Your fructose malabsorption diet tastes a bit dull and boring and could use some spices? But you can’t cook with onions or garlic anymore thanks to their dramatic effect on your body? It doesn’t have to be that way!
You can add the following ingredients, even in the elimination phase of your diet, to flavor your meals without triggering fructose malabsorption symptoms:
- Onion/garlic infused oil: An easy way to get the flavor of onions and garlic back without adding symptoms. You can make your own flavored oil and use it for cooking instead of regular oil. Read my article about low FODMAP onion and garlic infused oil, if you want to know how and why it is safe.
- Other aromatic vegetables (such as celery or fennel): Even though there is no vegetable that has quite the same taste as onion, some of them are used as aromatics around the world. Fennel with its locorice-like taste and celery are amongt the most common ones.
- Fresh herbs and spices (such as basil, coriander, oregano, cumin, turmeric, …): Herbs and spices often contain high amounts of fructose. But when consumed in normal doses, they shouldn’t invoke any symptoms. But be careful with chilli. Chilli contains capsaisin, which can trigger symptoms in some people with fructose malabsorption.
- Salt and pepper: Pepper is fine, if you want to add some spice. But don’t overdo it. Too much and it can cause symptoms as well.
- Asaofoetida power: Use this powder to add some onion-like flavor to your meals. You can buy it from most Indian supermarkets. Use it sparely as it has a strong smell and is quite potent. The amount of asaofeotida powder commonly used for cooking is considered to be safe. However, don’t use it if you are trying to be pregnant, are pregnant, breast-feeding, or cooking for an infant. Also consult your doctor before consuming it if you have a medical condition or take medications, as they might interact.
- Lemon or lime juice
Some websites also state that using the green parts of spring onion or chives also work well as a replacement for onion. I wouldn’t do this! When suffering from fructose malabsorption those parts may cause symptoms as well in some people.
An addition for US based readers
Fody Foods has a number of products that add life to your meals again, including some substitutes for onion and garlic. All of them are certified low FODMAP, so they should be fine for fructose malabsorption as well.
Did you miss something? I would love to get any suggestions for other safe ingredients that add more flavour to our dishes. Just leave a comment below. Thanks!