Can You Have Baklava on the Low FODMAP Diet?
Filo? Walnuts? Honey? All together in a classic baklava, and it’s low FODMAP? Our version is! This Low FODMAP Walnut Baklava is just as delicious as traditional versions – pretty much because it is a classic approach – just watch your serving sizes.
Filo (pronounced FEE-lo and also spelled phyllo) has been given the Green Light by Monash University in one sheet per serving. This recipe uses 18 sheets total.
Walnuts are low FODMAP in 30 gram amounts. The recipe has a total of 300 g.
Honey is low FODMAP in 1 teaspoon amounts (7 g). Most folks think that baklava is soaked and laden with honey, but actually it is a sugar and water syrup that is simply accentuated with honey that is used to soak the pastry – so the classic approach works even for us who are following the low FODMAP diet.
This is because standard white sugar is low FODMAP.
Filo dough comes in sheets. Recipes will call for 1 pound (455 g) or 1/2 a pound (225 g) or sometimes it will represent needs in terms of sheets, such as 6 sheets.
Now, the sheets designation might seem insufficient, but the fact is that across various brands the sheets are consistently about 14-inches by 9-inches (35.5 cm by 23 cm) in size.
Most packages contain 1 pound (455 g) and will be found in the freezer section of your supermarket. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight. Many brands package each half-pound separately.
You will only need to open 1/2 pound (225 g) bundle from the package.
Serving Size Counts – Always
This recipe makes 40 squares (1 square per serving) of baklava. BTW the pastry is often cut into diamond shapes, but in our standard 13 by 9-inch (33 cm by 23 cm) pans, it can sometimes drive home cooks crazy trying to create the diamonds, hence I opted for simple squares.
They taste just as great! And baklava is so rich, you will be plenty satisfied with one piece. I promise!
Temperature Also Counts
In the baklava-making world there is much discussion over whether it is best to pour hot syrup over cold pastry, cold syrup over hot pastry, or hot syrup over hot pastry (but never cold syrup over cold pastry).
The goal is always a final crispy result, with the pastry permeated properly with the sweet syrup. After much studying of this issue (I know, I know, my job is so hard), I have decided that hot syrup over cold pastry gives the results that I like best – crispy filo, with the sweet syrup evenly soaked throughout.
Low FODMAP Walnut Baklava
By paying close attention to serving sizes, you can enjoy this Low FODMAP Walnut Baklava even during the Elimination phase.
Low FODMAP Serving Size Info: Makes 40 squares of baklava; 1 piece per serving
- 1 1/4 cups (248 g) sugar
- 1 1/4 cups (300 ml) water
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) honey
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- Position rack in middle of oven. Preheat oven to 325°F. Coat the inside of a 13 by 9-inch (33 cm by 23 cm) pan very well with nonstick spray; set aside.
- Stir together the chopped walnuts, sugar, lemon zest, cardamom and cinnamon in a bowl until evenly combined.
- Unfold the filo dough, place on a piece of parchment paper and cover with a damp cloth to keep them from drying out. Melt the butter in a small pot and have a pastry brush handy.
- Place two sheets of filo in the bottom of the pan, either trimming to fit, discarding any extra, or just kind of scrunch up the long ends (which is what I do). Brush butter all over the top. Add two more sheets, brush with butter, two more sheets and another coating of butter (6 sheets so far). Sprinkle half of the walnut mixture evenly over all, then lay on two sheets, butter the top, two more sheets, butter the top, and two more sheets and butter that last one (now you have 12 sheets total). Scatter the remaining nut mixture over all. Then, with the remaining 6 sheets, assemble as before: 2 sheets, butter, 2 sheets, butter, 2 sheets and finish off with butter.
- Use a very sharp serrated knife to cut an 8 by 5 grid of squares, going all the way down to the bottom layer. This technique is very important; take your time to keep the layers intact.
- Bake for about 40 to 50 minutes or until golden brown, turning the pan front to back once during baking. Cool pan on rack.
- While the baklava is cooling, make the syrup. Simply stir the sugar, water, honey and lemon juice together in a small saucepan, bring to a simmer over medium heat and simmer for several minutes or until it visibly thickens a little bit. Slowly pour the syrup over the cooled baklava, saturating evenly. All to sit for at least 4 hours. Baklava is ready to serve or keep loosely covered with aluminum foil at room temperature for up to 3 days.
- There is no getting around the fact that this is a rich dessert. Start with the serving size suggested and see how you tolerate the baklava. You might be happily surprised and find out you can even eat more! But as always, moderation is key.
All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more. For a more detailed explanation, please read our article Understanding The Nutrition Panel Within Our Recipes.
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