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

FODMAP Notes

  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 in the amounts called for per serving.
  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

Pastry

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.

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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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FODMAP Notes

  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.

Assembly

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.

Enjoy!

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FODMAP Friendly Christmas Recipe – Shortbread Biscuits

Gluten free & low FODMAP shortbread - yum

It’s that time of year again! Crack out the tinsel, put on your Chrissy hats and get ready for temptation from all corners. Fa la la la luck. At times like this, I just have to remind myself what will happen if I tuck into a traditional mince tart and walk around with blinders on.

Christmas is my favourite time to bake. Not only do I get to make gingerbread (one of my favourite things, ever) or other types of biscuits (cookies), I get to spend time decorating them and generally being crafty. I love it but I was concerned that going wheat free would ruin my fun.

Fear not, though, as shortbread will come to your rescue. This recipe will produce buttery, crumbly, sweet biscuits that taste and look just like the real thing. Your family and/or co-workers will be none-the-wiser when it comes to your Christmas party contribution.

Oh and here’s a nifty trick – use this as a gluten free biscuit pastry base for any sweet tarts you’d like to make, just roll it out to 5 mm thick and blind bake for approx. 10 minutes at 190 C, until lightly golden. Easy!

FODMAP Notes

  1. Be sure that you use BOTH a gluten free flour blend (or spelt flour, if you can tolerate it) and white rice flour – both their properties are required in this recipe, so using 100% white rice flour wouldn’t give the best results.
  2. Use coconut oil instead of butter for a dairy free biscuit.

Low FODMAP and Gluten Free Shortbread

Makes approx. 30-40 biscuits, depending on size.

  • 1 cup dextrose or 3/4 cup castor sugar
  • 1 1/3 cups/300 g softened unsalted butter/coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup gluten free flour blend
  • 1/2 cup white rice flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup gluten free flour
  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum or 1 tbsp. ground chia seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Sieve the sugar, 3/4 cup gluten free flour blend and 1/2 cup white rice flour into the bowl of your stand mixer and add in the butter, then beat on a low to medium speed until smooth.

Meanwhile, sieve the second cup each of gluten free flour blend and white rice flour, the xanthan gum (or ground chia seeds), baking powder and salt into a separate bowl.

When the wet mixture is smooth, scrape down the edges and add in the egg. Beat on medium until it is smooth once more, before adding in the rest of the dry ingredients and mixing thoroughly for 5 minutes. Wrap the mixture tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour before you want to bake them.

When you’re ready to bake, pre-heat your oven to 190 C/375 F and line two or three baking trays with baking paper before rolling the dough out to approx. 2 cm (3/4 in) thickness. Cut the biscuits into 2 cm by 4 cm rectangles, or use your favourite cookie cutters to make fancier shapes and use a fork to poke holes, if you wish.

Shortbread

Bake for approx. 15 minutes, until the bottoms have browned slightly but the biscuits are still soft to the touch while warm – they will harden as they cool. I normally bake in shifts, with no more than two trays in my oven at the one time, or the heat will not circulate properly – if your oven has a fan mode, you might be able to back more at once. Just do whatever works best for your oven.

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Once the biscuits have cooled to room temperature, store them in airtight containers in the pantry for up to five days, until they are required. They do last longer but will taste a little stale – it’s best to serve them before the five day mark.

Enjoy them with a nice cup of tea and seasonal fruit – in Australia this would mean fresh summer berries, as the closest thing we have had to a white Christmas was an hail storm on Christmas morning 2006 that left a nice covering of white hail stones all over the ground. In Seattle, you might be lucky enough to get a white Christmas but they unfortunately don’t come with seasonal low FODMAP fruits – apples, anyone? – so we’d have to spread on some preserves like a strawberry freezer jam.

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Shortbread Pastry – FODMAP/Fructose Friendly & Gluten Free

Shortbread Pastry - Gluten Free and FODMAP, Fructose Friendly

If you’re after a pastry that is quick and easy to whip up and not *too* fiddly (compared to typical gluten free pastry), then look no further. This slightly sweet, buttery and delightfully crumbly pastry will do the trick.

