In my effort to bring you low FODMAP dishes for your Passover table I was determined to develop a recipe for charoset. It is a sweet mixture, sometimes paste-like, often made up of apples or pears, sometimes dried fruit, nuts and spices. The original color and texture is meant to recall the mortar that the Israelites used during their enslavement in Ancient Egypt. The word itself comes from the Hebrew word “cheres”, meaning clay.
The Low FODMAP Passover Seder Plate
Charoset is part of the seder plate, which includes other items, many of which are perfectly fine for us FODMAPers. For instance, Monash University recently approved horseradish is small amounts, so you can include it, no problem! See our article, The Low FODMAP Passover Seder Plate for more information.
How Do You Make Low FODMAP Charoset?
This was the question. How were we going to create a dish that was very much like the traditional charoset that uses apples and/or pears and make it safe for us to eat? Robin came up with a brilliant solution – jicama!
Now, maybe you are not familiar with jicama, which is a low FODMAP vegetable at a 1/2 cup (70 g) serving. It is a root vegetable and looks like some kind of turnip, being short and squat and round. You peel it and chop it up. The flesh is watery and crunchy and very mild – sort of like an apple but less sweet. Or like a not-so-ripe pear, so it made a more than sufficient stand-in for those high FODMAP ingredients. We think you will agree. We love our low FODMAP charoset!
Our version is not very paste like. You could chop the ingredients more finely if you like or even pulse them briefly in a food processor. I chose to keep some integrity to the ingredients as they add a nice, fresh crunch to the festivities.
A Vegetable By Another Name…
Jicama is also referred to as yam bean and Mexican turnip. Technically it is Pachyrhizus erosus. If you are in the U.S. it is probably labeled as jicama. In Australia you should look for yam bean.
Wine is often used in the recipe and lends color and flavor to the charoset. For a non-alcoholic version that still provides a bit of red color, we used cranberry juice as an alternative and were very pleased with the outcome.
You could halve the recipe but this batch serves a crowd, plus, it is so tasty we ate leftovers for breakfast the next day!
Low FODMAP Charoset
You CAN make a low FODMAP charoset and we show you how! You will be surprised to see what we use instead of high FODMAP apples and pears.
Makes 8 cups (1.12 kg); serving size 1/2 cup (70 g)
- 2 pounds (910 g) jicama
- 1 1/2 cups (192 g) toasted walnut halves
- 1 cup (166 g) raisins
- 3 tablespoons red wine or cranberry juice
- 2 tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon cloves
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- Peel the jicama and chop it into very fine dice; place in a mixing bowl as you go.
- Chop the walnuts finely either by hand or in a food processor fitted with a metal blade, pulsing on and off. Either way, dump the chopped walnuts into a wire-meshed strainer and shake the loose flakes (walnut skins) away and discard. You will be amazed at how much there is and they would add an unwanted texture to your charoset. Add chopped walnuts to the jicama.
- Stir in the raisins, wine or juice, brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Scrape into an airtight container and refrigerate for at least an hour for the flavors to meld. We think it is even better the next day and the next! Charoset can be refrigerated for up to 4 days.