Low FODMAP Zucchini Bread Recipe

Zucchini bread was always a staple at my home growing up and our freezer was always filled with loaves of zucchini bread. As I mentioned before, my Mother is a fantastic baker, so this was one of the things I missed when I went gluten free. Luckily, she was able to modify her yummy zucchini bread recipe to fit into a gluten free diet, as well as a low FODMAP diet.

This recipe is very easy and very delicious! It’s the perfect low FODMAP breakfast for those on the go. Just add a little lactose free butter melted on top and you have the perfect treat to start your day off right.

Low FODMAP Zucchini Bread Recipe

Low FODMAP Zucchini Bread Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 3 Cups Grated Zucchini
  • 3 Eggs
  • 2 Cups Sugar
  • 1 Cup Oil
  • 3 Cups Gluten Free Flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Flour or Trader Joe’s Brand)
  • 3 teaspoons Xanthan Gum (I use Bob’s Red Mill. Do not  add this if it is already added into the Gluten Free Flour.)
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cream Sugar, Eggs and Oil together until well blended.
  3. Add Zucchini and mix until well blended
  4. Add Gluten Free Flour, Xanthan Gum, Salt, Cinnamon, Baking Powder and Baking Soda and mix until well blended.
  5. Lightly grease bread pans (2 large pans or 7 little pans).
  6. Pour mixture into pans.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.
  8. After baking, remove bread from oven and let cool.
  9. Remove from pans and serve or put into individual plastic bags and freeze.

Makes 2 Large Loaves or 7 Small Loaves.

Notes:

  • When I eat these, I usually add some additional lactose-free butter melted on top.
  • Bread will keep about 1-2 weeks in refrigerator.

Like this recipe? Let me know what you think and explore more low FODMAP recipes.

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Low FODMAP Red Wine Chicken or Steak Marinade Recipe

Store-bought marinades are very convenient, however, they all contain garlic and/or onion, which are a big issue when on the low FODMAP diet. Don’t even bother trying to find one… I have searched high and low and have found nothing. However, it’s very, very easy to make your own. Had I known this years ago, I could have saved a lot of money… not to mention a lot of pain!

Low FODMAP Red Wine Marinade

Low FODMAP Red Wine Chicken or Steak Marinade Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil (Garlic Infused Olive Oil adds a great flavor)
  • 2 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Chives, Diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon Gluten Free Asafoetida Powder (Garlic & Onion Replacement)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Dried Parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon Dried Paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon Dried Basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon Sugar (optional – I don’t use it because I like things a little tart.)

Directions:

  1. Put all ingredients into a small tupperware container.
  2. Close tupperware and shake vigorously.
  3. In a Ziploc bag, add raw meat of your choice and add marinade.
  4. Ensure marinade completely cover raw meat.
  5. Remove excess air and seal tightly
  6. Chill for 4-5 hours.
  7. Cook meat as you wish. On a grill is perfect for summer!
  8. Discard any unused portion.

Makes enough for 2 large chicken breasts or 2 large steaks.

Notes:

  • Please feel free to modify as you wish, I like things a little spicy and tart, so if this is not your tastes, please scale back on the spices.
  • Crushed Red Pepper Flakes can be added to give it a little more spice.

Like this recipe? Let me know what you think and explore more low FODMAP recipes.

Low FODMAP Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe

The first time I caught a cold while on the low FODMAP diet, I was very unprepared. Chicken noodle soup is a great remedy for a sore throat, runny nose and fever, but almost all canned soups contain wheat, garlic or onion, so I was at a loss. I had some gluten free broth that I had prepared and froze months ago, but I knew how loaded with garlic, onion and celery it was, which would make me feel worse. As soon as I felt better, I perfected my low FODMAP chicken broth and chicken soup recipes, so I would be better prepared the next time I was under the weather.

Low FODMAP Chicken Noodle Soup

Low FODMAP Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 2-3 Cup Serving of Low FODMAP Chicken Broth
  • 2-3 Cups Water (Fill the Container used for the Broth)
  • 1 Cup Cooked, Chopped Chicken Breast
  • 2-4 oz Uncooked Gluten Free Pasta/Noodles (I use Trader Joe’s Organic Brown Rice Pasta Fusilli)
  • Salt & Pepper to Taste

Directions:

  1. Add Low FODMAP Chicken Broth and Water into a pot.
  2. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently.
  3. Add Uncooked Gluten Free Pasta and Chicken to pot.
  4. Reduce heat and simmer for about 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add Salt & Pepper to taste if desired.
  6. Once pasta is cooked to preference, remove from heat.
  7. Serve immediately.
  8. Makes about 4 servings.

