Classic Lasagne – Low FODMAP & Gluten Free

Italian Lasagne - Low FODMAP & Gluten Free

Hi guys! I’m sorry that it’s been so long between posts but I’m finally writing recipes for my own blog again – and this lasagne is a great way to get back into it. It’s both a delicious and hearty dish that is perfect for winter meals (hello Melbourne!); it’s also easy to assemble and either refrigerate or freeze until you need a pre-made dinner, or you can bake it and then have your lunches made for the week ahead.

Who am I kidding? You’d have enough for ten lunches if you ate it with a side salad.

I’m not going to lie, you’ll need to set aside some time for this dish as it cannot be rushed – quick Bolognese sauce is almost never good – but it is totally worth all the effort. And, really, the Bolognese is not difficult, the stove does all the work. You just need to stir it every now and then. The bechamel sauce is more involved but, again, it’s really just a matter of stirring/whisking it properly to get it smooth. If it’s still lumpy and not getting better, you could also just chuck it in the blender.😉

Once you get to assembly, this basically makes itself.

A note for the purists – I am not Italian, and I follow a low FODMAP diet – so this is as traditional as I can get while keeping this dish onion and garlic free. So far there have been no complaints.


  1. This lasagne, while low FODMAP, does contain large amounts of protein and fats if you over indulge. In addition to FODMAPs, these can cause issues for some with IBS, so be careful if this is you.

Classic Bolognese Sauce

  1. This recipe is onion free but if you can tolerate onion then add in up to 1 onion diced finely and brown at the beginning with the other veggies.
  2. Either infuse garlic into your own olive oil or buy it pre-made. If you can tolerate the garlic, then feel free to mince it and leave it in. You’ll notice I’ve done this.
  3. Either use tomato paste, which is not low FODMAP but some can tolerate it spread throughout multiple serves, or a fructose friendly tomato sauce (as in ketchup for those in the USA) of your choice. Monash lists a serve (2 sachets) of non-HFCS containing tomato sauce as low FODMAP. If you can tolerate neither tomato paste or tomato sauce, add in 1 tsp. of sugar and 1 tsp. of white wine vinegar, instead.
  4. If you can’t tolerate any wines, a FF chicken or beef stock or tomato juice could replace some or all of the red wine for fluid. Just use what you can cope with, even water would do, though you might need to add in a little extra salt and pepper etc for flavour.
  5. Green leek leaves are low FODMAP in 1/2 cup serves; this recipe spreads 1 full cup over 6-8 serves, so is safe.
  6. Celery is low FODMAP in 1/4 medium stalk serves, 1/2 a medium stalk contains moderate amounts of polyols. This recipe contains 1 cup of diced celery, which is approx. 2 cups, so a 1/8th serving is low enough in celery to be low FODMAP but if you are extra sensitive, feel free to replace it with celeriac (celery root), which has a similar taste to celery and is lower in FODMAPs. For a completely different (yet delicious) taste, you could replace celery with red or green capsicums that have been roasted and peeled.
  7. One whole medium carrot is low in FODMAPs, though if you consume enough mannitol can become an issue. This recipe stays within safe serving limits.
  8. Canned tomatoes are low FODMAP in 1/2 cup serves; 800 g/28 oz of tinned tomatoes equates to approx. 3 cups of undrained tomatoes, so you could safely consume 1/6th of this recipe in terms of tomatoes (fructose) – however, you must remember that 1/8th of the dish is safe in terms of celery (polyols).

Bechamel Sauce (aka White Sauce)

  1. Butter, a butter/oil blend and dairy-free margarine are low FODMAP in 1 tbsp/19 g serves, according to Monash University. Half a cup of butter is equivalent to 8 tbsp., so the amount of butter in this recipe is safe when broken down into individual portions.
  2. Lactose free dairy milk is low FODMAP in 1 cup/250 ml serves, this recipe contains less than that per person.
  3. Parmesan cheese is a hard/aged cheese, which are low in lactose. If you are sensitive enough to lactose that you need to avoid even low lactose cheese then you could replace it with a low FODMAP vegan cheese or simply leave it out, as it’s an optional extra.

Classic Lasagne

Makes 8-10 low FODMAP serves.

Both sauces can be made ahead of time and refrigerated or frozen until you plan to use them.

Bolognese Sauce

  • 1/4 cup olive oil to seal pot
  • 3 cloves of garlic – to infuse oil
  • 1 cup green leek tips
  • 1 cup diced carrot
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup diced zucchini
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1 cup fructose friendly stock – chicken, beef or vegetable.
  • 500 g/1 lb beef mince
  • 500 g/1 lb pork or chicken mince
  • 800 g/28 oz tin of whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 tsp. ground cloves
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste or FF tomato sauce (ketchup)
  • Oregano – approx. 1/4 cup fresh or 1/8 cup dried.
  • Thyme – 1/8 cup fresh or 1 tbsp. dried
  • Rosemary – 1/8 cup fresh or 1 tbsp. dried
  • 1/2 cup finely minced chives

Follow these instructions to make the Bolognese sauce.

Bechamel Sauce

You will most likely have left over bechamel sauce. It freezes well in an airtight container, or can be kept for a week in the fridge – it goes really well with broccoli and zucchini as a side dish.

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick or 113 g) of butter or dairy free substitute
  • 1 cup of gluten free plain flour, potentially more or less if you use a different blend
  • 4-5 cups of lactose free milk or dairy free substitute
  • 2-3 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese (optional)

Slowly melt the butter in a medium sized saucepan (a heavy base is best), over a low-medium heat. Once it has melted, create a roux by sifting in the gluten free flour a quarter cup at a time; whisk it through the butter until it forms a smoothe paste, then add each further quarter cup. Keep the heat to low/low-medium at the most, we don’t want the roux to brown as this is a white sauce.

