Overnight Chia Oats – Low FODMAP, Gluten Free & Vegan

Overnight Chia Oats - Low FODMAP, Gluten Free and Vegan

I have a confession to make: I’m a lazy breakfaster. If that’s even a word. When I drag myself out of bed on a weekday, I’m only interested in eating something that is already made, small and light. My stomach doesn’t wake up until about 10 am on most days. Weekends are another matter… brunch, come at me!

That’s why I like to bulk make breakfasts that are ready to eat – and portable, so, if the need arises, they can double as on the go snacks.

My usual go-to breakfast in a jar would be one of any variety of chia seed pudding (recipes all found here) but I suppose I felt I was getting into a (nutritious) breakfast rut and wanted to give something else a go. I’d been meaning to try overnight oats for absolutely ages, so now was my chance.

FODMAP Notes

  1. Oats are low FODMAP in 1/4 cup servings, higher than that and you will ingest higher amounts of fructans.
  2. Chia seeds are low FODMAP. Read about them in more detail here.
  3. Banana, strawberries and blueberries are all FODMAP friendly in the amounts required.
  4. Maple syrup is 1:1 fructose/glucose, so is fructose friendly.
  5. Coconut and almond milk are low FODMAP in 1/2 cup servings, rice milk is another safe option.
  6. Desiccated coconut is low FODMAP in 1/4 cup servings, which is split into five jars.

Overnight Chia Oats

Makes 5.

  • 1 cup oats (gluten free if required)
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened desiccated coconut
  • 1 1/4 cup dairy free low FODMAP milk of choice (I used coconut milk)
  • 2 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1 medium banana
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 cup diced strawberries
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 pinch salt

Prepare the fruit and set aside. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl with a pouring edge. Pour in the wet ingredients and stir through thoroughly.

Decide how you want to arrange the fruit in the oats:

  1. Mix them through with the other ingredients.
  2. Arrange them into alternating layers with the oat mixture.

I chose option two but either would work, depending on how much time you have. I mean, it tastes the same no matter what, right? Divide the mixture and fruit over five jars and refrigerate overnight before serving. The oats and chia seeds will soak up much of the liquid and soften in the process, the sweetness from the fruit will also seep into the mixture and the oats can be served cold straight from the fridge or even warmed up for a couple of minutes (as long as it’s in a microwave safe jar).

Enjoy! Now you can take an extra five minutes for yourself every morning.

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Banana Oatcakes – Low FODMAP, Fructose Friendly, Gluten Free, Dairy Free & No Added Sugar

Low FODMAP Banana Oatcakes - fructose friendly, gluten free, dairy free, no added sugar, vegetarian

Ahh, pancakes; we have a long and complicated history. At the tender age of twelve, I scored a free meal for my entire table at a restaurant in Mordialloc, thanks to the dodgy ice cream that your banana-laden brethren was served with. Maybe my pancakes for breakfast obsession stems from me trying to recreate that scenario at every restaurant and cafe possible (it hasn’t happened yet). Or, maybe, it’s just because you’re so delicious. I guess I’ll never know. My dad’s clever suggestion was to start carrying around a sachet of glass chips (the offender from the ice cream), as he liked not paying for his meal that day and, “could get used to it.” He’s always setting the best examples – though we both know that neither he nor I would do that; karma is a bitch.

Poor Mum, she really had three kids to deal with.

It stands to reason, then, that one of the things I miss most while eating low FODMAP (and nominally gluten free) is being able to safely order pancakes or waffles when out for breakfast. Don’t get me wrong, I realise that it’s really a good thing – scrambled eggs and veggies is a much healthier and more nutritionally balanced option than a mixture of carbohydrates, more carbohydrates, some nutritious sugar (a fruit-based compote) and syrup thrown on top – but every now and then, a sweet treat for breakfast is okay in my books.