Notes:

  • The 2-4 oz of Gluten Free Pasta can be substituted with white or brown rice.
  • You can refrigerate any unused portion and reheat in the microwave later.

Like this recipe? Let me know what you think and explore more low FODMAP recipes.

Low FODMAP Chicken Broth Recipe

Being gluten free for years, I perfected my homemade chicken soup recipe since most canned soups contain gluten. When I embarked on the low FODMAP diet, I was very worried that I wouldn’t be able to modify this recipe to work…. until I found Progresso Tuscany Chicken BrothLow FODMAP Products, which doesn’t contain garlic or onion. I haven’t yet found this in stores, so I buy it from Amazon. This allows me to make broth without the hassle of a using whole chicken.

I make a large batch of my low FODMAP chicken broth and freeze it for later use in my delicious chicken noodle soup. I found out very early that rice noodles, rice and/or chicken do not freeze and reheat well within the broth, so I add them when I am ready to eat them instead. This new version of my low FODMAP chicken broth doesn’t even make me miss my old version loaded with garlic, onion and celery!

Low FODMAP Chicken Broth

Low FODMAP Chicken Broth Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 3  32oz Containers of Progresso Tuscany Chicken BrothLow FODMAP Products
  • 1 Bunch of Raw Carrots, Diced (8-10 Large Carrots)
  • 1 Bunch of Green Onions, Diced (Green Part Only)
  • 1/4 Cup Fresh Chives, Diced
  • 3 Tablespoons Garlic Infused Olive Oil
  • 3 teaspoons Kosher Salt
  • 2 teaspoons Pepper
  • 2 teaspoons Gluten Free Asafoetida Powder (Garlic & Onion Replacement)
  • 2 teaspoons Dried Parsley
  • 2 teaspoons Dried Rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon Dried Basil
  • 1 teaspoon Dried Oregano

Directions:

  • Add all ingredients into a large stock pot.
  • Cover, and bring mixture to a boil, stirring frequently.
  • Reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 30-35 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Once carrots have softened, remove from heat and allow broth to cool.
  • Divide into 2-3 Cup-sized Tupperware containers and place in freezer. Makes about 4-5 portions.
  • If planning to serve as soup immediately, follow the Low FODMAP Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe.

Notes:

  • This chicken broth is a bit zesty, so if you like things a bit more mild, limit the spices used.
  • This chicken broth is very concentrated, so prior to eating, it should be diluted with water as described in the Low FODMAP Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe.

Like this recipe? Let me know what you think and explore more low FODMAP recipes.

Reintroducing FODMAPs Back into your Diet

The low FODMAP diet is not a life-long diet that you must adhere to… thank goodness! It’s a diet that is designed to identify the causes of your IBS symptoms and give the knowledge to design your future diet. However, the low FODMAP diet is always a safe eating plan to return to when you experience IBS symptoms.

So, after you’ve done the FODMAP eliminate phase for 6-8 weeks or so, now what?

Well, first off – are you feeling better? If you’re not after 6-8 weeks, re-examine your food  intake and see if you may have slipped up somewhere. It may be a different food for you that triggers your symptoms. For example, my body does not tolerate citrus fruits very well, even though most of them are on the “safe” FODMAP food list. The low FODMAP diet is not a gluten free diet, so maybe gluten is your issue. Do you eat bigger meals? That could be your issue because the diet encourages you to eat in small quantities more frequently throughout the day. Or maybe it’s something as simple as medicine, vitamins, gum, even lip gloss or lipstick that you’re using that could be cause your issues. Check anything that goes near your mouth, including a partner that you kiss.

How to Reintroduce FODMAPs Back into your Diet

If you are feeling much better being FODMAP free, and you’re feeling brave to begin to test FODMAP in your diet, here are the next steps to take:

