Pumpkin Spice Pancakes – Low FODMAP, Gluten Free and Vegan

Pumpkin Spice Pancakes - Low FODMAP, Gluten Free, Egg Free, Dairy Free and Vegan

Well, a lot has happened since the start of January, which is why nothing has been posted here. We bought a house, packed up our rental, moved everything and are now planning improvements on our new home. We also went through a hasty visa renewal process and have applied for permanent residency, so my spare time to actually blog about what we’ve been cooking has been zero. Unfortunately, I lost some of the scraps of paper I’d written stuff down on, so now I just have photos of food I can’t remember the ingredients to. Well done, me.

To ease myself back into blogging, and to test how good the lighting is around our new house (best lighting of any place yet, hooray!), I decided to cook up some pancakes with what little we have in our just-moved pantry. I had no bananas to make my usual breakfast staple of banana oatcakes, so I had to improvise. Luckily, we had a tin of pumpkin puree lying around and we’d run out of frozen stock, so it wasn’t going to be made into soup any time soon.

Pancakes it was, then!

FODMAP Notes

  1. Pumpkin in general has been given a low FODMAP rating in servings of 1/4 cup and a moderate rating in servings of 1/2 cup. This recipe keeps the serving at 1/4 cup per person, so is considered FODMAP friendly.
  2. Oats are given a low FODMAP rating in servings of 1/4 cup, which is split between two servings in this recipe. Oats that have been processed separately than wheat are gluten free but naturally contain a protein called avenin, which is similar enough to gluten that some with coeliac disease will still react. If this is is you, replace the oat flour with quinoa or buckwheat flours, which are safe in 1/4 cup servings.
  3. Chia and flax seeds have recommended servings of  2 tbsp for those with IBS, to limit a potentially problematic fibre intake, regardless of FODMAPs. This is split in half in this recipe, so should be safe.
  4. Maple and rice syrup are low FODMAP sweeteners, with a glucose content that is either equal to or greater than fructose content.
  5. I used coconut milk, which is low FODMAP in 1/2 cup servings and otherwise higher in sorbitol. You could also use any other milk that you tolerate, such as rice or almond milk.

Pumpkin Spice Pancakes

Serves 2.

Pancakes

  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup oat flour
  • 1 tbsp. chia seed meal
  • 1 tbsp. flax seed meal
  • 2 tbsp. maple syrup or rice syrup
  • 1/4 cup dairy free/low FODMAP milk of choice (plus a little extra if required)
  • 1 pinch salt

Candied Walnut Topping

  • 1/2 cup walnuts of pecans, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp. maple syrup or rice syrup
  • 1 tbsp. unsalted butter or coconut oil (dairy free/vegan option)

Mix the chia and flax seed meals with the syrup and low FODMAP milk of your choice and let them sit for 5 minutes. Next, add in the salt, pumpkin puree and the oat flour and mix thoroughly. You don’t need to use a blender, although it does make the job easier. The problem is you need to clean it!

Heat your pan to a medium heat and divide the mixture into four parts. Spread them out into 6-8 cm diameter circles and cook for 4-5 minutes a side.

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For the optional nut topping, turn the heat to low after the pancakes have been removed and let it cool for a minute. Add the butter (or coconut oil) until it melts and then throw in the nuts and syrup and heat them all for a further 30-60 seconds. Remove from the heat and top the pancakes, pour on a little extra syrup (if you’d like) and dig in.

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Pumpkin Pie for Friendsgiving – Low FODMAP, Gluten Free, Dairy Free & No Refined Sugar

Pumpkin Pie with a Gingerbread Crust - Low FODMAP, Dairy Free, Gluten Free and No Refined Sugar

Thanksgiving is such a quintessentially American holiday. Sure, there’s Independence Day and Halloween (etc) but we get those to some extent, or at least the Australian equivalent, back home. What I really like about Thanksgiving is the emphasis on being thankful. It may sound really corny but, given it’s surrounded by Halloween and Christmas, two of most consumption driven holidays of the year, it’s a breath of fresh air to not worry about buying lollies for greedy kids who take more than their share (yes, I’m still annoyed about that), or wonder if you’ve left anyone off your Chrissy list, or if you’ve got them something they won’t like. Instead, you just have to cook your arse off for the three days prior… but some crazy people call that “fun.”