I have previously made flourless banana pancakes, which are delicious and also easy to prepare but almond meal can get expensive and I like to mix things up every now and then. Enter these banana oatcakes! Easy peasy to whip up and cook in 15 minutes and they contain what any kitchen – even a normal one – is likely to stock… everyone has chia seeds nowadays, right? Quick, delicious, nutritious and guilt free – that’s exactly what I want in a breakfast. Bonus – they also keep well, to make ahead of time and take for a portable lunch or snack. I haven’t tried freezing them, though you could always make the batter ahead of time and cook as required.

FODMAP Notes

  1. Oats are low FODMAP in 1/4 cup servings, according to Monash University. Use gluten free oats if you are sensitive to gluten.
  2. Common bananas are likewise low FODMAP in servings of one medium fruit, at all stages of ripeness. Lady Finger (aka Sugar bananas) do become higher in FODMAPs as they turn brown, just FYI.
  3. Eggs are low FODMAP, though are obviously unsuitable for those with egg allergies/intolerances.
  4. Cinnamon is low FODMAP.
  5. Chia seeds are low FODMAP; they are also little nutritional powerhouses.
  6. I served these with low FODMAP strawberry freezer jam and Greek yoghurt.

Banana Oatcakes

Serves 1.

  • 10 g (1 tbsp.) chia seeds (or sesame seeds, also delicious)
  • 30 g (1/4 cup.) traditional oats, gluten free if required
  • 1 medium ripe banana (common variety)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

In a clean spice/coffee grinder, blitz the chia seeds and oats to a flour like texture. If you can’t get them fine enough, that’s okay – the oatcakes will still work, they’ll just have visible chia seeds and a few chunks of oats (see last two photos). In a separate small food processor, or by hand, mash the ripe banana and briskly whisk the egg and cinnamon through until smooth. Add the oat/chia flour to the banana batter and blend until thoroughly combined, then set aside.

While the batter thickens a little, preheat your fry pan and melt your choice of oil (olive, coconut, butter etc). Keep the heat at just above medium temperature, as the natural sugars in the banana will burn easily.

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Divide the batter into three or four dollops on the pan and spread to about 5-6 cm in diameter. Cook over the medium heat for 4-5 minutes on the first side and about 3-4 minutes on the second side, until golden brown. Any bigger than this and the oatcakes will probably break as you flip them.

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Remove them from the heat when done and plate them up. Serve immediately, so that they are warm. If you are making a large batch, keep the cooked oatcakes on a plate in the oven on a warm setting until you’re ready to serve them.

I like to spread small amounts of strawberry jam between the oatcakes and place a dollop of natural Greek yoghurt on top. You could of course go for more traditional pancake toppings, if you wished. I just do my best to save those for special occasions. Enjoy!

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Summer has officially hit Seattle! Here are 25 Summer-approved low FODMAP recipes.

Whether you’re soaking up the sun like Bailey, or you’re more of a Nellie and prefer to relax in the shade, I hope you’re enjoying this amazing Pacific Northwest weather! We’re experiencing crazy hot temperatures – for Seattle – this year and some of us are loving it…. some, not so much.

Unfortunately for Nellie, we think the heat might be a trigger for her epilepsy. At the very least, she doesn’t cope well above 25 C/80 F, the poor thing; she’s a lot like Evgeny (cue fur joke). Bailey and I, on the other hand, don’t really consider this as “hot” weather, it still seems more like late Spring weather to us, than high Summer. Yes, I realise I just put words in my dog’s mouth. Also, check out our Facebook page for a cute little video of Nellie Belly getting her den just so. It’s been so hot that she had to dig down to find the cool/damp soil.

Baily, rolling in the sun

Nellie, shade

In honour of this hot weather – and also to make my Mum jealous, as she suffers through Melbourne’s “freezing” temperatures (her words, not mine) – here are some good looking, low FODMAP recipes that are also appropriate for summer.