The paste will eventually thicken so much that you might need to change to a spoon (depending on the quality of your whisk). You are aiming for a dough-like consistency, a thick paste that will keep its shape, as demonstrated here.

Once you have the thick paste, begin adding in the milk a bit at a time and whisk/stir each portion through well, before adding in the next. The mixture will begin to resemble soft mashed potatoes and, eventually, a smooth white sauce. If your sauce isn’t smooth, just use a stick blender to get rid of any lumps.

Keeping the heat low, season the sauce and feel free to stir through the grated cheese for a little extra oomph (though that’s not strictly traditional).



  • One pack of Tinkyada brown rice lasagne sheets (or similar – corn tortillas will also work in a pinch)
  • One batch of my low FODMAP Bolognese sauce
  • One batch of my low FODMAP bechamel sauce
  • 2 large tomatoes, sliced into rounds
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil or oregano, shredded (to add after cooking)

Bring a large fry pan of water to the boil and pre-cook the lasagne sheets as per the packet instructions. Meanwhile, pre-heat your oven to 190 C/375 F and get out a large baking dish.

Once you have all of your ingredients (except for the basil) in front of you, you can begin to layer your lasagne like so:

  • Bolognese sauce (1 cm thick)
  • Lasagne sheets
  • Bolognese sauce (1 cm thick)
  • Bechamel sauce (thin layer)
  • Lasagne sheets
  • Bolognese sauce (1 cm thick)
  • Bechamel sauce (thin layer)
  • Lasagne sheets
  • Bechamel sauce (thin layer)
  • Tomato slices and Parmesan cheese

Your lasagne is now ready to cook, or to refrigerate or freeze for cooking later on. Cover the lasagne with foil and bake for 30 minutes, before removing the foil and baking for another 20-30 minutes until the top edges have browned nicely (but not burnt).

Remove the lasagne from the oven and let it cool for 10-15 minutes before slicing and serving with a healthy side salad or cooked veggies and a nice glass of the red of your choice.





Vegetable Bouillon Powder – Low FODMAP, Gluten Free & Vegan

Vegan Bouillon Powder - Low FODMAP and Gluten Free

A few months ago I posted these delicious instant noodle cups, which are perfect for work or school lunches (for teens, not so much little kids). They’re like an adult version of two minute noodles, I love them.

Anyway, here’s the recipe for the vegetable broth powder in a separate post. I know it’s listed in the noodle cup recipe but, for the sake of those who search for just low FODMAP bouillon and not the complete cup of noodles, I’ll post it separately so they can find it too.

This bouillon powder is vegan, doesn’t contain anything that’s too difficult to find in the supermarket and adds so much FODMAP friendly flavour to any meal, be it a pasta sauce, a soup or simply enhancing a vegetable stock. It keeps for a good 6 months when stored in an airtight container in a cool, dark place.

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  1. Nutritional yeast is FODMAP friendly, as yeast is not a FODMAP. Yeast intolerances do exist, however, so if you have one then this recipe is not for you.
  2. Castor sugar and dextrose are both low FODMAP.
  3. Green leek powder is low FODMAP, the serving size depends on the weight difference after desiccation. For example, I normally reduce the weight by 50%, so instead of 28 g being the safe serving size, it is now 14 g.
  4. Rosemary, thyme, parsley, pepper flakes, sage, black pepper, paprika, coriander seed, cumin, ginger and turmeric are all low FODMAP in the small amount you’d consume in 1 tsp. of this powder blend.
  5. The herbs and spices can, however, be higher in food chemicals such as salicylates and histamine. These are not FODMAPs but it is important to keep in mind if you have any additional intolerances.

Vegetable Bouillon Powder

Serving size: 1 tsp makes 1 cup of stock when mixed with boiling water.

  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbsp. kosher salt
  • 2 tsp. dextrose or castor sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. green leek powder
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp. dried parsley
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 3/4 tsp. dried sage
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika (smoked is best but normal is fine)
  • 1/2 tsp. ground coriander seed
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. ground turmeric

Measure all the ingredients into the bowl of your food processor and then blitz for 30 seconds to turn the chunky ingredients (sage, nutritional yeast, pepper flakes) into a fine powder.

Put into an airtight jar and store in a cool dark place for up to 6 months – make sure you label and date the container. When you wish to use it, dissolve 1 tsp. of bouillon powder in 1 cup of boiling water, or add it in separately to dishes, such as stews, to enhance the flavour.



The Low FODMAP Diet for Beginners – A Resource Package


Happy new year everyone! I feel like this is a timely topic to write about, as many people might have either jumped completely off the low FODMAP bandwagon during the holiday season or have been putting off beginning the diet until now, so as not to overwhelm themselves over Christmas. No judgement here, I was also tempted over the last few weeks.

So, for those who are new to this medically prescribed diet, and the not-so-new who might need a refresher course in what it’s all about and a list of resources that are just a click away, read on. The purpose of this resource package is not to tell you everything about the diet – as I have other links that do that, as do the bloggers and professionals that I list below, it is to provide all the resources that a beginner or ex-FODMAPer might need to get a handle of the diet again, by assisting you to understand the science and get inspired to create delicious low FODMAP meals.

To everyone else, I’ll be back to recipes in February – feel free to subscribe to receive emails about new posts in the top of the right hand side-bar.

What IS the low FODMAP Diet?