The fact that “Fall” in Seattle is so much more spectacular than Autumn in Melbourne also helps matters along – the roads around our place looked like the trees had been decorated, that’s how bright and colourful the leaves were – in every shade you could imagine from pink to yellow to red. Give me overcast and chilly over a day that can’t make up its weather-mind any day of the week. My inner child absolutely adores throwing on my gum boots and sloshing around the local walking trails or the dog park.

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For those reading in Australia, or anywhere else that doesn’t celebrate Thanksgiving, it’s all about being thankful for what you have… ironically followed, in the USA, by Black Friday sales, which are a little along the lines of the Boxing Day sales in Australia. Still, I like that, for one day at least, we are encouraged to think about what we have and how lucky we are to have it.

The one problem with Thanksgiving, though, as well as Christmas and Easter, really, is that we don’t have any family over here to celebrate with… which is why I love the term “Friendsgiving.” Most, if not all, of our Seattle friends are also transplants from other parts of the US and the world, so a Friendsgiving is what we do and I love it. This year, we are hosting an early Friendsgiving at our house, so we are roasting the usual turkey with all the trimmings (gravy, cornbread stuffing, cranberry sauce etc) but I had to think of a dessert.

Well, there’s nothing more American than apple pie – but I wanted to be able to eat the dessert, too. I’d tried pumpkin pie once before and liked it, so I thought I’d give it a go. To give myself something to compare my pie to, I bought a pumpkin pie from the supermarket and tried a slice (I didn’t eat the pastry and it was otherwise low FODMAP). I hated it. I double checked the ingredients and I’m sure it’s all the corn syrup (note, not high fructose corn syrup) that made it taste sickly sweet and there was also a weirdness to it that I couldn’t explain. I got my American neighbour (neighbor?) to taste test my version of pumpkin pie for me and – aside from slightly overcooking the base – she approved. She also told me that supermarket bought pumpkin pies are almost never good. Anyway, I much prefered my own recipe, if I don’t say so myself.

This pumpkin pie is lightly spiced, pumpkin-y and has a custard-like texture; the gingerbread crust plays off the filling really nicely and the whole thing is quite rich, so you won’t need to eat much.

FODMAP Notes

  1. Almonds are low FODMAP in servings of 10 nuts and contain moderate fructans and galactans in servings of 20 nuts. One slice of this pie should be FODMAP friendly but, if you struggle with almonds, try subbing in some pecan meal or even some gluten free flour for a lower overall FODMAP count.
  2. Brown rice is low FODMAP in servings of 1 cup, however it can be hard to digest for non-FODMAP reasons. If you struggle with it, try replacing it with quinoa flour, or any gluten free/low FODMAP flour blend that you like.
  3. Golden and maple syrups are 1:1 fructose and glucose, so are safe, FODMAPs-wise, in moderation. Check for any higher FODMAP ingredients, to be safe. Use maple syrup if you want to make the “no refined sugars” version.
  4. Pumpkin and squash vary in safe serving sizes from 1/4 to 1/2 cup, depending on the type. The pie pumpkin I used is FODMAP friendly in 1/4 cup servings and contains moderate amounts of sorbitol in 1/2 cup servings. Freshly made pumpkin puree is best by far, in terms of colour and flavour of the resulting pie.
  5. Coconut cream is low FODMAP in servings of 1/2 cup, any more and sorbitol becomes an issue.
  6. Cinnamon, all spice, ginger and cloves are all FODMAP friendly spices.
  7. This pie combines pumpkin and coconut cream, two ingredients that, if you eat enough, are high in sorbitol. If the large pie is cut into 12, you should be eating a safe amount of pumpkin and coconut cream; if you made mini pies, then you are in control of the size. If you are super sensitive to sorbitol but can tolerate dairy, use lactose free double cream instead of the coconut cream.

