WHERE DO I BUY THAT?!’ – A GUIDE TO SHOPPING LOW FODMAP
So you’ve probably realised by now that cutting out FODMAPS like gluten, dairy and fructose leaves you with few conventional options – which is why many people turn to weird and exotic ingredients you’re unlikely to come across on the shelves at your local supermarket.
Once you get past the initial stage of “what even is a buckwheat?!”, the next question is where to buy it.
Us Brits aren’t as advanced with the whole foods movement as countries like Australia, so knowing where to get hold of stuff like rice flakes, linseed/flaxseed (yeah, turns out they’re the same thing) and rice malt syrup in the UK is not so straight forward.
So I thought I’d compile a little list of the stores I use to buy most of my new cupboard staples – which now crop up in most of my recipes.
Best for: buckwheat flour, nuts, seeds, dried cranberries without fruit juice
Why: They’re cheaper than the supermarkets for bog standard nuts and seeds – especially as they constantly have promotional deals on and give you discount vouchers when you buy.
But H&B also has a more specialist range, so you can get hold of less popular whole foods like linseed and buckwheat.
You can also buy low FODMAP dried fruits like cranberries which are not suspended in concentrated fruit juice. I found a lot of the supermarket ones are infused with fruit juice, making them more likely to be high fructose.
Also known as flaxseed, these little seeds come in two different varieties, golden or brown. Much like chia seeds, they absorb and hold water and are often used as egg replacers in vegan cooking.
This absorbency also makes them great at helping to improve gut mobility. Add them to scrambled eggs or yummy rice flake porridge on a morning to really boost your digestion.
A gluten-free flour blend like Dove’s farm is fine to use on its own, but I find it can end up leaving recipes a bit bland. Adding extra buckwheat flour, a naturally gluten-free blend, can add a richer flavour to your bakes and also works well on its own. Plus it’s always good to have variety in your diet. I recommend trying some.
Best for: rice flakes, millet flakes, rice malt syrup, xantham gum
Why: Some whole foods, like rice flakes or millet flakes, are really hard to track down on the high street and others like xanthan gum can be really expensive. So I started having a look online instead and found this great store.
I tend to stock up in bulk as they offer free UK deliver for orders over £30, they also have a good points scheme for regular buyers.
RICE AND MILLET FLAKES
I used to do a lot of meals and baking with oats, but they are notorious for causing bloating even in those with no FODMAP sensitivity and I found them very hard to digest – so I’ve switched to low FODMAP substitutes with rice flakes and millet flakes instead.
If you’ve tried using gluten-free ones and still had bother, that’s probably because they’re actually no different to regular oats. Yep, oats are naturally gluten-free anyway. The only difference is the ones branded as such are those that have been prepared and packed in a gluten-free environment. It’s a way of minimising the chances of reactions for those with severe gluten allergies, like celiacs.
If you’re looking for an alternative, give rice or millet flakes a go instead. Rice flakes are a quite crumbly and most resemble oats in cooking, whereas the millet has more of a crunch. Try them in my recipe for banana & peanut rice flake porridge or cranberry crunch granola bars.
Gluten is a protein in wheat that helps bind together breads, cakes and pastries. So if you remove it by using a gluten-free flour, you run the risk of your bakes falling apart! Xanthan gum is a great binding agent for gluten-free breads and pastries. Dove’s Farm does do its own brand, which you can pick up in Holland & Barrett, but it’s much more expensive.
RICE MALT SYRUP
Quite simply a brilliant sweet low FODMAP alternative for recipes that require honey or agave
Best for: Dove’s Farm gluten-free flours, quinoa, gluten-free pasta and breads, dairy-free milks and yogurt
Why: Going gluten-free is fast becoming the new healthy eating fad and the supermarkets are eager to cash in on this, expanding their gluten-free and free-from offering and even bringing out their own ranges.
If you’re looking to cut out wheat and dairy, you can now easily pick up almond milk, gluten-free grains like quinoa and gluten-free flour to make your own treats.
KNOW YOUR GLUTEN-FREE FLOURS
Dove’s Farm gluten-free flour: Dove’s Farm are the market leaders for gluten-free flours. Theirs is a blend Rice, Potato, Tapioca, Maize & Buckwheat flours, which saves you having to buy all of the separate ingredients to make your own.
Dove’s Farm gluten-free bread flour: This is the basic blend pre-mixed with xanthan gum, which will help stop your bakes crumbling apart. I would recommend using this one as standard for cakes and pastries as well as bread if you don’t want to buy xanthan gum separately.
Dove’s Farm self-raising flour: This is the basic blend pre-mixed with xanthan gum and raising agents. Much like regular wheat self-raising flour, it saves you having to add your own baking powder or bicarbonate of soda when making a cake.