A much more in-depth description about FODMAPs and how they cause symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can be found here – please read it for full information – but the abridged version is this:

FODMAPs are a group of carbohydrates that are especially fermentable by the flora (bacteria) that live in your colon – this fermentation leads to gassy by-products and an osmotic effect that cause symptoms of abdominal pain, bloating, flatulence and altered bowel movements, to name a few. The low FODMAP diet is a medically prescribed diet that should be undertaken with the supervision of a trained dietitian, if at all possible. It aims to allow you to pin point your specific triggers by eliminating the foods with high levels of FODMAPs for a period of anywhere from 4-12 weeks (depending on who advises you and the severity of your situation) to allow your gut to settle, followed by a structured reintroduction period in which you individually test a variety of foods that are high in the different FODMAPs to learn your particular intolerances.


After completing the elimination and food trial phases, there is no need to remain completely low FODMAP, unless every food you test has caused you to react. See the “should I see a dietitian” section for more information.

The low FODMAP diet is also no longer purely for IBS sufferers. It has been found to help alleviate symptoms in those with carbohydrate malabsorption disorders (like fructose malabsorption), as well as Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, such as Crohn’s Disease and Colitis.

It is important to note that, while gluten is a gut irritant for those with Coeliac disease, non-coeliac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) or certain autoimmune disorders, gluten it is not a FODMAP. Gluten is a plant-based protein that occurs in all varieties of wheat, barley and rye, whereas FODMAPs, as mentioned earlier, are carbohydrates. A low FODMAP diet is not a gluten free diet; however, they can be used in conjunction to achieve full control of IBS (and other) symptoms.


Hopefully you were diagnosed by your dietitian, GP or gastroenterologist after having a set of tests run to rule out anything more serious that can disguise itself as IBS, such as coeliac disease or colon cancer. For obvious reasons, it is important to rule out autoimmune diseases and cancer early on, to limit damage done and improve prognosis – read more here. In addition to the more sinister causes of digestive distress, there are many disorders, diseases and food intolerances that can cause similar symptoms and muddy the diagnostic waters, so to speak.

These differential diagnoses include, but are certainly not limited to, the following conditions:

Testing should be carried out for as many conditions as is deemed relevant for your individual case, until an answer is reached. The gold standard testing method for FODMAP specific malabsorptions (fructose, lactose, sorbitol) is a hydrogen/methane breath test. If your small intestine malabsorbs the carbohydrate, the concentrated solution you drink will, to varying extents, pass through into the colon, where the resident bacteria feed on it, leading to either (or both) hydrogen or methane gas production, which is measured by breathing into a bag or a meter.

Testing for coeliac disease includes an antibody blood test, as well as endoscopic procedures to check for visible signs of damage. Inflammatory bowel disease testing can include stool tests, blood tests, endoscopic procedures and imaging.

Unfortunately, not everyone will receive a standard diagnosis, and after this point “IBS” is typically diagnosed, if the case matches the Rome Criteria for IBS diagnosis.

Should I see a dietitian?

The short answer is yes, if you can. In addition to assisting with diagnosis of FODMAP specific issues, they can help with weeding out any other potential causes of your IBS. For some, FODMAPs aren’t the complete picture, or even part of their answer. For the 25% of people out there whose IBS is not related to FODMAP consumption, a dietitian will be able to help guide you to different possibilities, such as food chemical intolerances or perhaps allergies.

The low FODMAP diet is not meant to be followed forever. Many healthy foods, that are full of fibre and nutrients, are restricted during the full low FODMAP elimination phase, so it is best to get these back into your diet, if you can. Obviously, some people are unable to reintroduce some or any higher FODMAP foods; these people especially would benefit from a dietitian’s supervision, as the dietitian will be able to help them tailor an eating plan that is both low FODMAP and nutritionally balanced. The more foods you can reintroduce successfully, the more balanced your diet can be with less effort.

For a list of dietary professionals that have completed the Everything Low FODMAP Training Program, please click here.

If you are a dietary professional that would like to become certified by Everything Low FODMAP, click here!

In which foods do FODMAPs occur?

For a quick, free list, please check out my FODMAP Friendly food list but for complete and up-to-date lists of the foods to avoid while in the elimination phase (with serving size recommendations), please check out one of the phone applications I have listed below (Monash University, FODMAP Friendly, or Baliza), as they regularly conduct research to test new foods and products for FODMAP content.