Pumpkin Pie

Serves 8-10 (one large pie, or 10 mini 5 cm diameter pies).

Gingerbread Base

  • 150 g almond meal/flour
  • 150 g brown rice or quinoa flour
  • 1 tbsp. chia seed meal
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. all spice
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, softened
  • 1/4 cup golden or maple syrup
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 pinch salt

Pie Filling

  • 450 g/1.0 lb of pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup coconut cream
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup or golden syrup
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 ground all spice
  • 1 pinch ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. table salt
  • 3 large eggs

Place a tin of full fat coconut cream in the fridge at least overnight. This allows the  cream to separate from the water. When you are ready to make your filling, flip the can upside down and open it; pour the watery part into a glass and use in smoothies etc. Spoon out 1 cup worth of the thickened coconut cream and use in the filling recipe.

Sift all the dry ingredients for the gingerbread base together and put aside. In the bowl of your stand mixer or food processor, combine the softened coconut oil, syrup and egg, then pour in the dry ingredients and mix until a smooth, slightly sticky dough forms. This is your biscuit base. Wrap it and put it in the fridge for 20 minutes before handling.

Preheat your oven to 180 C/350 F and grease either one large tart dish, 5 medium tart dishes or 10 small tart dishes. Break the gingerbread base dough into chunks and press it into the tart tins. This can be done a day or two ahead, just refrigerate until it’s required. Cover the dough with baking paper and pour in baking/pie balls, then blind bake according to instructions below.

While the pie shells are blind baking, blend together all the filling ingredients until smooth and creamy. Let the pie shells cool for ten minutes after blind baking, before filling them until the pumpkin mix is just about to reach the top of the shell.

Baking instructions are as follows:

  • Small (5 cm) pie – blind bake for 10 minutes, before filling with pumpkin mixture and baking for a further 20-25 minutes.
  • Medium (10 cm) pie – blind bake for 12 minutes, before filling with pumpkin mixture and baking for a further 30-35 minutes.
  • Large (23 cm) pie – blind bake for 15 minutes, before filling with pumpkin mixture and baking for 45-50 minutes.

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The pies are done when the filling has darkened a little and only jiggles slightly (this will be much more obvious in the larger pie). When they are cooked, remove them from the oven and let them come to room temperature still in their tins, before refrigerating them. Leave them in their tins until you plan to serve them. Top with whipped cream, icing sugar, or candied nuts of your choice.

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Enjoy! Xo

How to Make Homemade Pumpkin Puree – Low FODMAP and Gluten Free

How to make homemade pumpkin puree - low FODMAP, fructose friendly, gluten free, healthy

Tinned pumpkin puree is extremely useful to have around – I normally have a few cans on hand for lunch or dinner time emergencies (for example, to make pumpkin soup, or a pumpkin and tomato soup) – but really, when you’re trying to impress guests, it doesn’t help you bring your A game to the table. Freshly roasted pumpkin is miles ahead in terms of taste, so, at this time of year, when desserts apparently have to follow the pumpkin theme, too, it’s handy to have some freshly roasted pumpkin puree in the fridge or freezer to whip up your favourite pumpkin pie or cheesecake.

Speaking of this time of year, it’s starting to get dark at 3.30 pm already! Not that lighting has been great during “daylight hours,” anyway. Seattle is notorious for being dark and gloomy, though it doesn’t rain quite as much as Hollywood would have you believe. So I’ve been chasing it around the house for photos… you do what you have to! Though I don’t think Bailey was too impressed that his kennel was being used for a prop.

