How to Make Low FODMAP Garlic-Infused Oil
A life without garlic would be a less flavorful life, but have no fear. Low FODMAP Garlic-Infused Oil is not only flavorful, it is even allowed during the Elimination Phase of the low FODMAP diet and our recipe is completely compliant with the most up-to-date Monash University science in regards to FODMAPs. (Cue the trumpets playing and angels singing).
UPDATE BELOW ON NEW STORAGE RECOMMENDATIONS!
YOU CAN FREEZE THE OIL SAFELY LONGTERM – AND THE OIL IS STILL CERTIFIED LOW FODMAP
When we first learned that garlic was packed with fructans and was a significant digestive disruptor for many we have to admit, it didn’t surprise us. All of our lives we have come across friends and family who would state that garlic and onions (fructan rich also) didn’t “agree” with them. Who knows how many of those people were actually reacting to the FODMAPs but just didn’t know it? They could have been enjoying Garlic Infused Oil all along because the offending fructans are not oil soluble. This means that all that garlic flavor can be infused into the oil with no negative effects for those avoiding FODMAPs.
Get Garlic Flavor Into Your Low FODMAP Diet
While garlic itself is not allowed during the Elimination Phase maybe you will be one of the lucky ones and realize during your Challenge Phase that fructans and garlic don’t upset your digestive system. Lucky you! You will be able to eat out at Italian and Mexican restaurants with abandon.
Get Your Garlic Fix!
For the rest of us, we have to be a bit more creative in how we can get garlic into our lives. Garlic Infused Oil is our number one way of doing so. While you can buy Garlic-Infused Oil (see Shop) we recommend that you first read our article titled Know What’s In Your Garlic Oil. If you want to make it, the recipe is here below.
Note that the finished, cooled oil should be refrigerated in an airtight container and used within 3 days, per the FDA’s recommendation. There is a risk of botulism growth if you do not heed this warning. But don’t worry, if you follow our lead there is no problem. Simply bring to room temperature before using, or use a measuring spoon to scoop out what you need. Olive oil will solidify and turn cloudy in the fridge; it might look odd but it is still okay to use.
The more garlic you add to the oil, the stronger the garlic flavor will be. Make a batch, taste and assess whether you want more or less garlic flavor the next time around. The amount of garlic we recommend below is for a moderate garlic flavor; not too faint and not too bold. For recipes where garlic is the focus, such as in our Basil Pesto, we recommend doubling the amount of garlic.
We originally suggested refrigerating the oil and using within 3 days, as that is what the USDA recommended for safety. The risk is botulism growth, which can be deadly. A few community members asked if the oil could be frozen and we were fascinated by the idea!
I reached out to Linda Harris, the Department Chair at University of California, Davis, for Food Science and Technology. She said that the oil could be safely frozen “indefinitely”. I tried to pin her down to length of time and she clarified that this was from a safety perspective and not a taste perspective.
So, the answer is YES you can freeze the oil, which means you can make larger batches and have them in the freezer available for you whenever you need it! Of course, we are concerned with flavor as well. We suggest freezing some for a month, tasting it, and see it the flavor is to your liking. If it is, try pushing it and try 3 months the next time! And we would love to hear about your experiences, as well.
The freezing does not affect the FODMAP aspect and the recipe remains a low FODMAP recipe per Monash University recommendations.
How to Freeze
Now that we know we can freeze our garlic-infused oil, what is the best way to accomplish this? Of course you have to use freezer safe containers to start, but that still leaves a variety of approaches. We certainly think freezing in very user-friendly portions is the way to go. You can try freezing in ice cube trays and once frozen, transfer the cubes to a large airtight container or heavy zip top bag. This is great for individual (or close to it) servings. Or, find jars that allow you to pour the oil easily once defrosted and use up within 3 days, during which you would keep it refrigerated.
If you do not want to make your own Garlic-Infused Oil we have some of our favorites available for purchase through our Shop. Also check out our article reviewing some of our favorite low FODMAP garlic-infused oils!
Low FODMAP Garlic-Infused Oil
Low FODMAP Garlic-Infused Oil is the easiest way to get garlic flavor into your low FODMAP foods. And it can be frozen for longer storage so you never have to be without!
Low FODMAP Serving Size Info: Makes 2 cups (480 ml); servings size is 4 U.S. teaspoons (20 ml)
- 2 cups (480 ml) extra virgin olive oil, pure olive oil or vegetable oil such as canola, grapeseed, rice bran, safflower or sunflower
- 6 large cloves of fresh garlic, peeled, whole or halved
- Have ready a glass storage bottle, container or jar with an airtight lid. Rinse with boiling water and dry thoroughly; set aside.
- Pour oil in a small sized non-reactive pot and heat over low heat just until just warm to the touch, then remove from heat. It is important not to overheat the oil as its flavor and integrity will degrade. No need to use a thermometer, just go by touch and only heat the oil until it is warm, not hot.
- For a more subtle garlic flavor, leave the cloves whole; for more potent garlic flavor halve the cloves Add garlic to oil, off the heat, and allow to sit for about 2 hours. Strain into the clean jar, making sure to remove all of the garlic pieces; we like to line a fine wire-meshed strainer with cheesecloth to catch any garlic pieces. Seal jars and store in refrigerator, using within 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months for safety (see headnote and TIPS below).
- You may use whatever kind of oil that you like. Our recipes will specify whether we are calling for Garlic-Infused Oil made with olive oil or a more neutral carrier oil, such as sunflower, canola, rice bran or the like.
- Think about how you will be using the oil. If you are planning to make pesto or about to cook some Italian foods, then use olive oil as your base. If you want to cook Mexican or know that you do not want the flavor that olive brings to a dish, then choose a more subtle flavored oil, such as the ones listed above.
UPDATE: You can freeze the oil safely. Take advantage of this fact and make larger batches. In theory the oil can be frozen indefinitely but the flavors might degrade. We suggest freezing some 1month, tasting it, and see it the flavor is to your liking. If it is, try pushing it and try 3 months or longer.
The freezing does not affect the FODMAP aspect and the recipe remains totally compliant with all Monash University recommendations.