WHAT ARE FODMAPS?
Fodmaps are short-chain carbohydrates that some people poorly absorb and digest
=> so in some people, they can cause digestive issues and aggravate the symptoms of conditions like IBS (for these individuals the fodmaps pass through most of the intestine remaining unchanged).
WHAT DOES FODMAPS MEAN?
FODMAPS = Fermentable Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides and Polyols
FERMENTABLE: compounds that are broken down by bacteria in the large intestine
OLIGOSACCHARIDES: simple sugars connected together (in a polymeric structure)
DISACCHARIDES: double sugar molecule
MONOSACCHARIDES: single sugar molecule
POLYOLS: sugar alcohols
EXAMPLES OF HIGH FODMAP FOODS?*
Garlic, onions, beans, fermented cabbage, ripe bananas, dates, pears, apples, figs, cherries, peaches, wheat flour, spelt flour, semolina, rye, cashews, sweeteners, honey, agave milk, yogurt.
EXAMPLES OF LOW FODMAP FOODS?*
Squash, kale, ginger, courgettes, eggplant, carrots, olives, unripe bananas, kiwi, grapes, papaya, orange, beef, lamb, turkey, chicken, fresh cod-salmon-trout, crab, mussels, prawns, oats, rice, quinoa, buckwheat, millet, walnuts, butter, eggs, tofu, oils, cacao.
[*source: ibsdiets website]
The LOW FODMAP diet has been studied especially in relation to people suffering from IBS and seems to be helpful in improving their quality of life (IBS = irritable bowel syndrome, a digestive disorder). A low fodmap diet can also be beneficial for people with other digestive-related diseases.
It’s IMPORTANT to remember that FODMAPS ARE NOT bad from a general point of view. But knowing more about them is a big step for people suffering from conditions affecting their digestive system.
IBS or other digestive issues can be not only difficult to manage, but also frustrating and cause of embarrassment. So, it’s even more important than usual for the people who are affected from this kind of health issues, to build a good relationship with their body, being able to love the food that they choose to put on the table, and feel a little bit more in control of how food affects their days. Things that can help: knowing your triggers (both regarding food and lifestyle), keeping a food diary, trying new ingredients or recipes (but also different portions) and keep track if they worked well for you or not.
Here there’s a recipe that I have prepared with low fodmap ingredients and that is also gluten-free + vegan. It’s pretty simple and versatile: polenta flour is not the most common choice for pancakes but they are actually delicious and you can use this as a base for both a savoury or sweet brunch. Hope you’ll like it! Chiara x
POLENTA FLOUR PANCAKES
For the pancakes:
150 g polenta flour
5 tbsp rolled oats (choose gluten-free oats if you need them)
a pinch of salt
1 tsp fennel seeds
2 cardamom pods
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
In a bowl, mix the ingredients for the pancakes (blend the oats into a flour – crush the spices in a mortar or add them in the blender with the oats). Add water to the mixture slowly and in small portions, you want a quite thick batter as result (as you will notice that polenta flour behaves pretty much differently compared with other flours – oats will help you to make everything stick together). When the pancakes’ batter is ready, leave it to rest for 10 minutes. Heat a frying pan, preferably a non-stick one, on a medium heat with ½ tsp of extra virgin olive oil. Use 2 tbsp for each pancake, moving the pan until the batter is evenly distributed and using a spoon to help you. Cook each pancake until it can be easily flipped with a spatula. Keep the batter well mixed. Using these quantities, you will be able to make approx. 10 small pancakes.
SERVING IDEA: KALE PESTO
approx. 20 hazelnuts
4 tbsp pumpkin seeds
2 tbsp sunflower seeds
4-5 kale leaves
1 handful of rocket
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
Toast for a couple of minutes the hazelnuts and seeds in a pre-heated oven at 180°C, then leave them to cool down. Blend together all the ingredients for the pesto and add 1-2 tbsp of water if you need some extra help to get a smooth mixture. Mix it well again with a spoon before serving.
Serve them with some pesto on top or in between each pancake – you can also add a salad as a side and some smoked salmon or a poached egg or some tempeh for a lovely brunch.