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FODMAP Notes

  1. Pumpkins/squash generally contain some level of polyols, usually sorbitol. I would not eat them if I was on elimination but if you are in the reintroduction phase of the low FODMAP diet, I’d test 1/4 cup of pumpkin first, as that is what is listed as safe for all varieties except Jap/Kent pumpkins, which are safe in 1/2 cup servings. Of course, if polyols are not a trigger for you, eat as much as you can/like.

How to roast a pumpkin

This method works for any pumpkin/winter squash variety.

  • One pie pumpkin, around 1-1.5 kg/2.2-3.3 lb
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 sharp knife
  • 1 spoon
  • 1 large baking tray
  • Cooking oil

Choose a smallish pumpkin that is brightly coloured – this will give you the best chance of a strong taste. The bigger pumpkins with duller colours tend to be a bit bland. The pumpkins I chose were around 1.1 kg each and yielded approximately 450-500 g of puree.

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Preheat your oven to 200 C/400 F. If you have not done so, rinse the pumpkin of any obvious chunks of dirt, before chopping it into four or five pieces and scooping/scraping out the seeds.

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Spread the pumpkin evenly around a lightly oiled baking dish of your choice and fill a small, oven-safe dish with water – this keeps the oven environment moist and prevents the pumpkin from drying out as it bakes.

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Bake for 45-60 minutes, or until it is fork tender (think boiled potatoes). Remove the dish from the oven, let it cool for 30 minutes or so, then scoop the flesh out and transfer it to a large bowl. Discard the skin.

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Either mash or blend the pumpkin flesh to form a puree and then store it in glass jars or zip-lock bags in the fridge (for up to a week) or the freezer (for no more than two months before quality begins to suffer).

Now you can use it for any cake, pie, bread, soup or custard recipe that calls for pumpkin puree. Easy peasy!

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Creamy Roasted Pumpkin and Sage Soup – Low FODMAP, Fructose Friendly, Lactose Free & Gluten Free

Creamy Roast Pumpkin and Sage Soup - Low FODMAP, Fructose Friendly and Gluten Free, with a vegetarian option

The leaves are finally starting to change in Seattle, huzzah!

I’ve always loved soups in Autumn – okay, okay, “Fall” – and pumpkin soup was a firm favourite of mine growing up; it was one of the dishes that my Mum had nailed (another being Spanakopita – I can’t believe I haven’t posted that one yet).

Well, just my luck to marry a guy who isn’t a pumpkin fan… or a spinach fan, either, for that matter. Hmm… I kid. It’s not that he dislikes them, there’s just plenty of other foods he’d rather eat, like a spicy chili or a really spicy Szechuan dish. I like those things, too, so mostly I don’t mind the compromise but every now and then, well, once or twice each pumpkin season, I make this soup.

The recipe below isn’t exactly my Mum’s recipe, as Ev hates nutmeg. The poor soup, it just can’t win. Instead, I went for a mix of oregano and sage, as we have a handy dandy supply of those in our herb garden. I love the traditional mix of the pumpkin and sage and the addition of a little bacon and Worcestershire sauce (see notes) really brings it all home. Top nosh. Although, be warned, this soup might look light and innocent but it is definitely filling. If you’re serving it as a first course, keep the servings small. Just FYI.

PS. Apologies for the lack of “during” photos, both my camera and phone batteries had carked it.