Salads, Snacks & Meals

  1. Ceviche – Not From A Packet Mix
  2. Grilled tofu salad – Not From A Packet Mix
  3. Seared rainbow trout in white wine – Not From A Packet Mix
  4. Strawberry salad, with a maple lemon vinaigrette – Not From A Packet Mix
  5. Sushi, Gunkan, Maki rolls, Nigiri – Not From A Packet Mix
  6. Toasted almond and cranberry salad – Not From A Packet Mix
  7. Warm salmon salad – Not From A Packet Mix
  8. Balsamic chicken salad with strawberries –  – from Delicious As It Looks
  9. Carrot and coriander soup – from She Can’t Eat What?
  10. Greek pasta salad – from Thrifty Kitchen
  11. Grilled Rosemary Salmon – from Delicious As It Looks
  12. Rainbow salad – from Fructopia

Sweets

  1. Baked peach in puff pastryNot From A Packet Mix
  2. Banana “ice cream” – Not From A Packet Mix
  3. Chia seed puddings, chocolate, coconut and strawberry (coming soon) – Not From A Packet Mix
  4. Classic vanilla ice cream – Not From A Packet Mix
  5. Dark chocolate tofu mousse – Not From A Packet Mix
  6. Pavlova – Not From A Packet Mix
  7. Blueberry ice cream – from Savory Lotus
  8. Chocolate Frosty – from Rabbit Food For My Bunny Teeth
  9. Coconut melon ice cream lollies – from Squashablanca
  10. Frozen yoghurt trail mix bars – from The Lean Green Bean
  11. Lemon mousse – from No Sugarless Gum
  12. No-bake cheesecakes in jars – from Amelia (use Google translate)
  13. Rhubarb pie ice cream – from No Sugarless Gum

Stay cool, everyone!

Banana and Spinach Smoothie – FODMAP/Fructose Friendly, Gluten Free, Dairy Free & Vegan (It’s not gross, I promise!)

Banana and Spinach Green Smoothie - FODMAP, Fructose Friendly, Gluten Free, Dairy Free and Vegan

I really enjoy a smoothie for breakfast. Not only is it quick and easy but it allows me to cram in as many nutrients as possible into one meal. The first time I heard about spinach in a smoothie, I almost gagged. What the hell were those spinach drinkers thinking? I couldn’t imagine anything worse.

But then they became so popular that I realised that there was something going on. People were claiming that their kids were drinking them (the vibrant green colour might have helped); maybe they weren’t as bad as all that… so I resigned myself to try one. That was about a year ago and boy, was I wrong. The following recipe is one I’ve settled on as a favourite. The spinach, which I do love in a salad or a Spanikopita, is barely noticeable; the banana and blueberries provide all the sweetness I need, though you can add a little Stevia if you need to; the yoghurt or coconut cream gives it a little more oomph in terms of its ability to fill my stomach and I am easily satisfied from 8 am until noon.

This smoothie will vary from 300 to just under 400 calories, depending on whether you use the entire banana, or coconut cream instead of Greek yoghurt (coconut cream is much more calorie dense). It isn’t low in carbohydrates but I don’t mind that in the morning, as there is no added sugar and I need a bit of a carb boost to get going. It is high in vitamins A, B (especially B6 and B9/folate), C and manganese, low in sodium and contains around 5 g of protein.

Notes:

  1. Spinach is a low FODMAP vegetable in servings of 1 cup – if you can tolerate more (and like the taste), go ahead and add it. I normally use 3 cups.
  2. Banana is a low FODMAP fruit, use 1/2 a banana if the combo of a whole banana and the blueberries would be too much fruit for you.
  3. Blueberries are low FODMAP in servings of 20 berries.
  4. Coconut cream/yoghurt is low FODMAP in 1/2 cup servings.
  5. Greek yoghurt is a dairy food, so using it would mean that this is no longer vegan or dairy free. However, it is lower in lactose than normal yoghurt if it has been cultured correctly. You could swap it out for a LF dairy yoghurt of your choice, if that’s what you have on hand.
  6. Pure Stevia is a low FODMAP, essentially zero calorie sweetener, made from the leaf of the stevia plant. Just ensure that your Stevia is pure and not mixed with any sugars or polyols that might upset your gut.