Phone Applications
Low FODMAP Professionals Online
  • Everything Low FODMAP – Barbara Bolen, PhD and Kathleen Bradley, CPC | Nourishing recipes, as well as menu plans, diet updates, resources and an online course to help FODMAPers navigate the diet.
  • The Well Balanced FODMAPer – Kate Scarlata, RD | Delicious recipes, fantastic up-to-date low FODMAP resources and an easy-to-understand food list.
  • IBS: Free at Last! – Patsy Catsos, RD | Easy to make recipes, reliable low FODMAP resources for both dietitians and FODMAPers, as well as free downloads to help beginners.
  • Shepherd Works and FODMAP Friendly – Sue Shepherd, RD PhD | Dr. Sue Shepherd, one of the low FODMAP diet pioneers, runs both a clinic in Melbourne, Australia and a company that has a low FODMAP app and low FODMAP food products.
  • R & M Dietetics – Lee Martin, RD and Mel Rendall, RD | Two dietitians who follow the low FODMAP diet, create delicious recipes, provide information about eating out and communicate important research to IBS sufferers.
  • FODMAP Life – Colleen Franciolo, certified nutritionist consultant | balanced, nutritious recipes for FODMAPers and those suffering from other health conditions, such as Hashimoto’s and IBD.
Reliable Low FODMAP Websites
  • Not From A Packet Mix – Nataliya Friend, B.Physio | Low FODMAP and gluten free recipes from scratch for all tastes, science-based resources and guides to travelling with food intolerances.
  • Calm Belly Kitchen – Julie O’Hara | A recipe developer who works for a magazine and, in her spare time, has created a digestive wellness resource for women with IBS, offering low-FODMAP recipes and meal planning tips.
  • The FODMAP Friendly Vegan – Sharon Rosenrauch, BPsyc MNut Candt. | A solid option for those eating a plant-based diet, Sharon provides healthy whole food meals that are delicious and FODMAP friendly.
  • Friendly Little Kitchen – Stephanie Papillo | Delicious, inspired low FODMAP and gluten free meals from an obviously talented cook.
  • Fructopia – Deniz Ficicioglu | Fructose friendly, processed sugar free and wheat free recipes that are delicious and healthy. Bonus – gorgeous food photography.
  • The Fructose Friendly Chef – Melissa | A qualified chef who creates delicious fructose friendly meals, and takes gorgeous photographs to go with them. Say no more.
  • Life and Thymez – Zlata Thoughtz | Quick, delicious and nourishing low FODMAP and gluten free meals – great for the new mums and busy parents out there!
  • A Little Bit Yummy – Alana Scott | Low FODMAP and gluten free recipes, with additional dairy and nut free options and reliable low FODMAP diet information posts.
  • My Gut Feeling – Joana | Healthy low FODMAP and gluten free recipes from a passionate (and well-travelled) foodie.
  • Strands of My Life – Suzanne Perazzini | Beautiful FODMAP friendly recipes, reliable resources and a low FODMAP coaching programme for those struggling to understand the diet.
Books for those following a low FODMAP diet
Low FODMAP coaching courses for IBS sufferers

Facebook Support Groups

I hope you have found this resource page useful! If there is anything you feel should be added, please leave a comment below, or email me at

FODMAP Friendly Christmas Recipe – Fruit Mince Pies

Fruit Mince Pies for Christmas - Low FODMAP & Gluten Free - by Not From A Packet Mix

I’m so excited to share these pies with all of you, they have been a long time coming.

Mince pies (or mince tarts, whatever name you know then by) are a Christmas staple in many Aussie households – as well as many other places that were colonised by the British, I suppose. Every year, Mum would stock up with Bakers’ Delight mince pies as soon as they were available and we’d freeze a bunch so that we’d have them well past Christmas, we loved them so much. Unfortunately, though, I had to cut them out long ago due to the extreme amounts of dried fruits, and often apple, that were lurking inside their delicious pastry shells.

Well, not any more! These fruit mince pies are low FODMAP (according to Monash University ratings) in servings of two pies – you can read the FODMAP information for each ingredient in the FODMAP Notes section below. They are moist, sweet enough, with buttery pastry and just the right amount of spice to finish off your Christmas meal. Enjoy them with a cup of tea, some freshly made custard or FODMAP friendly vanilla ice cream.

Don’t be scared that there are vegetables in here (yes, I know, choko is actually a fruit); the carrot is a naturally sweet vegetable, especially when small and young and the chokos, while typically used as a vegetable and not very sweet themselves, are the perfect apple substitute in a lot of recipes. Combine them with low FODMAP amounts of nut meals, dried fruit (optional) and traditional spices and we have a Christmas classic made low FODMAP.

Merry Christmas guys! Enjoy your time with family and friends, whatever you celebrate and I’ll see you in the new year for more delicious low FODMAP cooking. Don’t forget to sign up to receive each new post by email.

Natty xoxo


  1. Choko, aka chayote squash, is low FODMAP in 1/2 cup (84 g) serves and a perfect replacement for apples in cooking. When young, they are juicy and crisp. The amount per serving of these mince tarts is well below the top recommended safe serve.
  2. A note about the fruit content: if you look online, many blogs and websites warn you to stay completely away from dried fruits. However, if you check Monash University’s Low FODMAP App, this depends on the fruit. Also, if you find that you cannot have any dried fruit (even low FODMAP serves) in the beginning, you may find that, as you progress and your gut settles, you might be able to introduce them back into your diet in small quantities. The amount of dried fruit in this recipe, spread over many small mince pies, should be well tolerated according to Monash. If you can’t handle dried fruit yet, obviously either substitute in raspberries as instructed, or don’t eat them.
    • Dried cranberries are low FODMAP in 13 g/1 tbsp. serves – much less than this is in each serving of mince pie.
    • Sultanas are listed as containing high levels of excess fructose and fructans in 13 g/1 tbsp. serves. Monash University informed me, however, that 1 tsp. of sultanas should be tolerated by most, which means that the 1.3 g of sultanas in each pie (so 2.6 g/ approx. 1/2 tsp. per two pie serve) should be tolerated as well.
    • Raspberries are low FODMAP in 45 g serves, so will be okay in the amount per serve of pie.
    • Common bananas are still low FODMAP when ripe in servings of 100 g (approx. one medium fruit). Only 50 g is required for the entire recipe, so a serving of these pies will stay well under the maximum low FODMAP serving. Make sure you get the common variety, rather than sugar/lady finger bananas, which become high in excess fructose when ripe.
    • If you are on elimination, please discuss these options with your dietitian, as they might wish you to use the extra low FODMAP method, which is to substitute in raspberries, instead of sultanas. 
    • If you are more sensitive to dried fruit than Monash University recommendations, please substitute in raspberries (fresh or frozen) for the dried cranberries and banana for the sultanas/raisins.
  3. Carrots are low FODMAP in 61 g serves, which is about one medium carrot. Much less than this is in each serving.
  4. Almond meal is low FODMAP in 24 g serves – the 50 g called for in this recipe is divided between 18 serves (36 pies), so is well within safe limits.
  5. Desiccated coconut is low FODMAP in 18 g serves – much less than this is used per pie.
  6. Maple and golden syrup are sucrose based, thus have a fructose ratio of 1.0 and are safe low FODMAP sugars.
  7. Whisky and vodka are each low FODMAP in 30 ml serves. Traditionally, rum would be used but, as it contains excess fructose, these are both safer options. If you know you can tolerate tiny amounts of rum, feel free to sub it back in. This is not advised while you are on elimination.
  8. Lemon/orange juice and zest are low FODMAP in the amounts consumed per serve.
  9. The spices and vanilla extract included are all low FODMAP in the amount consumed per serve.
  10. Butter is very low in lactose and Monash University has listed the typical serve (19 g/1 tbsp.) to be low FODMAP. If you include both the pastry and filling in each two-pie serve, you will have approx. 1.5 tbsp. of butter. If you are very sensitive to lactose, simply substitute the butter in the pastry and/or filling for your favourite lactose free option, such as refrigerated coconut oil or a dairy free “butter” spread.
  11. Dextrose is a form of glucose and is the most fructose/FODMAP friendly sugar out there, with a fructose ratio of 0.0. By using it in this recipe, it will help to balance out any fructose present in the rest of the pies as well as in whatever meal you ate just beforehand (as long as they go through the stomach and small intestine together).