These tart shells will keep (once baked) in an airtight container in the pantry for about five days, before they start to go stale, so they are great to make ahead and then fill on the day you are planning to serve them.

I highly recommend this lemon curd or this passion fruit cream cheese as a filling. This pastry would also suit any Christmas style baking, as shortbread is definitely seasonally appropriate! I am working on a fructose friendly fruit mince pie recipe as we speak, so stay tuned…

Notes:

  1. Be sure that you use BOTH a gluten free flour blend (or spelt flour, if you can tolerate it) and white rice flour – both their properties are required in this recipe, so using 100% white rice flour wouldn’t give the best results.
  2. Use coconut oil instead of butter for a dairy free biscuit.

Low FODMAP and Gluten Free Shortbread

Makes approx. 60 mini tartlet shells, or two 23 cm/9 in shells.

  • 1 cup dextrose or 3/4 cup castor sugar
  • 1 1/3 cups/300 g softened unsalted butter/coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup gluten free flour blend
  • 1/2 cup white rice flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup gluten free flour
  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum or 1 tbsp. ground chia seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Sieve the sugar, 3/4 cup gluten free flour blend and 1/2 cup white rice flour into the bowl of your stand mixer and add in the butter, then beat on a low to medium speed until smooth.

Meanwhile, sieve the second cup each of gluten free flour blend and white rice flour, the xanthan gum (or ground chia seeds), baking powder and salt into a separate bowl.

When the wet mixture is smooth, scrape down the edges and add in the egg. Beat on medium until it is smooth once more, before adding in the rest of the dry ingredients and mixing thoroughly for 5 minutes. Wrap the mixture tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour before you want to bake them.

When you’re ready to bake, pre-heat your oven to 190 C/375 F and then generously flour your work area. Break the dough into 6 and sandwich it between two layers of wax paper. Roll it out to about 4 mm thick (for small tarts) or 6 mm thick (for full-sized tarts) and gently transfer it to your chosen tart pan/pie dish.

Baking:

  • To blind bake these miniature shells, cook at 190 C until lightly golden – this should take about 10-12 minutes; I normally set the timer for 10 minutes and then watch it for the next two. Cook larger shells for approx. 15 minutes, but keep an eye on them.
  • To bake with a filling in, blind bake for 3 minutes, then use the pastry according to the recipe you are following.

Gluten Free Shortbread Pastry Collage

If you baked your pastry with the filling inside, the tarts will be done when they are removed from the oven. Serve them as instructed.

If your pastry was blind baked until completely cooked, let them cool to room temperature and store in an airtight container for up to five days and fill them with the topping of your choice when required.

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From left to right: lemon curd, chocolate hazelnut and passion fruit cream cheese – all are delicious, though the lemon curd is my favourite. Enjoy!

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Happy New Year!

Hi everyone!

I hope you all had a fantastic, fun and low FODMAP Christmas/holiday and New Year’s eve with family and friends. It can definitely be tricky sticking to your diet at this time of year, when we are taunted with all sorts of foods that aren’t really suitable for our guts but taste too good for us to care. I’m not the best at staying strong against temptation but by making a lot of the foods I ate from scratch, having a caring host on Christmas eve who cooked delicious foods I was okay with (mixture of French and Indian cuisine this Christmas – yum!) and hosting New Year’s Eve at our place, I managed to emerge unscathed, which is more than I can say of last year!

I was completely spoilt on Christmas day and received an ICE CREAM MAKER! Yes, I think the days of me buying my Mum gifts on the pretext that she wanted them, when really I wanted her to make things for me, has come back to bite me. But I don’t mind, because ICE CREAM MAKER! I’m planning to start off with a simple vanilla ice cream (classic and Ev’s and my favourite) and then trial a coconut cream version to have a dairy free variety on here. I’ll keep you all posted.

Here’s a few snaps of of our Christmas and New Year 2013/14. After an enjoyable break, I’ve started to type up a new pastry recipe already – I’ll be back to the “recipe each Monday” schedule next week.