Spinach and Banana Smoothie

  • 1 to 3 cups of tightly packed spinach or baby spinach
  • 1/2 to 1 small banana
  • 1/4 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 cup yoghurt or 1/3 cup coconut cream
  • 1/4 cup chilled water
  • 5 drops of pure Stevia extract (optional)

Put the water and yoghurt/coconut cream in the bottom of the blender, then follow with the banana, blueberries and optional Stevia. Blend until combined, then add in the spinach and pack it down. Blend once more on the highest speed for at least 60 seconds, until the spinach has been completely pureed and the drink is smooth. Add in more water and blend for a further 20 seconds, if you like a thinner smoothie.

Done!

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Banana Nut Muffins – FODMAP/Fructose Friendly & Gluten Free

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I am SO excited to share this recipe with you guys, not just because these muffins are so moist and delicious without being overly sweet but because it was the first successful use of my own gluten free plain flour blend!

When trialling this flour, I had to use a recipe that I had down pat, and what better recipe than an old favourite? That way I’d know, if something went wrong, I could blame the flour blend.

Banana bread/muffins/cake is a comfort food for me – good thing that bananas are low FODMAP – and I like baking them in individual servings so that I can freeze them and let one thaw each day that I want one. It also means that they last longer, seeing as they’re frozen and I can’t just grab one out and scoff it – I need to wait and be patient. SO not my strong suit.

These muffins work well for breakfast on the go, a morning tea or a dessert – maybe give them a dose of cream cheese icing if you want to serve them for dessert and have them looking the part.

Notes:

  1. Bananas are low FODMAP, except for overripe sugar bananas. But your average supermarket banana is safe as long as it’s a small to medium size.
  2. Almonds are low FODMAP in servings of 10 nuts. There is only 1/4 cup of almond meal in this entire recipe, spread over 12 muffins, so FODMAP-wise they’re safe.
  3. For a lactose free muffin – use unrefined virgin coconut oil instead of butter and a LF milk with a dash of lemon juice.
  4. For a vegan option, use the LF options as well as 1/3 cup silken tofu instead of the eggs, the instructions remain the same. Alternatively, use your favourite egg replacement method.

Banana Nut Muffins

Wet ingredients

  • 115 g (approx 1/2 cup) butter or virgin coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup dextrose
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 eggs or 1/3 cup silken tofu
  • 1 1/2 medium bananas, mashed
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk – or lactose free/non-dairy milk with a dash of lemon juice

Dry ingredients

  • 250 g GF plain flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum
  • 1/4 cup almond meal
  • 1/4 cup desiccated coconut shreds
  • 2 tbsp. chia seeds
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Preheat the oven to 180 C/350 F and line a 12 pan muffin tray with patty pans.

Cream the butter, sugar and maple syrup on a medium speed for 2-3 minutes, then add in the eggs, mashed banana, vanilla extract and buttermilk and mix until combined.

Meanwhile, sift all the dry ingredients into a separate bowl and stir through. When the wet ingredients are thoroughly mixed, gradually add in the dry ingredients and keep beating on a medium speed for 2-3 minutes, scraping down the edges as necessary.

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Scoop a heaped 1/4 cup measure into each pan and sprinkle with extra desiccated coconut. Bake for 15-20 minutes at 180 C, or until a centre muffin tests clean. Let them sit in the pan for 15 minutes before removing them to a cooling rack and allowing them to reach  room temperature before you box or freeze them.

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Flourless Banana Pancakes – FODMAP/Fructose Friendly, Low Carbohydrate & Gluten Free

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Firstly, I apologise for not posting this last week as I said I would – one thing led to another and even though I had the recipe typed out, the photos weren’t edited and being my OCD-self there was no way I was posting photos without cropping them to the same dimensions and making a title image so the post would be the same as the others on here.

Flourless banana pancakes have been floating around Pinterest and all the low carb websites lately and this is my take on them. Many recipes I found said that, due to the lack of a binding agent, the pancakes had to be made no more than 5 cm (2 in) across or they wouldn’t flip and would turn into scrambled bananas – so I decided to add in some almond meal… still technically “flourless” (and lower in carbohydrates) but not purely egg and banana, especially considering I added some plain Greek yoghurt in there for good measure. The texture isn’t the same as normal pancakes – they aren’t as fluffy and are much softer than wheat or GF pancakes – so they might not be your cup of tea but I like them. There is a subtle banana and almond flavour with a hint of the vanilla extract and the yoghurt gives them a soft creaminess.