Fruit Mince Pies

Makes approx. 36 small pies | 18 low FODMAP serves


Fruit Mince Filling

  • 160 g choko (approx. 1, aka chayote squash) or zucchini, peeled and finely grated
  • 1 small carrot, peeled and finely grated
  • 50 g (1/3 cup) sultanas or very ripe mashed banana
  • 50 g (1/3 cup) dried cranberries or fresh/frozen raspberries
  • 50 g (1/2 cup) almond meal
  • 50 g (1/2 cup) unsweetened desiccated coconut shreds
  • 80 ml (1/3 cup) pure maple syrup
  • 75 g (1/3 cup) dextrose powder
  • 1 tbsp. whisky or vodka
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • Zest of 1/2 a lemon or 1 tsp. dried peel
  • Zest of 1/2 an orange or 1 tsp. dried peel
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 30 g melted unsalted butter
  • 1 pinch salt

To Serve

The day before baking, make the fruit mince filling by mixing all the ingredients together in a container, then put the lid on and store it in the fridge overnight. This allows the dried fruit to soak up the juices from the carrots and choko and lets the flavours meld together. It makes a huge difference in terms of flavour, so don’t skimp.

The pastry can also be made one day ahead, if you wish. If you are using my pie crust pastry, don’t store it in the fridge – instead, keep it wrapped in plastic wrap in an airtight container in a cool, dark place. If you put it in the fridge for more than 30 minutes, it will turn into a solid brick, as most gluten free pastries do, and will need to be re-hydrated once more with a little ice water and your stand mixer.

Pre-heat your oven to 180 C/350 F and grease two small (24 hole) muffin pans.

On a pastry mat or a lightly floured bench, roll out your pastry until it is approx. 2-3 mm thick, then slice it into rectangles measuring 5 x 10 cm. Gently pick up each rectangle and line the muffin holes, trimming off the excess pastry as you go. Once all the muffin holes are lined and the pastry trimmed, re-roll the excess pastry and cut out little stars or leaves to top the pies.

Place the completed muffin trays into the freezer for 10-15 minutes, in the meantime clean your work space and get the fruit mincemeat filling out of the fridge.

Place approx. 1 1/2 tsp. of the fruit mince filling in each pie crust – they should be only slightly heaped, not overly full. Next, place a star or leaves on each pie and brush with your milk of choice.

Bake at 180 C for 15 minutes, until the stars toppers are slightly golden brown. Do not wait for them to turn a true golden brown as this often doesn’t happen with gluten free pastry and you’ll just end up over-cooking your pies.

Remove them from the oven and let them cool completely before you remove them from the muffin pans. If you are storing them, place them in an airtight container in the pantry for up to a week but they taste best if eaten in the first couple of days.

Lightly dust the pies with icing sugar or icing dextrose just before you serve them, then enjoy with your favourite vanilla bean custard or ice cream and a cup of tea or coffee.


FODMAP Friendly Christmas Recipe – Spiced Gingerbread Cake (also Gluten Free & Dairy Free)

Spiced Gingerbread Cake - FODMAP friendly, gluten free and dairy free - Copy (2)

Christmas is fast approaching – the last time I checked, it was the start of November and I was still comfortably in my mid-twenties. I’m now what most people would call “mid to late” twenties and it’s scaring the hell out of me! Where does the time go – and can I rewind it please? While I sit here and panic not-so-silently, I’ll take the opportunity to share a new recipe for a cake that is a combination of my two favourite Christmas desserts: gingerbread and plum pudding. I don’t think you could get a more Christmas appropriate low FODMAP recipe, if you tried.

But first of all, merry Christmas! Or rather the all encompassing term I heard a couple of years ago: Happy Chrismakwanzakah!

Secondly, I am a HUGE fan of fruit cakes and puddings – I absolutely love them. If there were Beliebers for fruit cakes, I’d be right at the front, wearing a t-shirt and screaming my heart out… but, by some cruel twist of fate (damn you, GLUT-5 fructose transporters), if I was to have a slice now, I’d probably have to down a glass of glucose syrup afterwards to ward off any reactions – which is not a healthy thing to do.

As for gingerbread, it’s quite easily made gluten free and low FODMAP, the instructions for which can be found here.

