As a dietitian and someone who personally follows the low FODMAP diet, I am frequently asked questions about food products that are low FODMAP. Every FODMAPer knows that it is essential to read every ingredients list very carefully. Recently, several food companies have started selling low FODMAP food products. This is great because you can buy these products without worrying about sneaky FODMAPs! FODMAP Friendly is based in Australia and is one of these companies. They actually test the food products in their lab to make sure they are low FODMAP. FODMAP Friendly was kind enough to send me a few of their food products to try out for free. They did not compensate me for writing this post and I do not receive any sort of commission when people purchase their products. I wrote this review to share my honest opinion of their foods. I hope you find this FODMAP Friendly Foods Review helpful!
Note: currently (Feb. 2017) not all FODMAP Friendly foods are available for shipping to Canada. For those that can be shipped, they have significant shipping costs. I have been told that FODMAP Friendly is working on making more of their foods available in Canada, and I will post updates on my social media accounts. The foods are easily available in Australia.
I was sent five differently products certified by FODMAP Friendly. They have a large number of certified products now, and I have not tried any others yet, but I hope to in the future. The five products I tried are: Muffin Mix (Well & Good), Lamb + Vegetable Soup (FODMAPPED For You), Green Curry Simmer Sauce (FODMAPPED For You), Melting Moments Cookies – Vanilla (Kez’s Kitchen), and Garlic Infused Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Cobram Estate).
To start, I want to give you some context for my personal experience of the low FODMAP diet. I first started the diet more than 2 years ago. Once my symptoms were well controlled, I completed the reintroduction phase of the diet. Reintroduction allowed me to systematically figure out how much of each FODMAP I can eat before experiencing symptoms. For example, I know that I can personally tolerate small amounts of onion and garlic, but not large chunks. So I can use a normal curry paste that contains a small amount of garlic and feel fine, but I can’t eat a soup that has a bunch of chunks of onion and garlic. Does that make sense? This is one of the big perks of completing the reintroduction phase! You won’t know what foods you are intolerant to until you test them systematically with the help of a dietitian.
I think these products are particularly helpful for those on the first phase (elimination) where all high FODMAP foods need to be avoided. Once you complete reintroduction and know what foods you are intolerant to, you can know which products are best for you. For example, I probably personally won’t buy the green curry simmer sauce because I can purchase the usual one in my grocery store. On the other hand, I am much more likely to buy their soups, since I can’t eat a normal can of vegetable soup.
Now, onto the food! All of the products were well packaged and made it safely to me from all the way across the world.
Muffin Mix (Well & Good)
This box of muffin mix has written on the back both a recipe for muffins and a recipe for waffles. I was so intrigued by the waffle recipe that I used half the mix to make the waffles first! They were really easy to make using my waffle iron. The waffles turned out fluffy and very sweet. I shared them with my boyfriend and we both enjoyed them. I topped them with fruit, and didn’t need use maple syrup. The waffles didn’t taste “gluten-free” or have an odd texture. Our only negative comment was that they were almost too sweet (but I don’t think either of us have a big sweet tooth). I can’t imagine wanting to add maple syrup to these waffles (and as a Canadian I love maple syrup).
I used the other half of the mix to make muffins. I followed the simple directions and added in fresh blueberries. They turned out great with a fluffy texture, but just like the waffles they are very sweet. I almost always make my baked goods from scratch and almost never use premade mixes. It makes sense they are so sweet, since the first ingredient is sugar. According to the nutrition facts table, these muffins have approximately 24 g of sugar each, which is about 2 tablespoons (or 6 teaspoons). I think that’s a lot of sugar, so I would recommend having these muffins as a treat rather than part of your breakfast. They remind me a lot of boxed vanilla cupcake mixes.
Overall, I was really impressed with the texture but didn’t enjoy how sweet they were. I think this mix would be nice to have if you want to make the occasional easy homemade baked good or even for a birthday. If you are looking for a healthy breakfast option, these muffins/waffles aren’t the best choice.
Lamb + Vegetable Soup (FODMAPPED For You)
I was so excited to try this soup. I absolutely love soup and it is the middle of winter here in Canada. The soup packet contains two servings of soup, which I think is about the same as a medium can of soup. I thought the flavour was delicious and it didn’t taste too salty (and I don’t like super salty foods). I had it for lunch two days in a row along with a small salad and a piece of low FODMAP toast. It was really nice being able to have a quick lunch on hand. I would definitely try out the other soup flavours they offer.
I think the only downside is the cost. It is fairly pricey for just two servings, but that is the price of convenience. I think this could be a good product to keep in your cupboard to have on hand for those times when something suddenly comes up and you can’t cook, or for when you are sick. Another option is to cook big batches of a soup yourself and freeze the extras to have on hand for easy meals. I have both a yummy carrot ginger soup and french oven beef stew recipe on this blog, and I love freezing single servings in freezer bags.
Green Curry Simmer Sauce (FODMAPPED For You)
As I mentioned above, I am personally very lucky to be able to eat regular curry sauce. My family makes curry for dinner probably three times per month, so I was able to closely compare this to a regular store bought curry sauce with garlic. I didn’t end up following the directions on the package directly. For the protein I used tilapia, which is great in curries and really absorbs the flavour. I also threw in extra veggies, since I am always trying to get my family to eat more. There were enough fish and veggies for four dinner-sized servings, and I found that there wasn’t quite enough sauce (I believe the package is meant for only two servings whoops). I recently saw on social media a suggestion to add in some coconut milk to make more servings, which I think is a brilliant way to save some money.