Cheers and here’s to continued good gut health,

Nataliya.

This year's tree has been my favourite so far.

This year’s tree has been my favourite so far.

Jenni & Kate sent me the cutest little baubles.

Jenni & Kate sent me the cutest little baubles.

Nellie & Bailey enjoying their treats.

Nellie & Bailey enjoying their treats.

ICE CREAM MAKER!

ICE CREAM MAKER!

Tiring the dogs out on Christmas eve

Tiring the dogs out on Christmas eve

Smoked salmon & cream cheese bagels - my gluten free bagel is on the top left corner.

Smoked salmon & cream cheese bagels – my gluten free bagel is conspicuously on the top left corner. Funny story: my friend’s 6 yo daughter decided to guard it for me because I’m “allergic.” She even told her dad off!

Hoisin pork with coriander & carrot in corn tortilla wraps

Tender hoisin pork with coriander & carrot in corn tortilla wraps – will try this again with rice paper, which would be much easier to roll, and neater, too. The dipping sauce isn’t low FODMAP but was half Sriracha & half sweet chili sauce.

Bacon wrapped dates - I can handle a couple of dates

Bacon wrapped dates – I can handle a couple of dates

Trio of tarts for dessert.

Trio of tarts for dessert. The recipes are all on this blog already – fruit tarts, chocolate hazelnut tarts and passion fruit blueberry tarts.

Wouldn't be complete without greedy dogs.

Wouldn’t be complete without greedy dogs hanging around.

FODMAP Friendly Thanksgiving & Christmas Recipe – Spatchcocked Turkey & Gravy

Fructose Friendly Christmas Recipe - Turkey and Gravy

This post is a follow up to the previous post, in which I showed you a low FODMAP cornbread stuffing. Or dressing, depending on which part of the US you come from. Speaking as an Aussie, I always called it stuffing, because it was generally stuffed up the bird’s you know where. But anyway…

This is the turkey that we served alongside that stuffing – which wasn’t stuffed into the bird because Alton Brown told us (in the season 1 special of Good Eats, Romancing the Bird) that that increases mass, thus cooking time, leading to dry meat – and we always do what AB tells us to. He hasn’t failed us yet.

Even though we cooked this turkey as a belated Thanksgiving dinner, it would of course work well for a Christmas turkey. This was the first turkey that either Evgeny or I had dealt with, other than the sandwich meat type shaved turkey – we don’t have Thanksgiving in Australia and Christmas is during summer, so most sane people either do seafood (cooks very quickly) or buy a leg of ham from the supermarket and have cold cuts of meat instead.

Notes:

  1. These guidelines are relevant to a 13-15 lb/5.5-7 kg turkey (ours was 13.55 lb), once it has been thawed. Follow the thawing guideline provided when you purchase the bird.
  2. Make sure your turkey isn’t pre-basted or injected with any fillers that contain onion and garlic – or anything else you are sensitive to.
  3. Remove the giblets and the neck from the cavity inside the turkey and keep them. They make a fantastic stock, which can be made ahead of time, to use in the corn bread stuffing.
  4. Green leek tips are low FODMAP.

Roast Turkey

  • 1 x 13-15 lb turkey – fresh, thawed from frozen… basically ready to cook.
  • 4 large sticks celery, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cups green leek tips, roughly chopped
  • 1 big bunch of fresh rosemary, roughly chopped
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt

Spatchcock the turkey. I found a great slide show with detailed instructions here, because we didn’t take photos of this stage – messy hands and all.