FODMAP Notes

  1. Butternut pumpkin/squash is low FODMAP in 1/4 cup serves but is given a moderate rating for GOS and mannitol in 1/2 cup serves. Jap/Kent/Kabocha pumpkin (squash) is low FODMAP in 1/2 cup (60 g) serves, with all green lights and no upper limit listed. If you are sensitive to GOS and mannitol, go for the Jap pumpkin but otherwise, use either or a combination of both.
  2. Garlic infused olive oil is considered low FODMAP, as carbohydrates are water soluble, so the FODMAPs can’t leech into the oil, like it would into a water based dish. Either use store bought or saute garlic cloves with the oil and bacon (or butter) at the beginning and discard before the other ingredients are added.
  3. Bacon is low FODMAP, as long as no spices like onion or garlic powder are added into its cure.
  4. Green leek tips are low FODMAP in 1/2 cup servings. Beware the white bulb, which is high in FOS.
  5. Worcestershire sauce is FODMAP friendly in 2 tbsp. servings, despite the onion and garlic that might appear at the very end of the ingredients list. The 1/4 cup called for in the recipe, divided by many servings, is a very small amount and should be tolerated. If you are concerned, or cannot tolerate even a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce, sub in Balsamic vinegar to taste, 1 tbsp. serving of which gets a green light from Monash. This will alter the flavour a little but will still taste delicious.
  6. If you want to make this paleo, use unsweetened almond milk instead of the cream and Balsamic vinegar instead of the Worcestershire sauce.

Roasted Pumpkin and Sage Soup

Serving size: 1/2 to 1 cup (125 – 250 ml).

  • 2 kg approx. Butternut or Jap/Kent pumpkin (works out to 1 large Butternut)
  • 2 tbsp. garlic infused olive oil
  • 1/2 cup diced bacon (replace with 1 tbsp. butter for vegetarian version)
  • 1 cup diced green leek tips
  • 1.0 L of fructose friendly chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1/4 cup fresh oregano
  • 1/4 cup fresh sage
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce (or Balsamic vinegar if required)
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt (or more to taste)
  • 2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup cream (lactose free or almond milk if required)
  • 1 cup water (maybe a little more)

Preheat your oven to 200 C/400 F.

Cut the Butternut/Jap pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds and go to town (carefully!) stabbing it with the knife, to facilitate even cooking. Lay the halves skin side down on a baking tray and sprinkle with salt. Bake in the oven for approx. 90 minutes, until a fork will easily penetrate the flesh. Remove from the oven and allow to cool until it’s comfortable to touch. Alternatively, refrigerate it until required, for up to 2 days.

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In a large saucepan, heat the garlic infused olive oil and fry the bacon until crispy. Meanwhile, scoop out the cooked pumpkin flesh. Remove the bacon and set it aside for later. Add in the diced green leek tips and saute til translucent, then throw in the pumpkin flesh, chicken or vegetable stock, oregano, sage, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Bring to the boil for 1 minute, before reducing to a simmer for 30 minutes, with the lid on.

After 30 minutes, use your stick/immersion blender to puree the mixture until it’s completely smooth. Then, add in the cream and 1 cup water and stir through – if it needs a little more fluid, add in a bit more water.  Play with the salt and pepper, until the seasoning suits your tastes. Simmer for a further 20 minutes with the lid on, before serving warm with the bacon bits sprinkled on top or keeping it on a low heat until it’s required.

I like to serve with a dollop of sour cream and some finely minced chives. A fresh slice of crusty ryce bread (or your favourite low FODMAP/gluten free bread) also goes down a treat. Dig in!

This soup, like most, is better the next day and it lasts in the fridge for five days, so you can divvy it up for weekday lunches. Alternatively, it also freezes well.

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Roasted Pumpkin and Tomato Soup – FODMAP/Fructose Friendly, Gluten Free and Vegan

Roasted Pumpkin and Tomato Soup

Over winter I came to love a simple, yet delicious soup that I would often make for myself if I was home for lunch, or as a “pre-dinner snack.” What began as a way to get rid of opened tins in the fridge evolved into a tasty and warming dish that I really enjoy eating.

This soup requires no alterations to be fully vegan, though you can sub in chicken stock for the vegetable stock if it’s all you have. I often make my soups vegetarian; I think we rely too much on meat in our diets and, while I have unsuccessfully tried to go vegetarian twice now (every time I’d spend 6 months with cold after cold and the last attempt I believe triggered my gastritis) I do my best to limit meat intake to smaller amounts and free range whenever possible.