I was surprised at how flavourful this sauce was, and I actually thought it was just as tasty as our normal curry! It was very mild which I prefer, since spicy foods is a big trigger for me. The rest of my family commented that they liked it but would have added some chili flakes if they were to make it themselves since they love spice. For anyone who is very sensitive to garlic and onion and are missing curry, I would recommend this product.
Melting Moments Cookies – Vanilla (Kez’s Kitchen)
Many people are shocked when I tell them this, but I don’t really like oreos (gasp!). I’m actually not the biggest fan of any store bought cookie that is hard/crunchy. I love to bake so I prefer my soft gooey fresh out of the oven cookies. When I saw these cookies I thought they looked like chubby vanilla oreos and thought I wouldn’t like them. Once I bit into one I understood why they call them “melting moments”. These cookies definitely melt in your mouth, which I like a lot more than a crunchy dry cookie. There were six cookies in the package, but each cookie is pretty big (maybe twice as big as an oreo?)
Overall I was surprised I enjoyed these cookies, but did find them to be very sweet (I’m not crazy about icing in cookies or on cupcakes, double gasp!) I ate two and gave the rest to my family who were happy to finish them off. For those who cannot tolerate wheat and are missing their favourite store bought cookies, they could try these out. I don’t think I will personally be buying these cookies simply because I enjoy baking my own. I have recipes for double chocolate, shortbread, healthy banana oat, and peanut butter cookies on my blog, and I’m sure I will be posting more.
There are some low FODMAP cookies you can find in Canadian grocery stores. I really enjoy Glutino’s lemon wafer cookies, and UDI’s Maple Pecan Chocolate Chip cookies.
Garlic Infused Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Cobram Estate)
Prior to receiving this bottle of garlic infused extra virgin olive oil, I had never tried a commercially made infused oil. I often make my own infused oil, and will be posting about how to this Saturday. I didn’t think that it would be worth it to purchase a bottle of infused oil, but I was pleasantly surprised. The garlic flavour is amazingly strong. I used the oil to make my mom’s amazing Caesar salad vinaigrette recipe, which originally included multiple cloves of garlic blended into the dressing. The recipe will be posted Saturday!
While garlic infused oil is really easy to make, this is so convenient for cooking. I love being able to add a splash of flavour to veggies, meats and more when I am cooking up a quick meal. This is my favourite product of the five I was sent, likely because I love to cook. Perhaps for those who do not enjoy cooking as much, they would be happier to spend their money on the pre-made products such as the soups. I definitely plan on buying another bottle of garlic infused oil when I finish this one, and will probably buy other flavours as well. However, the shipping costs to Canada are extremely high. I have contacted local grocery stores to see if their infused oils are safe for FODMAPers. If I find out they are safe or try out these oils I will be posting about it on my social media accounts (Instagram: @thetummytroublesdietitian)
Note: The FODMAPs/fructans in garlic are water soluble, which means they will not leech into oils/fats but will leach into liquids. You cannot make a soup or stir fry with garlic and then remove the garlic pieces because the fructans will have leeched into the water. If you buy an oil, make sure to buy an infused oil that has all of the garlic pieces removed, instead of a flavoured oil.
I want to emphasize one more time that FODMAP Friendly did not compensate me for writing this post and I do not receive any sort of commission when people purchase their products. I wrote this review to share my honest opinion of their foods because I am often asked about them. These are the only five products I have tried, and they have many other foods I have not yet sampled.
When following the low FODMAP diet it is essential to know the ingredients of all the foods you eat. Making your own meals from scratch is one of the best ways to ensure you are avoiding high FODMAP foods. Cooking can be very time consuming, and it can be tempting to grab a high FODMAP food product or get take out. I think it’s great that there are some food companies making low FODMAP foods, and FODMAP Friendly is just one of them. While these food products are convenient, the premade foods (e.g., muffins) probably aren’t as healthy as what you would make from scratch, and you definitely pay a lot more for the convenience.
Currently there are no Canadian food brands in grocery stores that have products certified to be low FODMAP by FODMAP Friendly. I know this is something FODMAP Friendly is working on. It can be difficult to get some of these products shipped to Canada, but hopefully more stores will start to sell them as demand increases. The FODMAP Friendly website includes many different brands and links to each brand’s website. Only some of them ship to Canada. I have been told that they are working on getting the FODMAPPED For You foods (curry sauce, soups, etc.) available for Canadian shipping.
For the foods that can be shipped to Canada, the shipping costs are so high that I don’t think the foods are worth it (unless money is not a big concern for you). The only low FODMAP food company I know is based in Canada/US is Fody Foods. Their shipping costs are still significant, but comparative to Australian foods, more reasonable. I will be posting a review of their foods at the end of this month.
Even though it’s hard to get these foods right now in Canada, I think it’s still good to know what is out there and keep your eye out for more options coming to Canada. If you are in Australia, you are lucky to have easy access to these foods!
Right now I am working on creating Pinterest boards with pictures of low FODMAP foods available at various Canadian grocery stores. Follow me to stay updated!
Have you tried any of FODMAP Friendly’s products? What are some of your favourite low FODMAP foods at your grocery stores?