’t like tempeh with this chili! The combination of spices is a fantastic flavor bomb that covers the somewhat musty quality of tempeh that some folks don’t care for. My husband Damon said, “of all the foods in the world, I dislike tempeh the most”. Then he tried this. And liked it!
We can’t go a day without snack time! And when you are following the low FODMAP diet we think it is imperative that you keep low FODMAP snacks on hand. Otherwise, it is all too tempting to go to the office or school vending machine and make a wrong choice. We’ve done it; we know you have, too. Be prepared with one of our low FODMAP options.
We are huge fans of small, easy to carry snacks. These energy bites can fit into your gym bag, pocketbook, glove compartment – even your coat pocket! And of course they have a place in your lunch box. This version from Epicured is based on gluten-free rolled oats, coconut, peanut butter, flaxseeds, chia seeds and flecked with vegan semisweet chocolate. Been missing dark chocolate? This is a healthy way to add a sweet treat. We are partial to these around 3 or 4 o’clock in the afternoon when our energy is flagging.
Fruits & Vegetables
When you are new to the low FODMAP diet, it is easy to think that many fruits and vegetables are off limits, but you can actually eat more than you think! Even fruits that have high FODMAP content in larger servings can be enjoyed in smaller amounts. Like ripe banana. A third of a ripe banana at 35 g IS low FODMAP. Ditto for broccoli florets. You can actually have up to ¾ cup (75 g) of them.
See what I’m getting at? You can prepare an array if fruits and vegetables for snacks, just pay attention to FODMAP Stacking. And pay attention to incorporating items that have shown no detectable FODMAPs in lab tests, like grapes, the aforementioned cucumbers and carrots, ripe guava, papaya and many more!
Speaking of grapes. We love to freeze them; just wash and dry them then pop them into a freezer-safe bag or container. They are icy and fruity and make a great snack after dinner, while watching TV, when the munchies strike.
You can have up to 7 cups (120 g) of popcorn and still have it remain low FODMAP! That’s a lot! For some folks that might be hard on the GI tract, but it is a great whole grain snack. We have some fancy recipes, like this Gingerbread Caramel Crunch Popcorn, but how about simply drizzling it with Garlic-Infused Oil, made with olive oil, a little salt and nutritional yeast?
Did you know that ¼ cup (42 g) of drained canned chickpeas are low FODMAP? We’ve roasted them until they are crunchy and have several variations, from simple sea salt to Chili Lime and even a sweet Cinnamon/Sugar version.
So now you have several plant-forward, low FODMAP ideas to fill your day, healthily and deliciously!!
What are some of your favorite plant-based low FODMAP meals or snacks?
This article was brought to you by our friends at Epicured