  1. Place the turkey on a chopping board, with the breasts down and the spine up. Remove the neck and giblets from the cavity if they are still in there.
  2. Using kitchen shears, or a strong knife, cut along each side of the spine and remove it completely – place it with the neck and giblets to make stock later on.
  3. If you need to cut the turkey in half to fit in your roasting pan, like we did, you need to remove the keel bone (a bird’s version of a sternum). Leave the bird on it’s front and find the keel, which runs centrally between the two breast sections. Use a sharp fillet blade to slice along the membrane on either side of the keel bone (cartilage, really) and pry it out with your fingers. It’s tricky but necessary for us.
  4. Flip the bird over onto what was its back and press down HARD on the breast meat. If you didn’t remove the keel bone cartilage, you will hear some loud cracks as the ribs break. If you struggle to remove the keel bone cartilage, this might help to loosen it a little and make the removal easier. At any rate, this step is necessary to flatten the bird, if you didn’t remove the keel.
  5. Your turkey is now spatchcocked and ready to bake.

Preheat your oven to 475 F/250 C.

Remove the wire rack out of your roasting pan (ours is flat, yours might be V-shaped). in the base of the pan, evenly spread the chunks of carrot, green leek tips, celery and most of the rosemary. Replace the wire rack and lay the turkey down, with the skin facing up. Tuck in the wing tips and close up the legs. Rub the olive oil into the skin and shove the remaining sprigs of rosemary into any crevices, then lightly sprinkle with salt. Please excuse the toothpicks in the following photo, we had to keep the skin in place after we had cut the turkey in two.

Let it sit until the oven has heated fully, as the super high temperature is going to brown and crisp the skin before you reduce the temperature to 180 C to complete cooking the turkey.

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Before you put it in the oven, insert a meat thermometer into the breast; make sure that it is inserted into flesh and not pressing up against any bones, or the temperature will be incorrect.

Put the turkey into the oven and bake for 30 minutes at 475 F/250 C. The turkey should become a nice shade of golden brown in that time. Reduce the temperature to 350 F/180 C and bake for another 30 minutes, at which point you can open the oven door quickly and check the temperature. The breast is done at 161 F/72 C and the leg is done when it reaches 180 F/82 C (thanks, AB). If you have a fancy digital probe thermometer with an alarm option, set it to the breast temperature and the turkey is done when it goes off… if not, you need to do what we do and take quick peaks at the dial. If you have an oven with a glass door, that is fantastic – we don’t.

All up our turkey took 1 hour and 30 minutes for the breast meat to reach 161 F, by which time the thighs had also reached 180 F. Remove the turkey form the oven and loosely cover with foil and let it sit for 20 to 30 minutes before carving it. The slide show that I linked to above also has carving instructions.

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Turkey Gravy

  • The drippings from the roasting pan.
  • 1/2 cup turkey stock (that you made with the neck and giblets) or any FF chicken or veg stock – beef would be too strong here
  • 1/4 cup GF plain flour
  • 1 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • salt and pepper to taste

If you have a decent roasting pan, your life will be a lot easier. Ours… well, it’s from Ikea. Let’s just leave it at that.

Once you have removed the roasting pan from the oven and removed the turkey to a chopping board, while you are letting the turkey “sit” for 20 to 30 minutes, put the roasting pan back on the stove top (you will probably need to span two elements) and deglaze the pan with the 1/2 cup of stock. It should only take a minute or two. Then strain the mixture into a measuring jug (makes pouring it out later easier) and place it in the fridge or freezer for 10 minutes to get the fats to congeal at the top.

Once the fats have started to rise to the top, remove some (not all, as they do add some flavour) of the fat and discard. In a separate saucepan, make a roux with the butter and flour – melt the butter and flour together and whisk until smooth – before adding in the remainder of the turkey drippings/stock mix and stirring until it has thickened unto a gravy-like consistency. If it isn’t thickening and you want to add in more flour, dissolve 1 tbsp. of corn starch or GF plain flour in 1 tbsp. of water and then add it into the gravy; if you just tip in flour, it will become lumpy and you will need to do a lot of whisking to smooth it out again.

Pour into a gravy boat and serve alongside the turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and any other side dishes you and your guests have made.

May I suggest one of these beauties for the end of the night?