Notes:

  1. Use a pumpkin that is low in FODMAPs/that you tolerate. Jap pumpkins, or the American style pumpkin (think Jack-o-lanterns) are safe.
  2. Tomatoes are low FODMAP – just make sure, if you aren’t using fresh toms, that you use tomatoes that have not been concentrated at all, such as tomato paste. Your best bet for tinned tomatoes is to buy whole peeled in a tin and puree them yourself.
  3. Tinned pumpkin and tomatoes can be used in a pinch but fresh always tastes better. Use whatever you have time for!
  4. If you do not need it to be vegan, you can use this FODMAP friendly chicken stock recipe and add the sour cream at the end – if you can tolerate lactose, of course.

Pumpkin and Tomato Soup

  • 425 g roasted pumpkin, pureed (fresh or tinned)
  • 425 g tomatoes, peeled and pureed (fresh or tinned)
  • 500 ml FODMAP friendly vegetable stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp. dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt (or to taste)
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper

If you have not done so already, peel your pumpkin, weigh out 425 g, dice it and roast at 180 C/350 F for about 30 to 45 minutes, or microwave until done. Once cooked, puree the pumpkin in your blender/food processor.

In the mean time, weigh out your tomatoes, bring a pot of water to the boil and score from top to bottom, dividing the tomatoes into quarters. Score, do not slice. Fill another large bowl up with ice cold water to halt the cooking process once the tomatoes are out of the pot. Reduce the water to a simmer and then drop in your tomatoes; count to 30 seconds, remove the tomatoes and put them quickly in the cold water for 5 minutes. This is called blanching. To peel the tomatoes, stick your finger or the handle of a tea spoon under the scored edges – which should have lifted – and work the skin off. Next, de-core the tomatoes before pureeing them in your blender.

Now to the soup!

Combine all the ingredients (in order) in a sauce pan over a high heat and bring to the boil. Let the mixture boil for a couple of minutes before reducing it to a simmer and cooking for an hour with the lid ON – it doesn’t need to reduce much. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.

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To keep it warm until required, just leave it over a low heat with the lid on, to prevent further reduction.

Enjoy it with a slice of suitable bread (if you can tolerate a little rye, have you tried my ryce bread?), cornbread or a savoury muffin (pumpkin muffin recipe to come soon).

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Spiced Pumpkin Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Icing – Low FODMAP, Gluten Free & Nut Free

Spiced Pumpkin Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Icing - Low FODMAP, Gluten Free, Nut Free

It’s Halloween and pumpkins are everywhere.

I haven’t made one pumpkin dish this Autumn; perhaps because in Autumn back in Australia it’s March/April/May so the association between Halloween pumpkins and the season isn’t really made. Maybe it’s because my little sister preferred sweet potatoes, so they were cooked instead in our household from before I became slightly interested in the kitchen. Evgeny also dislikes plain pumpkin, it needs to be hidden. But whatever the reason, pumpkins have never really featured heavily in my cooking repertoire. Until I moved to Seattle.

When I was walking the aisles at Costco a few weeks ago, I came across some canned pumpkin puree and fell victim to having a product shoved in my face. I bought some of the cans.

A work friend had made a pumpkin spice cake one “fall,” and I’d had a little try. It was delicious and I couldn’t wait to make a low FODMAP version. Mission accomplished.