Notes:

  1. Almonds are considered low FODMAP in servings of 10, somewhere between 10 and 20 almonds they become high FODMAP – 1/4 cup of almond meal shouldn’t be more than 10 almonds, considering all the air that’s introduced to volume when it’s milled, but if you are worried then buckwheat flour is a suitable substitute for some or all of the almond meal.
  2. If you malabsorb lactose, make sure you use lactose free yoghurt.
  3. One banana to one egg might seem like a lot but the protein in egg whites is both good for us and helps to bind the mixture. I am also of the school that egg yolks are not evil.
  4. I am beginning to experiment with gum-free baking, which is why I have used ground chia seeds in this recipe instead. I am not sensitive to gums myself but there are many out there who are and I aim to please 🙂
  5. Yes, I know, they are only about 10-15 cm across so I technically I should have called them “pikelets” but I have already made the title image and I am not doing it again.

Flourless Banana Pancakes

Per person, you will require:

  • 1 banana
  • 1 tbsp. greek yoghurt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup almond meal
  • 1 tsp chia seeds, ground
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Place the wet ingredients in your blender or food processor – I like a blender because it makes pouring the batter a breeze – and whiz until smooth and combined. Then add in the dry ingredients and blend on a medium speed until they are fully incorporated. The batter is done. If you feel it needs to thicken up a little, let it sit for 5 minutes and the chia seeds will go to work.

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Seal your pan and reduce it to no more than a medium heat, as these brown very easily. Pour the batter into little blobs (approximately 1/2 cup in each but I don’t measure) and set the timer for 3 minutes. Bubbles should start to appear by this stage, and if the pancake slides around freely on the sealed pan surface then it is ready to flip. Don’t fiddle with the pancake, trying to loosen or move it, until it has formed a skin and is sturdy enough to move or you will just damage it. Once flipped, cook for another 3 minutes on the other side and place on a plate in the oven (on the warming setting) to keep them hot until they are ready to be eaten. The “3 minutes a side” rule is also just a guideline, depending on how hot your stove is, how well your pan transfers heat etc.

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Serve with a yoghurt of your choice and a fruit compote – I made a blueberry compote that I had preserved but any of my jam recipes would work as well, or your favourite store bought jam – or pure maple syrup.

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Peanut Banana Blueberry Smoothie – Low Fructose

The sun we have been having lately (that has disappeared again since Saturday but should be back on Wednesday!) put me in a summery frame of mind, which means one thing. Smoothies for breakfast.

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I just hope our downstairs neighbour forgives me for having the blender on in the morning… but considering the noise her family makes, she really shouldn’t complain. Anyone who has stayed with us can attest to that!

Pre-FM, I would have added honey to any smoothie I made but now that I have to watch my fructose load that isn’t the case.

I like the nutty flavour that peanut butter gives to this smoothie but you have to be careful to watch for added sugars in things like peanut butter, especially in America. Also, if you are conscious about where your food comes from, look out for Palm Oil, which is typically from an unsustainable source.

My peanut butter just contains peanuts and a little salt. The fewer ingredients, the better. I should really try and make it one day. Peanuts are great for your health in moderation – because they are quite calorie dense – yet full of vitamins, minerals, proteins and even oleic acid (a monounsaturated fatty acid) which has been shown to reduce your LDL (bad) cholesterol.

Purple Smoothie

  • 1/3 medium banana
  • 1 tbsp. peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 3/4 cup milk/almond milk if you can’t have lactose/dairy
  • 4-5 ice cubes

Blend all the ingredients til the ice is smooth and the fruits are combined. Maybe 45 seconds. Pour into your favourite glass. This makes either one very generous serving or two normal servings.

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If you like your smoothies thicker, add more ice or less milk. If you like them runnier, add more milk or less ice.

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I love our new blender for this; our old blender couldn’t handle ice and would leave chunks, so our smoothies would be gritty… yuck. But that’s what you get for buying an $8 blender.

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