  • Pick a FODMAP group that you want to test reintroducing into your diet. Choose the one you miss the most. I think most people would start with the fructans because of the wheat and spices. This was not my choice since I had learned to live without garlic and onion with the help of some great replacements, like asafoetida powder. Also, being gluten free for a few years, there were many things, like baked goods, that I no longer craved. However, I missed lactose… very much!
  • Once you’ve decided on the first FODMAP group to reintroduce, select how you want to attempt it. Choose a food that you miss in a small quantity during dinner. Why dinner? Because if it is unsuccessful, you will most likely be able to sleep through most of the symptoms and it won’t ruin your entire day. Since I chose lactose to reintroduce first, it would be silly of me to attempt a 12oz glass of milk for breakfast, since the quantity is very large and I would most likely be very sick by lunchtime. Instead, at dinner one evening, I chose to incorporate one of these convenient Pastariso Instant Gluten Free Mac & Cheese Cups that I missed dearly.
  • After you’ve bravely eaten your FODMAP, monitor your symptoms closely and record all the details. Ensure you keep a diary of what you’ve attempted, when you attempted it and all the details to the symptoms you encountered (if any) for the next 24 hours.
  • If you were unsuccessful in your attempt and your IBS symptoms return, you have clearly indicated one of your triggers (yea!), quantity included. If possible, test a smaller quantity of the FODMAP later in the day and record your symptoms once you are feeling better and your symptoms subside. 
  • If you were successful in your first reintroduction, try something very similar in quantity (from the same FODMAP group) again the next day, and track your symptoms. If this was not successful, refer to the red text above.
  • If the second test was successful – awesome! It looks like you can safely eat that for dinner! Now try to have that item earlier in the day (lunch) and track your symptoms. Again, if you’re not successful, read the red text. It is common to be OK with the same quantity of things at dinner, but not at lunch. This was my case. While I had no symptoms with eating my GF Mac & Cheese at dinner, I got stomach pain and bloating about 5 hours later after attempting it for lunch. I didn’t notice this when I tested for dinner because I was sleeping, and in the morning I felt fine.
  • Successful again? Even better! Every time you succeed and feel no symptoms, repeat and add additional quantities of the same FODMAP group to your meal(s). Eventually you’ll get to a point where you notice that the FODMAP group doesn’t impact you at all or you’ll know your limit that you can consume. This process could take from a few days to a month depending on your success rate.
  • Once you have figured out the safe quantity of the first FODMAP, you can move onto testing the next one of your choice. After about 3 months, you should know what you can tolerate and in what quantities so you can design your diet for the future. For me, I can handle galactans at almost all quantities (welcome back hummus!), and a little bit of lactose, fructose and polyols later in the day. Unfortunately, fructans and I do not get along. Even knowing this, I always eat FODMAP free for breakfast and usually at lunch. This allows me to handle most of my days with ease and go to work like a normal person.

The low FODMAP diet (along with any other treatment) will not “cure” your IBS as some people claim. Unfortunately, there is no cure for IBS and personally I don’t think there ever will be in my lifetime. To find a cure, they would need to find a cause first, while still hasn’t been done. The goal of the low FODMAP diet is to manage your symptoms through your daily diet, which has worked very well for me.

I’d love to hear what FODMAPs have made their way back into your daily diet, so please feel free to leave your comments.

How to Reintroduce FODMAPs into your Diet

Restaurant Tips & Options on the Low FODMAP Diet

How often have you heard “Let’s go out and celebrate?” Probably very frequently. We celebrate many occasions by going out to eat at restaurants, such as birthdays, anniversaries and accomplishments. Plus, dining out is a great way to learn about someone on a date, connect with friends and spend time with family.

Eating out at restaurants is a social norm and it’s tough to be excluded from all those activities. Choosing the appropriate foods at restaurants while on the low FODMAP diet is not easy and requires some due diligence. By far, the safest options are available at home, but who wants to hibernate in their home all the time? Being social and not limiting my normal activities is a big part of my happiness, so I was determined to find available options in any restaurant.

As a former server, prior to my IBS issues, I tried to accommodate any special requests. However, with the digital age, the message gets a little distorted by the time it gets to the people cooking your meal. And cross contamination is a common occurrence. So be prepared. How you you be prepared? Read on.

Tips to prepare you for dining out at restaurants on the low FODMAP diet:

  • Know where hidden FODMAP ingredients are. Almost all sauces and soups will not be an option in restaurants due to milk, flour, garlic and/or onions. Even soy sauce contains wheat. Many hamburgers patties include bread crumbs and onions. Even non-breaded fried food has a risk of cross contamination in the fryer. Once you’ve done some serious low FODMAP grocery shopping, you should understand where issues can pop up, and the same goes for almost all restaurants.
  • Know the menu. Look up the menu online prior to going to the restaurant. This will prepare you for what to order, so you don’t spend an hour reviewing the menu for acceptable items. It also allows you to bring any additional items to accompany your meal. I am a big fan of toting my homemade balsamic dressing to go with a salad, bringing a spice blend for a plain grilled steak and having gluten free soy sauce on hand. If nothing on the menu is doable (i.e. Italian restaurants are tough), suggest another restaurant to your party. If that’s not an option, you can always eat prior and let other know that you already ate. I struggle to do this since its hard to sit and watch others eat, but it is something you can do to not exclude yourself from social gatherings.
  • Dine at non-peak times. This will allow the restaurant staff the time to incorporate your special needs. If you eat at the dinner rush, a server or chef may not take the time to punch in all your special requests.
  • Prepare your body. I take Konsyl Natural FiberKonsyl Natural Fiber twice a day, so I ensure I do this prior to eating out. As extra assurance, I also take a Heather’s Tummy Tamers Peppermint Oil CapsuleHeather's Tummy Tamers Peppermint Oil Capsules about an hour prior to eating. This prepares me for any slip-ups that the might occur. In extreme cases, especially if it’s an unfriendly menu, I will take an Imodium A-D .
  • Know how to talk to your server. Like it or not, you have to be THAT person with numerous special requests. Approach it in a very friendly manner and you don’t have to be too specific. My line usually goes something like this. “I am so sorry, but I have a number of food allergies, so my order is going to unique.” I may fib a little in that I don’t actually have allergies, but everyone can easily understand this. I learned this when I was gluten free and I told servers that I had a wheat allergy. It was much easier for them to understand this than trying to explain what gluten was.
  • Never assume anything. Be sure to ask for things without [blank], even if it doesn’t state that ingredient in the menu. For example, salads often come with bread and/or croutons when they are not listed that way in the menu. I’ve had grilled chicken come breaded. I’ve had a steak come with grilled onions because the chef thought it “looked too plain.” Be sure to include details that may be overlooked.
  • Talk to your fellow diners. If your party doesn’t know about your IBS and why you’re ordering such a unique menu item, they may have questions. I usually don’t bring it up unless they ask, and it determines on the person which answer I give. If its someone I know well, I will briefly tell them about my IBS without going into too much detail (since it’s not great dinner conversation). For example, I will say “I was diagnosed with IBS and I am managing my symptoms through a strict diet.” Usually they follow up with some questions on items you avoid, and I am happy to oblige. More often then not, they ask because they themselves have digestive issues or know someone who does. I have found this to be the case many times and have found that some great friends are dealing with the same issues. If it’s a casual acquaintance, I keep it light and just say that I have multiple food allergies.
  • Be prepared to say no. Or just have self control. Many of the freebies, such as bread, chips, crackers, etc. that sit on your table won’t be good options. I usually ask them to not bring it out or to remove it from my table. Out of sight, out of mind. In sight, it’s just an ugly reminder of your health issues.
  • Don’t be afraid to send food back. It’s not worth getting sick over… literally. Again, approach this in a a very kind manner, such as “I am so sorry, but I asked for no onions. Can this be remade?” Usually there is no issues and they will make you a new meal. However, be wary of them just taking it back to the kitchen and removing the items. This has happened to me and I usually ask again for it to be remade.
  • Stay calm. If the server has issues with you or gives you an attitude at any point, I ask to speak with the Manager in a calm, collected manner and explain what I need. Again, no extra detail is needed and getting angry will never solve anything. From there, it is usually handled and I make it a point to not head back to that restaurant again.
  • Take food home. Large meals can trigger IBS symptoms, so it’s a good idea to take part of your meal home with you.

Now that you’re prepared to eat out… what can you order? Surprisingly, there’s some great options that will allow you to be happy and healthy. And remember that salt and pepper will become your best friends!

Sample Low FODMAP Restaurant Items to Enjoy:

  • Eggs, cooked any way. Ensure to ask them to not include any additives, such as flour, milk or spices.
  • Omelet with Low FODMAP Ingredients. Ensure to ask them to not include any additives, such as flour, milk or spices.
  • Bacon.
  • Salads with Oil & Vinegar or Lemon Wedges for Dressing. I usually take my own homemade dressing, which works too. Be sure they don’t include onions, avocados, mushrooms, chickpeas, apples, dried fruit, cashews, croutons or bread. If the salad has any meat or seafood, ensure to ask them to grill it without spices.
  • Plain Grilled Chicken. Cheese can be added. No spices or sauces.
  • Plain Grilled Steak. No spices or sauces.
  • Plain Grilled Fish or Seafood. No spices or sauces.
  • Gluten Free Pasta with Parmesan Cheese and a hint of Butter.
  • Grilled, Steamed or Stir-Fried Low FODMAP Vegetables. No spices or sauces.
  • Baked Potato with Chives, Bacon and Cheese. No sour cream. Butter can be OK in small quantities.
  • French Fries or Potato Wedges (if made without wheat and fried in a dedicated fryer). No spices or sauces, including ketchup.
  • Tortilla Chips (if made without wheat). Unfortunately, most of the dipping sauces are out, so this is a very boring option.
  • Plain Brown or White Rice. No spices or sauces.
  • Low FODMAP Fruit.
  • Cheese Plate with Prosciutto. Stick to hard cheeses.