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FODMAP Notes

  1. Pie/sugar pumpkin in is low FODMAP in 1/4 cup serves but is high in polyols in larger servings. This cake splits one cup between 16 serves, so is safe.
  2. The cream cheese contains lactose but in some countries you can buy lactose free cream cheese – check your local supermarket.
  3. To make this dairy free, use coconut oil instead of butter and your favourite low FODMAP milk – I like coconut milk, which is safe in the amount called for in this recipe and even safer once divided by 16. Coconuts are not classed as tree nuts – rather, they are fruits, and coconut allergies are rare (according to Allergic Living).
  4. Xanthan gum is not a FODMAP but gums can cause digestive distress in some people for other reasons. If this is the case, use 1 tbsp. chia meal soaked in 1 tbsp. water as a gum replacement.
  5. Make sure you use pure vanilla extract, without any added FODMAPs.
  6. Pepitas (pumpkin seeds) are low FODMAP in 2 tbsp. serves.
  7. Sugar content:
    1. Monash lists 1 tbsp. of both white and brown sugar as low FODMAP, without suggesting any upper limit. Sometimes this may mean that you may safely eat more, it is just not listed as it is more than a typical serving. I have contacted Monash to ask them to clarify whether this is the case with sugar. The cake, split into 16 serves, easily falls well under 1 tbsp. sugar in each. In the mean time, if you are concerned, use dextrose as suggested below and drizzle the cake/muffins with a little maple syrup instead of the cream cheese icing (if you are unable to make icing dextrose).
    2. You can safely reduce the sugar/dextrose in this cake batter from 3/4 cup total to 1/2 a cup and it will still taste good, just less sweet for those whose taste buds prefer it or whose fructose malabsorption/IBS requires it. This cake already contains about 50% less sugar than many similar recipes out there.
    3. If you would like to use a sweetener such as pure stevia to further cut down on the sugar, feel free to do so by following your product’s substitution instructions.
    4. The slight excess of fructose in brown sugar (0.1 g/100 g) can be balanced out by using dextrose, as suggested in the ingredients. Read more about low FODMAP sugars and sweeteners here.

Spiced Pumpkin Cake

Serves 16 FODMAPers

Makes one 9″ cake, two 6″ cakes or 12-16 muffins.

  • 115 g/1 stick of softened unsalted butter or coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup dextrose/castor sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (freshly made or canned)
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk or LF milk
  • 250 g/1 1/4 cup GF plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum or chia gel
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1 pinch salt
  • Optional – 1/4 cup pepitas

Preheat the oven to 180 C/350 F. Grease and line your cake or muffin tins.

Beat the egg whites and salt on high until soft peaks form, then add in the sugars and continue to beat until stiff.

Meanwhile, sieve the flour, xanthan gum, baking powder and spices together in one bowl, and combine the egg yolks, butter/coconut oil, pumpkin puree, vanilla extract and your milk of choice in another.

Once the egg whites and sugar have formed stiff peaks, add in the dry ingredients and combine thoroughly.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl and then add in the wet ingredients. Continue to beat on medium-high for 2 minutes, until cake batter is fluffy and smooth.

If you’d like a little crunch, add in about 1/4 cup of toasted pepitas or leave them to top the icing later.

Bake at 180 C/350 F until it tests clean:

  • 6″ cake: 45-55 minutes.
  • 9″ cake: 55-65 minutes.
  • Muffins: 18 minutes.

Let the cake cool in the tin for ten or so minutes, then turn it out into a cooling rack. Let it cool completely before icing.

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Maple Cream Cheese Icing

1-2 tsp. per cake slice/muffin – freeze the rest.

  • 225 g cream cheese, softened and full fat (low fat won’t whip properly)
  • 60 g/1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup icing sugar or icing dextrose (or a mix of both)
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Blend the cream cheese, butter, maple syrup and vanilla extract in a food processor until smooth. They have to be room temperature, because cold cream cheese and butter will make lumpy icing. Be patient and let them soften!

Add the icing sugar/dextrose in in 1/4 cup amounts and mix thoroughly, tasting after each addition. Stop when you feel it is sweet enough.

This icing recipe makes a lot more than you will need to top the 16 muffins I made, as I used a slightly heaped tsp. per muffin. Save the rest in the fridge for dipping strawberries – or simply freeze it for your next baking project.

