Guide to Adding Flavor to Low-FODMAP Food

Adding Flavor to Low-FODMAP Food

Low-FODMAP food doesn’t have to be bland—far from it!

Boost flavour in your low-FODMAP meals by using the following:

  • Salt and pepper
    I know, it seems so basic, but using salt and pepper is absolutely essential. Often, when a dish tastes bland, it’s not because it’s lacking garlic or onion, but because it’s lacking salt.
    Luckily, salt is not a FODMAP.I’m not suggesting that you eat a high-sodium diet, but keep in mind that Americans get most of their sodium from processed foods. And if you’re reducing your intake of processed foods (as you probably will be if you’re on a low-FODMAP diet), then adding more salt to your cooking isn’t terribly worrisome. However, salt shouldn’t be used with abandon, especially if your doctor has recommended a lower sodium intake.
  • Chives and scallions.
    If you love the flavor of onions, chives and scallions can supply your fix. Just be sure to use the green parts only. For the most pungent flavor, use them raw and sprinkle them over a dish just before serving.


  • Garlic oil.
    Garlic is high in fructans, but guess what? Fructans aren’t soluble in oil.
    That means it’s fine to simmer garlic in oil to infuse the oil with its wonderful flavor. But beware: The fructans in garlic and onion are soluble in water, which means the fructans can leach out into the water they’re cooking in. That’s why you should never use garlic or onion in broths or soups; only use it to flavor oil! Make your own garlic oil at home and consume it right after you make it since harmful bacteria can flourish in the leftover oil.


  • Herbs and spices.
    Lots of herbs and spices are low-FODMAP, and they’re a great way to pep up soups and slow cooker meals. Try adding some freshly chopped parsley or cilantro to dishes before serving and use spices like cinnamon


  • Lemons, limes, and citrus zest.
    Freshly squeezed lemon and lime juices add a palate-lifting burst of flavor to lots of dishes—and for an even more intense citrus hit, you can add freshly grated citrus zest, too.


  • Broths and stocks.
    Chicken, beef, and vegetable broths aren’t just for soups: They’re great flavor enhancers, especially in tasty sauces. I used to think making broth and stock was really complicated, but it turns out it’s practically foolproof. Just throw some chicken bones and veggies in a pot of water and simmer away. The more you make it, the easier it gets. Beef stock does require an extra step—the bones have to be roasted first—but it’s so worth it. Freeze the broth in different-sized containers so it’s recipe-ready when you need it. (For very small amounts, try freezing the broth in an ice cube tray or muffin pan.)


  • Umami ingredients.
    The word umami describes a sort of savory meatiness, and adding a dash of umami to a dish enhances the flavors of the ingredients. Beef broth is both low-FODMAP and umami and so is gluten-free soy sauce, tamari, anchovies, olives, and Parmesan cheese. Add them to marinades, sauces, salads—or just about any dish you can think of.


  • Dry wines.
    Dry wines are actually low-FODMAP—in moderation, of course. In the kitchen, they can be used in sauces, stews, and slow cooker meals. Or, use a splash of wine to deglaze the pan after you’ve browned meat, as part of creating a delicious sauce.


  • Toasted grains and nuts.
    I often skip this step if I’m in a hurry, but I always regret it! Toasting rice and quinoa before cooking it really brings out the grains’ beautiful nutty flavour. The same goes for nuts and seeds, like walnuts, pine nuts, or sunflower seeds. Toss them in a dry skillet over medium heat before sprinkling them on salads.

What about onion and garlic?

Onion and garlic are high FODMAP foods which need to be avoided during the elimination phase of the diet.

In fact, onion and garlic are two of the most troublesome triggers for gas and bloating, so strict avoidance will help you get the best symptom improvement.

Onion and garlic are staple flavourings in most recipes – here are some tips and tricks to help you replace them.

Instead of garlic ‘Garlic-infused’ oil is a flavoured olive oil which tastes of garlic but doesn’t actually have any garlic pieces in it. The FODMAP in garlic can’t dissolve in oil, which makes it FODMAP friendly.

Instead of onion, The green part of spring onions are FODMAP friendly and a great substitute, as are chives.

We also recommend getting friendly with your spice drawer.
Fresh herbs and spices like ginger, cumin, turmeric, cardamom, coriander, fresh mint, parsley, coriander, chives, dill, basil are all FODMAP friendly and most have potent anti-inflammatory and immune boosting benefits.

The trick is to boost your food with the fabulous spectrum of flavours that herbs and spices can deliver.

Try using any of the following herbs and spices:

  • Allspice
  • Asafetida
  • Basil
  • Bay leaves
  • Caraway
  • Cardamom
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Chervil
  • Chili powder
  • Chives
  • Cinnamon
  • Clove
  • Cilantro
  • Cumin
  • Curry leaves
  • Dill
  • Fenugreek
  • Galangal
  • Ginger
  • Juniper berry
  • Kaffir lime leaves
  • Lavender
  • Lemon basil
  • Lemongrass
  • Lemon thyme
  • Marjoram
  • Mustard
  • Nutmeg
  • Oregano
  • Paprika
  • Parsley
  • Pepper
  • Peppermint
  • Rosemary
  • Saffron
  • Sage
  • Star anise
  • Tarragon
  • Thyme