Low FODMAP Florentines Bars are much easier to make than traditional, individual Florentine cookies, but have all the same crave-worthy ingredients: nuts, caramelized sugar, chocolate and dried and candied fruit. In this case we use almonds, dried cranberries and candied orange, all of which have lab tested low FODMAP amounts.
Low FODMAP Serving Size Info: Makes 40 squares; 40 servings; 1 square per serving
For the Shortbread: Position a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Coat a 13-inch by 9-inch (33 cm by 23 cm) pan with non-stick spray, line the bottom with parchment, then spray the parchment.
For the Filling: Put the butter, sugar, cream, and honey in a medium sized saucepan, attach a candy thermometer, and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the butter melts. Turn the heat to medium-high, bring to a boil, and cook to 235°F (113°C). The mixture will have thickened and the surface will be covered with large bubbles. Remove from the heat and stir in the nuts, fruit, and flour until well combined.
For the Topping: Put the melted chocolate in a parchment cone and make a free-form zigzag pattern all over the bars. Chill to set the chocolate. Florentines are ready to serve. Refrigerate for up to 1 week in an airtight container in single layers separated by parchment paper. Bring to room temperature before serving. Do not serve to judges of any sort, ever.
Our recipes are based on Monash University and FODMAP Friendly science.
• Almonds: Both Monash University and FODMAP Friendly have lab tested whole almonds, and their results vary from one another. Monash says that a Green Light low FODMAP portion is 10 whole almonds at 12 g, but a high FODMAP portion is 20 whole almonds at 24 g. FODMAP Friendly gives them a “Pass” at 30 g or ¼ cup.
• Butter: Both Monash University and FODMAP Friendly have lab tested butter. Monash states that a low FODMAP Green Light portion is 1 tablespoon or 19 g and also states that “butter is high in fat and does not contain carbohydrates (FODMAPs)”. FODMAP Friendly gives it a “Pass” at 1 tablespoon or 19 g. Both recommended serving sizes are presented as part of healthy eating guidelines, not as maximum FODMAP serving size. Fat can affect guy motility and trigger IBS symptoms in some people. Eat to your tolerance.
• Chocolate: Monash University has lab tested dark, milk and white chocolate all have low FODMAP amounts: 85% dark at 20 g; dark at 30 g; milk at 20 g; white at 25 g.
• Cranberries: Both Monash University and FODMAP Friendly have lab tested cranberries. FODMAP Friendly has lab tested dried cranberries and gives them a “Fail” at 40 g or 3/8 cup. On the Monash app you will find Dried Cranberries are given a Green Light low FODMAP serving of 1 Australian tablespoon, or 15 g. On the Monash website itself they discuss fresh cranberries and state that 130 grams fresh, which is about a scant 1 1/4 cups, should be tolerated well.
• Dairy: The low FODMAP diet is not a dairy-free diet. It is however, low in lactose. Many dairy ingredients are low in lactose, such as heavy cream and many cheeses.
• Honey: Honey has been lab tested by both FODMAP Friendly and Monash University. FODMAP Friendly gives it a “Fail” at 2 teaspoons (15 g). Monash says that while clover honey specifically is only low FODMAP at ½ teaspoon (3 g), they state that honey is low FODMAP in 1 teaspoon (7 g) amounts.
• Sugar: Monash University and FODMAP Friendly have both lab tested white, granulated sugar. Monash states that a Green Light low FODMAP serving size of white sugar is 1/4 cup (50 g). FODMAP Friendly simply states that they have tested 1 tablespoon and that it is low FODMAP. Regular granulated white sugar is sucrose, which is a disaccharide made up of equal parts glucose and fructose. Sucrose is broken down and absorbed efficiently in the small intestine.
Please always refer to the Monash University & FODMAP Friendly smartphone apps for the most up-to-date lab tested information. As always, your tolerance is what counts; please eat accordingly. The ultimate goal of the low FODMAP diet is to eat as broadly as possible, without triggering symptoms, for the healthiest microbiome.