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Layered Cake Assembly

For single layered cakes, place each cake on a plate and spread with the icing. Top with crushed pecans or toasted pepitas.

For a double layered cake, place one cake on a plate and spread some of the icing over and top it with the second cake. If you have time, refrigerate it at this stage for 15 minutes to let the icing set in between the layers – this will prevent movement later on. Next, Spread icing over the entire outside of the cake – begin at the centre of the cake’s top and work your way to the edges and then down the sides. Top with toasted nuts or pepitas and refrigerate before serving.

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Butternut Chickpea Rissoles – Low Fructose & Gluten Free

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Tonight’s dinner came to us courtesy of a friend who left a butternut pumpkin/squash in our pantry over a month ago. Thanks, Seb! I had intended to make soup out of it but we couldn’t agree on how we wanted it flavoured so it just kept sitting there, in the pantry, annoying me. If you haven’t guessed yet, Ev and I get easily annoyed by clutter.

Well a couple of days ago someone suggested chickpea (garbanzo bean) fritters to me and a giant light bulb turned on in my head. This was how I could use up the butternut pumpkin!

The flaxseeds in these rissoles – like many other seeds – are very high in Omega-3 fatty acids, which are “essential” in that your body can’t make them itself so you must get them from your diet. Non-vegetarian sources include fish and squid. If you are following a vegetarian diet, it’s important to replace your meat sources of these fatty acids with another source such such as seeds.

The following recipe really just follows the rule of using flour to bind your wet ingredients into a dough, then add some flavours. Nothing to it, really. I really couldn’t decide whether they should be called fritters, rissoles or croquettes but I suppose that doesn’t matter. These brought rissoles to my mind, so that’s what I named them.

Note: I have had a couple of questions regarding the safety of chickpeas (garbanzo beans) for FM. The last time I looked and as far as I could tell now while double checking, chickpeas aren’t high in fructose but another FODMAP – galacto-oligosaccharides, or GOS’s. Other foods high in GOS’s include legumes and lentils. I don’t react to all FODMAPs, mostly fructose and too much lactose, so these are safe for me.

Butternut Chickpea Rissoles

Makes 15, serves 5 for dinner with a salad.

  • 2 x 15 oz/425 g cans of chickpeas, drained – about 2 3/4 cups
  • 1 cup pureed butternut pumpkin – this was the thin end of ours
  • 1/3 cup flaxseeds
  • 1/4 cup GF plain flour
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh green chives – the green part is low FODMAPS, the white is high
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. asafoetida or 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 1/2 tsp. coriander seeds, crushed
  • salt to taste
  • GF breadcrumbs/crushed corn cereal to coat

Slice off the thin/top part of your butternut pumpkin, cut off the skin and chop it into discs about 2 cm thick. Bake at 180 C/350 F for 30 minutes until soft in the middle. Test with a fork.

Butternut Chickpea Rissoles

Let them cool for ten or so minutes then puree them together with the chickpeas.

Add the flaxseeds, flour, chives, spices and salt. Mix thoroughly.

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Take an egg-sized heap of mixture into your hand and mould it into a disc about 5 cm in diameter and 2 cm thick. Next, coat it in the crumb mixture of your choice and put aside while you finish shaping the rest of the rissoles.

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You have two cooking options.

  1. Bake at 180 C/350 F for 20-25 minutes.
  2. Pan fry in olive oil for approx. 2 minutes a side.

I baked this batch. As the pumpkin and chickpeas are already cooked, it is more about heating the mixture through than cooking to soften their texture.

Serve with a side salad – ours included lettuce, tomato, cucumber, feta cheese and balsamic vinegar – and pair with a sauce such as my spiced capsicum (bell pepper) sauce. They both have similar spice profiles, including cumin, so they are a good match. Ev, of course, put Sriracha on his. He would eat that with ice cream if he could.

Lastly, enjoy 🙂

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