For me, Christmas is all about food and family. It’s just a pity that so many traditional Christmas desserts aren’t easily adaptable to a low FODMAP diet, as they rely so heavily on fruits higher in fermentable carbohydrates. It’s also especially hard being literally half way around the world from the rest of my family at this time of year but it’s alright… I never cook alone. Or eat alone. Or unwrap my presents without an audience, because every dog knows that the rustling of paper and plastic equals treats.


Obviously, a proper plum pudding/Christmas pudding/cake would not be FODMAP friendly. In fact, I don’t know if even the best chef in the world could turn a recipe that asked for ONE KILOGRAM of dried fruit per cake into a low FODMAP recipe. Seriously – challenge issued to anyone out there. Jamie Oliver? Stephanie Alexander? Helloooooooooo?

I made this spiced gingerbread cake for Christmas 2014 at a friend’s house. After the flop that was the gingerbread house I had made the year earlier (apparently nobody else liked gingerbread), I decided to tone down the ginger and amp up the other spices, to give it a more well-rounded Christmas taste. In all seriousness, I also wanted to challenge myself a little last year, knowing that my Friendsmas hosts were going all out to make the meal Nat-friendly (thanks Kendal and Raymond, much appreciated), so I decided to add in just a little dried fruit to this cake, in the spirit of festiveness and, really, because whiskey and sultanas need no explanation.


  1. Whiskey is low FODMAP in 30 ml servings.
  2. Sultanas (aka raisins for those in the USA) are tricky. Grapes are low FODMAP in quite generous servings but the drying process means that the amount of sugar per volume of the grape (now sultana) increases. Monash University lists sultanas (very similar to raisins) as high FODMAP even in 1 tbsp. serves. The 1/4 cup of sultanas called for in this recipe, when divided by 12 (the number of servings it makes), means you will get 1 tsp. of sultanas per slice. As a safety measure, the added dextrose should help to balance out the concentrated sucrose but you can always leave them out if you are on elimination or know you react/for peace of mind.
  3. Dried cranberries are a low FODMAP alternative to sultanas, they are safe in 1 tbsp. serves and contain moderate amounts of fructans in 2 tbsp. serves.
  4. Coconut oil contains no carbohydrates, so is low FODMAP.
  5. All the sweeteners used are FODMAP friendly, the dextrose should balance out the extra fructose from the brown sugar (minute amounts) and the extra sucrose from the sultanas.
  6. Make sure your vanilla extract contains no high FODMAP additives.
  7. Use your favourite gluten free plain flour blend, or a self raising blend and omit the baking powder. Spelt flour is low FODMAP enough for some fructose malabsorbers but not for all – it is also NOT gluten free, as it is an ancient variety of wheat. Use what you feel comfortable with, as this cake batter performs equally well with either flour.
  8. Chia seeds are low FODMAP but still a great source of fibre and other nutrients. They work well as a xanthan gum replacement, for those sensitive to gums. If you only have xanthan gum, feel free to use that.
  9. The spices are all low FODMAP.
  10. Coconut milk (watered down coconut cream) is low FODMAP in 1/4 cup servings, which would be adhered to unless you ate 1/5 of this cake in a sitting.
  11. If you are still in the elimination phase of the low FODMAP diet, don’t include the optional sultanas/raisins or whiskey.

Spiced Gingerbread Cake

Serves 12-14.


  • 3/4 cup coconut oil, softened
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup or rice malt syrup
  • 1/4 cup castor sugar
  • 2 tbsp. dextrose
  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 500 g gluten free plain flour or spelt flour (not gluten free, omit chia or xanthan gum)
  • 1 tbsp. chia meal or 3/4 tsp. xanthan gum
  • 3 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • Zest of 1/2 an orange
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/4 cups coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 tsp. white wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • Optional: 1/4 cup sultanas or up to 1/2 cup of dried cranberries soaked in 1/8 cup whiskey for 4 hours

Royal Icing

  • 1 egg white
  • 1-1 1/2 cups icing sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract


  • Nonpareils (the edible silver balls)
  • Strawberries or fruit of choice

At least four hours before you plan to make the cake, start soaking the sultanas or dried cranberries in whiskey. This is an optional step, you can omit the sultanas if they trigger your IBS, or swap in the dried cranberries.

Preheat your oven to 180 C/350 F and grease your bundt pan, grease and line your 20 cm/9 in cake tin, or line your 12-hole muffin tin with patty pans.

In the bowl of your stand mixer, add in the coconut oil, maple syrup, castor sugar, dextrose and brown sugar and beat for 1 minute at a low speed, followed by 2 minutes on high. Stop, add in the eggs and vanilla extract, then continue to mix for another minute at a medium speed. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, sieve the flour of your choice, chia meal (if using gluten free flour), ground spices and salt and roughly mix them together.

Get the coconut milk ready and then alternate adding thirds of the dry mix and the milk and mixing, until everything is used. If you feel the batter is too runny, don’t use all the milk – coconut milks don’t have a uniform consistency, unfortunately, so yours may be different than mine.

Mix the freshly squeezed orange juice, white wine vinegar and baking powder together and quickly pour it into the cake batter, then mix on high for 30 seconds. Next, add in orange zest and the optional sultanas/dried cranberries and whiskey and mix through until combined. Pour the mixture into your prepared cake tin and bake according to the instructions below.

Baking instructions:

  • Bundt pan – bake at 180 C/350 F for 45-50 minutes, or until cake tests clean with a skewer. Remove from the oven and let come to room temperature.
  • Round tin – bake at 180 C/350 F for 50-60 minutes, or until cake tests clean with a skewer. Remove from the oven and let come to room temperature.
  • Muffin tin – makes 12, bake at 180 C/350 F for 15-18 minutes, or until a centre muffin tests clean with a skewer. Remove from the oven and let come to room temperature.