Got other options? I’d love to hear them!

Low FODMAP Restaurant Options

Getting Started on the Low FODMAP Diet

Don’t know where to start? I know that feeling all too well. I was very overwhelmed by the low FODMAP diet and where to start. It was scary knowing that most of the foods I was eating were doing the damage to my system. So how do you completely change your thinking about food?

How to Get Started on the Low FODMAP Diet

First, get rid of anything that is high in FODMAPs. Check every product in your house and know if it’s a safe food or not. Once you have identified the high FODMAP foods, donate them, throw them out, whatever you need to do, because if you know its available, its easy to eat. I spent an evening cleaning out the pantry, reading every label and what I couldn’t eat, I put on my husband’s shelf (which is out of my normal reach and view). Anything that he didn’t want, we gave to our neighbors who have kids. By far, this was the toughest part because some of my favorite go-to foods ended up on my husband’s shelf.

Next, stock up on some low FODMAP basics. Print out the low FODMAP food list and the high FODMAP food list and spend a long evening at the grocery store inspecting the labels on products. You can get a peek at my favorite low FODMAP items to see what my grocery list looks like. I can save you a lot of time and heart-ache and tell you just to pass on the following products: salad dressings, marinara sauces, marinades, and sauces (like BBQ and steak sauce). I have inspected numerous ingredient labels and almost all of these products contain garlic, onion, honey, high fructose corn syrup or molasses. Here’s a great list of low FODMAP garlic and onion replacements so you can still get great flavor into your food.

Take a look at my low FODMAP recipes that includes some basics like salad dressing, marinara sauce, salsa and mashed potatoes. I am not the best cook in the world, so please don’t be intimidated if you aren’t either. Ensure you pick up some of those ingredients while you’re at the store. Also, as a go-to and a good transition into the diet, pick up some of the low FODMAP brand name packaged foods that I have compiled. Some are winners and some aren’t, but it’s a good base to have some foods you can eat right out of the package.

I have compiled a list of low FODMAP sample meals so you can visualize a my meal plan for yourself. Ensure you have a good base of the ingredients that go into those meals available.

Once you have all your basics in house, an important step is to discuss your new diet with your entire household. Ensure that they understand why you’re eating differently and to please allow you to eat your safe foods (since chances are they’re a little more expensive) while they can enjoy other, less expensive foods. My husband has been very good to incorporate my eating habits into most of our meals, and if he’s eating something I can’t have (that he knows I miss), he will eat in another room. He made the mistake on day 1 of my new diet to comment on how delicious his meal (of all my discarded food) was. I broke down in tears and had a little melt-down because of the limitations I was now faced with. I  explained to him how his comment hurt me because it’s difficult to know all the things I am missing out on. He has been much more sensitive since that incident… especially now with how much happier I am.

Next, find your routine. I do a lot of my big cooking once a week and plan my schedule based on what I have. I utilize the freezer a lot to have food on hand in a pinch. I eat a lot of salads and with my quick low FODMAP balsamic dressing, it’s a quick, low calorie meal.

Also, I tend to eat much smaller meals more frequently throughout the day. Because the low FODMAP diet is it not only what you eat, but in what quantities. I can always tell when I ate too much, even with all safe foods. My system just can’t take a large quantity of food, so I eat 200-300 calorie meals about 6 times a day. Even if I dine out, I usually save half and take it home. For example, if I take a sandwich, a banana and baby carrots for lunch, I will eat the banana around 10:30am, have the sandwich at 12:30pm and then snack on the carrots around 3:00pm.

For me, it took about 2 weeks to fully immerse myself in the diet as I got more comfortable with preparing some of the foods that I used to buy out of the package. Just assume that convenience foods are out and you have to be prepared for each upcoming meal or snack. When laziness strikes, that’s what you have tortilla chips on hand!

I’m not going to sugar coat it… it’s a tough transition. I felt it was maybe a little easier for me since I was already happily gluten free. Also the hope is that you don’t have to eat this way forever. You should eat FODMAP free for about 6-8 weeks and then reintroduce FODMAPs back into your diet. For me, I can handle galactans at almost all quantities (welcome back hummus!), and a little bit of lactose, fructose and polyols later in the day. Unfortunately, fructans and I do not get along.

If you’re starting on the diet, I am happy to help in any way possible. I’ve been there and you shouldn’t have to do this alone. Please feel free to reach out to me with questions or comments at livinghappywithibs@gmail.com, on Twitter at @LivingHappywIBS or on Pinterest.

Getting Started on the Low FODMAP Diet