Merry Christmas (or happy whatever holiday you celebrate at this time of year) to all of you, I hope you manage to stay low FODMAP – or that any indulgences aren’t too disasterous 🙂

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FODMAP Friendly Thanksgiving & Christmas Recipe – Cornbread Stuffing

Fructose Friendly Christmas Recipe - Corn Bread Stuffing

Like – I assume – most kids, the bit I liked best about the roasted chooks that Mum would occasionally buy was the deliciousness that was stuffed inside. If I had been allowed to, I would have completely ignored the chicken and just gorged myself on the herbed, bready stuffing from within. It helped that I thought it was hilarious that it was technically arse bread.

For some reason, Mum stopped buying them – explanation please, Heather? – and stuffing became a thing of legend. Last year we had a Thanksgiving feast at an Aussie friend’s house (no Americans present but we did our best) and one of the guests brought two pans of stuffing – none of which I could eat, of course, as they had wheat bread in them but they smelt ah-mazing. I was drooling and it took all of my strength to resist. The room I spared in my stomach for dessert was the main factor behind my determination; look at the bright side, right?

This year, Ev and I held a belated Thanksgiving dinner after his brother arrived from Australia and there was no question about it, we both wanted stuffing on the menu. After browsing some recipes, it seemed simple enough. Bread as a base, saute some veggies and add in stock and herbs. Then bake. It really was that easy! Hooray! It can even be made ahead of time and then baked before it’s required.

FODMAP Notes

  1. I added in a little garlic and onion to this, as I can tolerate them. If you can’t, then either omit them or add in the green parts of chives and a pinch of asafoetida powder.
  2. Asafoetida powder is an Indian spice that replicates the flavours of onion and garlic.
  3. The green parts of chives and leeks are lower FODMAP than the white, and easier to tolerate fructans-wise.
  4. Mushrooms contain mannitol, so beware if you are sensitive. The half cup split between eight portions should help to soften the FODMAP load.
  5. This is an egg-free stuffing, if you choose to use a bread that doesn’t contain eggs – my corn bread does but some commercial GF breads, or 100% rye breads, do not.

Corn Bread Stuffing

Serves 6-8 as a side dish, works well in a 12″ skillet.

  • 1/2 a loaf of my cast iron cornbread recipe, or a small loaf of your favourite GF bread
  • 1 tbsp. garlic infused olive oil.
  • 3 cups of finely diced vegetables that you can tolerate – I used 1/2 cup green leek tips, 1/2 cup diced mushrooms, zucchini, celery, grated carrots
  • 2 cups of fructose friendly stock – you can make it fresh from the neck and giblets of the bird you are roasting
  • 1/8 cup fresh minced rosemary
  • 1/8 cup fresh minced thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Cut the bread into 2 cm cubes (or there-about) and leave it out overnight to harden. The drier the bread, the more liquid – and thus flavour – it will soak up when the stuffing is baking. If you forgot, or don’t have the time to let it dry out naturally, bake it in the oven at 180 C/350 F for 20 to 30 minutes, checking it periodically.

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Seal your pan with the garlic infused olive oil and saute the finely diced veggies and fresh herbs for 20 minutes or so – you want them to reduce by at least 50%, 75% is ideal. It doesn’t matter if the bottom of the pan browns a little – this is called a fond and is like a flavour bomb, as long as you don’t let it burn and become bitter. It will “deglaze” itself when you add in the liquid stock later on.

Preheat the oven to 180 C/350 F.

Once the veggies have reduced, add in the bread chunks and mix them around. The bread will crumble – this is okay. Next, add in 1 cup of the stock and stir it through. Add in more stock and stir through if required. You may not need the entire 2 cups of stock, depending on how dry the bread was or how much liquid was left in the veggies; just play it by ear. The stuffing shouldn’t look soupy but it should definitely be moist before it is baked, like a dough. Add in salt and pepper to taste.

Bake it for 30 to 40 minutes, until the top has browned a little and formed a slight crust. It should still be moist but much of the squishiness it had pre-baking should be gone.

Serve it in the skillet on the table, along with the turkey (or chook) and accompanying dishes. Simple, tasty and low FODMAP! Can’t beat that.

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