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Once the cake has cooled, flip it out onto your serving dish of choice and make the royal icing.

Beat the egg white until it forms a soft peak (it will look like sea-foam), then slowly add in the sieved icing sugar, until the batter just begins to form stiff peaks. If you add in too much, the icing will be quite stiff and harder to spread – this quality is great when you want to pipe fine details, like on gingerbread biscuits but not when you want to spread the icing easily over an entire cake.

When your icing is ready, immediately ice your cake and sprinkle with the nonpareils, or decorations of your choice. Royal icing dries very quickly when exposed to air, so it becomes rough, harder to spread and less sticky for your decorations. It will keep well for up to one week in an airtight container in the fridge.

This cake can be made a day or two in advance, just ice it no earlier than the night before you want to serve it. Enjoy this cake with freshly made warm vanilla bean custard, vanilla ice cream, lactose free yoghurt or fresh FODMAP friendly fruit. Merry Christmas!

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FODMAP Friendly Thanksgiving Recipe – Pumpkin Spice Pavlova with Candied Pecans and Pepitas (also Gluten Free)

Pumpkin Spice Pavlova with Candied Pecans and Pepitas - Low FODMAP, Gluten Free and perfect for Thanksgiving

It’s well into pumpkin spice season – almost Thanksgiving now, where does the time go? – and around Halloween I had a hankering for a pav. Problem is, berries are ridiculously expensive in November (in Seattle, obviously not in Melbourne where you lucky ducks are heading into summer). What to do? At first I considered making a jack-o-lantern pavlova but, after I couldn’t find red, yellow or orange food dye at the supermarket (tip – don’t leave that until the day before Halloween next year), I thought about a pumpkin spice pavlova. Who knew, it might be delicious.

As it turns out it, it was delicious (if you like pumpkin pie, PSL’s and pavlova, you’ll love this) but sadly I wasn’t the original genius that I had thought; after writing down my own recipe, I googled it and found out that a few others had beaten me to making this ultimate Ameristralian fusion dessert.

Never mind, my use of pumpkin in the pav instead of the whipped cream (or coconut cream) seems to be original, as was serving it with candied pecans and pepitas. Note – so you don’t end up with a giant mound of cream on one side and not much on the other, be gentle with your pav and don’t rush it! I didn’t realise how poor my cream application was until I cut this slice… Whoops!

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  1. Castor sugar is sucrose, so 1:1 fructose/glucose and safe in moderation. One serve of this pav would be fine for most FODMAPers.
  2. Maple, golden and brown rice syrup are all low FODMAP.
  3. Pumpkin safety depends on the type of pumpkin – I prefer sugar/pie pumpkin, which is safe in 1/4 cup serves – sorbitol can be an issue in larger amounts. Given that the small amount of pumpkin puree is spread between 12-16 serves, this is low FODMAP.
  4. Normal dairy cream can be used if lactose is not an issue, otherwise replace it with lactose free double cream or a low FODMAP vanilla yoghurt.
  5. Coconut Cream is low FODMAP in up to 1/2 cup serves – any more and sorbitol becomes an issue. It is also the dairy free option, for those who do not eat dairy products.
  6. Pecans are low FODMAP in small serves.
  7. Pepitas are low FODMAP in 2 tbsp. serves, as with most seeds.

Pumpkin Spice Pavlova with Candied Pecans and Pepitas

Serves 12-16.

Pumpkin Spice Pavlova

  • 4 egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1 pinch table salt
  • 250 g castor sugar, sieved
  • 2 tsp. corn starch or 1 tsp. potato starch
  • 1 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp. white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground all spice
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 30 g pumpkin puree

Before you start, make sure your kitchen is not humid. Open a window and do not turn on the dishwasher before you make the batter.

Preheat your oven to 180 C/350 F (non fan forced) and line two baking trays with baking paper or a silicon mat.

Place the egg whites and pinch of salt in the bowl of your stand mixer and beat slowly for 60 seconds, to loosen the protein, before gradually increasing the speed in increments, until at full speed for 3-4 minutes. Stop when the egg whites are light and fluffy, like a cloud.

Next, gradually pour in the pre-sieved castor sugar in quarters while beating on high, allowing 30 seconds between each pour for the sugar to dissolve properly into the mixture, then continue to beat, on high, for another minute or two. After this, the batter should form stiff peaks when you remove the beater from it. If it does not, continue beating on high for another 2 minutes at a time, or add 1/4 cup pf sugar, then check again.

Once ready, add in the vanilla, pumpkin puree and white wine vinegar, then the corn starch, cream of tartar and beat for another minute to combine. Pile the mixture in two even piles on the lined baking trays and place in the oven and close the door. Don’t open it again until it’s done.

Immediately reduce the heat to 150 C/300 F and bake for 30 minutes, then reduce the heat further to 100 C / 200 F and bake for 45 minutes, then turn off the oven and let it cool down for 30 minutes.  Your pavlovas are done but they should be allowed to cool completely to room temperature before handling, which should be kept to a minimum. Store them at room temperature, covered with an upside down container to keep them from getting damaged, until you’re ready to assemble them.

Spiced Whipped Cream/Coconut Cream

  • 400 ml double cream to whip, or 3 cups whipped coconut cream (follow these instructions)
  • 1 tbsp. icing dextrose
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground all spice
  • 1 pinch ground cloves

Either whip the 400 ml of cream (only use as much as required), or prepare the whipped coconut cream according to the linked instructions. Once almost completely whipped, add in the icing dextrose and spices and whip for another 30 seconds until combined. Refrigerate until you are ready to assemble the pavlova – don’t make more than 12 hours ahead of time.

Candied Nut Topping

  • 1/2 cup chopped roasted pecans
  • 1/2 cup roasted pepitas
  • 1 tbsp. butter or dairy free sub like coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup maple, golden or brown rice syrup

Melt the butter over a low to medium heat, then add in the nuts and syrup. Increase heat to medium, and keep stirring for 1-2 minutes, until the syrup has reduced by half – the rest will firm up as the mixture cools. Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely before topping the pavlova. Can be made a day ahead, store in an airtight container.


GENTLY lay the first pavlova upside down on a serving dish. Top with half the whipped cream/coconut cream and then cover with the second pavlova, right side up. Top with more whipped cream/coconut cream (don’t feel like you have to use all of it, if it’s not required) and decorate with the candied nut mix.

Refrigeration isn’t best for pavlovas, as it causes the crispy meringue shell to soften, so to avoid this serve within two hours of assembly. If you have to refrigerate it (summer in Australia etc), then it’s not the end of the world, the flavour will stay the same, it’ll just be softer.


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Lemon Coconut Cake – Low FODMAP, Gluten Free & Dairy Free

Lemon Coconut Cakes - Low FODMAP, Gluten Free & Dairy Free 1

I’ve been in a bit of a baking rut for the last few months – just being lazy and going back and forward between banana cake or chocolate brownies, two delicious, tried and true recipes that I love but, honestly, was getting a little tired of. I never thought I’d get tired of banana cake! But it happened.

Seeing as we’re trying to make the most of the last days of summer, I felt a tropical, refreshing flavour was called for – so lemon and coconut it was. Lemon and ginger was another flavour contender but it’ll have to wait for another day. Maybe until next weekend…

These cakes are incredibly light, fluffy and moist – something that doesn’t come as easily to gluten free baked goods as wheat flour products. Honestly, I’m pretty proud of them. The subtle lemon and coconut flavour is gorgeous, not in your face at all, as I know quite a few people who aren’t coconut fans. For those who are, simply add in a few drops of coconut extract to up the flavour. Voila. I think the best compliment that I received for these cakes was Ev eating an entire muffin himself and enjoying it. If you knew him, you’d know he hates cakes, he’s a pastry man. These are that good.

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  1. Lemon zest has not been tested for FODMAP content, to my knowledge. However, the zest is taken from the outer layer of the peel, which contains the essential oils, fatty acids, pigments and other compounds.
  2. Coconut milk/cream are low FODMAP in 1/2 cup (125 ml) serves. The 1/2 cup in this recipe is split between 12-16 serves, so is quite safe. Coconuts are also not tree nuts; they are seeds and are considered safe for those with tree nut allergies.
  3. Coconut oil has been tested and is low FODMAP. FODMAPs are carbohydrates and as coconut oil is an oil, it makes sense that it’s safe. Beware that the high saturated fat content of coconut oil can stir up IBS symptoms in those with fat malabsorption issues.
  4. The flour blend that I recommend is low FODMAP, follow the link for the recipe.
  5. Turbinado sugar is low FODMAP, with a fructose ratio of 1.0. If you wish to learn more about sugars and their FODMAP content, please read this post.
  6. Eggs do not contain FODMAPs but can cause gut issues in those with egg intolerances. If this is the case for you, please substitute in your favourite egg replacement.
  7. Xanthan gum contains no FODMAPs, though some can have separate issues to gums. Chia seeds are low FODMAP in 2 tbsp. serves, this recipe suggests half that as an alternative to xanthan gum, so is safe.

Lemon Coconut Cake

Serves 12-16

  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 cup turbinado or raw sugar
  • 145 g coconut oil, softened (or butter if dairy is okay)
  • 1/2 cup coconut cream
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 250 g gluten free plain flour blend
  • 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum or 1 tbsp. chia meal soaked in 1 tbsp. water
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. lemon zest
  • Optional – 2-3 drops coconut extract

Preheat your oven to 180 C/350 F.

Grease and line a 9 inch round cake tin, or a 12 hole muffin pan.

If not already soft, in a small saucepan, very gently melt the coconut oil, do not let it boil. Set it aside to cool (refrigeration will help). If using the chia gel, rather than the xanthan gum, mix the chia seed meal in the water now, then set aside.

Next, separate the eggs, putting the yolks aside. Beat the egg whites and salt at a high speed until light and fluffy, then add in the sugars and continue beating on high until stiff peaks form (as if you were making a pavlova).

Thoroughly mix the cooled coconut oil, egg yolks, vanilla extract and coconut cream together and whisk briskly, then pour into the meringue batter and stir on a medium speed until combined. Add in the chia gel at this stage, if you are using it instead of xanthan gum.

Place the gluten free flour blend, xanthan gum (if you are using it rather than the chia gel), baking powder and lemon zest in a small, separate bowl, mix through and then pour into the rest of the batter in thirds. Mix the finished batter on a medium speed for a minute to properly combine all the ingredients, scraping down the sides as required.

Bake at 180C/350 F for:

  • 9″ round cake tin – 50 to 60 minutes, or until the cake tests clean. Remove from the oven and let cool in the tin for at least ten minutes before upending it onto a cooling rack.
  • Muffins – 18 to 20 minutes, or until a muffin tests clean. Remove from the oven and let cool in the tin for at least ten minutes before turning them out onto a cooling rack.

I serve these dusted with icing sugar (as it looks pretty) at dinner parties but it does not need it for the flavour, so if you’re just baking for you, feel free to leave it off.

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