Low FODMAP & Gluten Free Treats to Spoil your Mum this Mothers’ Day

Mother's Day, low fodmap, fructose malabsorption, gluten free, ibs, irritable bowel syndrome, love, family

As much as I love Seattle, it does suck a little bit (at least), living literally half a world away from your family. Even more-so around holidays; Skype is great but it’s not the same as being there in person. It might be just another Hallmark Holiday to some but I do like having a chance to show my mum (and my dad, when it’s his turn) how much I am grateful for the time they spent caring for and raising me as a kid.

Given that I’m not going to make it to Melbourne by Sunday, even if I could, a phone call will have to do until we’re next together and I can make Mum her chocolate cake and Dad his pecan pie. But for those of you lucky enough to live in the same city as your family, here’s a collection of low FODMAP and gluten free recipes with which you can spoil your mum, whether you chose morning tea, brunch (my favourite) or just fitting it in whenever you can. Hopefully there’s a variety to suit everyone’s needs, including vegan/dairy free, some healthy and others not so much.

There are twenty-seven recipes, one for each year that my beautiful Mum has put up with been graced by my presence.


We scrub up alright


I have my priorities sorted, thank you.



Main Meals


  • Sangria – Not From A Packet Mix
  • Freshly squeezed mimosas – Inspired Taste (It’s basically the same recipe that I make but have never published… I’ve never measured in the triple sec, though. Use freshly squeezed OJ and limit to one serving)
  • Purple basil lemonade – Fructopia

Sangria – Low FODMAP/Fructose Friendly for Some

Lower FODMAP Sangria - Not From A Packet Mix

I love red wine, especially a good Pinot Noir but, unfortunately, it doesn’t always love me back. Earlier this year I woke up at about 3 am with a racing heart rate and I freaked out. Heart conditions run in my dad’s side of the family and I’m only 26! Despite my chest feeling like someone was playing the drums in there, I eventually managed to get back to sleep and was still alive in the morning. Phew! A few weeks later, the same thing happened… and then again, a few weeks after that. Only, the third time it happened, I thought back to what I’d been doing beforehand.

It turned out that I wasn’t dying (!) but I had enjoyed two glasses of Merlot the nights before I had woken up with a rapid heart rate. I asked on the very trustworthy Fructose Malabsorption Support Group whether anyone there knew anything and two words were thrown at me: histamines and sulphites.

Histamines are a a biogenic amine that occur to some extent in many foods, in addition to being produced endogenously by mast cells; histamine is degraded by the amine oxidase class of enzymes – if this enzyme activity is reduced, histamine levels can accumulate and allergic-type reactions can occur. Sulphites are a common food preservative, which some people develop a sensitivity to over their lifetimes, the cause of which is unknown. My money is on histamines, as I am yet to have a problem with white wines but red wine apparently contains anywhere from 20-200% more histamine than white wine, whereas white wine usually contains more sulphites than red wine (thanks, Wikipedia). Whichever it is, I do know that I can drink about half a glass of red wine safely, definitely not more than one. Stupid body!

So, this is where sangria comes in. The sangrias I have had in the past were 1:1 red wine and soda water, among other things, so half the amount of whatever it is that makes my body react. Ergo, I can drink twice as much. Yay! It is best to make this at least 4 hours before you plan to serve it, I normally make it in the morning, so the flavours have had time to mingle together and settle down.


  1. A traditional sangria originated in Portugal and Spain and contains red wine,  a little brandy, chopped fruit and a sweetener of some sort (honey, castor sugar, orange juice).
    • Brandy is NOT FODMAP friendly, so I replaced it with vodka. Feel free to use brandy if you can.
    • I looked up quite a few different recipes to create this one, and I liked the use of triple sec to enhance the orange flavour. I do not know if it is strictly low FODMAP but there is only a small amount in there. If anyone knows anything different, please let me know.
    • I only used low FODMAP fruits – orange, lemon, lime… if strawberries were cheap, I would probably have diced some and thrown them in, too.
    • I used soda water/club soda to add some fizz and also reduce the histamine content… though the vodka helps to get the alcohol percentage back up a little bit, maybe I should have made this brew a little more potent?! Haha.
    • Dextrose helps to balance out any excess fructose that might occur due to the red wine or triple sec liqueur.
  2. Like white wines, the dryer (less sweet) the red wine, the lower it will be in FODMAPs. Choose a bottle that is nice but not expensive, as I’m sure that some would count that as an offense to the Wine Gods.
  3. If gluten is an issue, make sure you choose gluten free spirits and liqueurs.
  4. As always with the low FODMAP diet, everyone is a little different. If you are just trying out wine or a sangria for the first time, take it easy and just have a small serving.

Low(ish) FODMAP Sangria

Serves 8-10

  • 1 x 750 ml bottle of a red wine that you tolerate.
  • 1/4 cup vodka
  • 1/4 cup triple sec – I’m okay with this but it can be replaced with fresh orange juice if required
  • 1/4 cup castor sugar or 1/3 cup dextrose
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 2 tbsp. fresh OJ
  • 1/2 orange, washed and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 lemon, washed and thinly sliced
  • 1 x 750 ml bottle of soda water

Pour the vodka, triple sec, fruit juices and dextrose/castor sugar into the jug you plan to serve it in. Thoroughly mix until the dextrose/castor sugar has dissolved and then pour in the entire bottle of red wine, before mixing once more and adding the sliced fruit. Refrigerate for at least four hours, I normally leave it for eight.

Just before you are ready to serve the sangria, pour in the chilled soda water and give it a gentle stir.

Sit back and watch it disappear! I made two batches of sangria for a dinner party a couple of months ago and they were both gone in under an hour and a half, between 14 people.

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What do you do when you’ve over-dosed on FRUCTOSE?

What do you do when you’ve been “fructosed?” (to modify a term from Coeliacs forums, “glutened.”)

I have a few prongs to my attack against possible fructose episodes, although how well they work depends on how much I ingested and what I ingested. For example, nothing can stop apples from having their way with my gut. Nothing.

The best thing is to prevent these situations to begin with but sometimes it can’t be helped. Ingredients are read incorrectly or waiters look at you in a confused manner when you try and explain your situation. I had someone at Muffin Break look at me like I was an idiot when I asked whether the gluten free muffins had any apple puree in them, regardless of whether they were listed as apple flavoured. Luckily the manager was there but still.

Try to reduce your FRUCTOSE LOAD

To reduce your fructose load, try and increase the glucose present in your small intestine to aid with co-transport, thus limiting how much excess fructose makes it to your colon and the waiting bacterial colonies.

  • Glucose powder
  • Glucose tablets

Sprinkle powder on your food if you know you are eating excess fructose (doesn’t work for fructans or large amounts of excess fructose) or have a stash of tablets to have if you realise after the fact. Once cramps start, however, the fructose has passed out of the small intestine – where the glucose would have helped – and has been fermented by bacteria in the colon.


Pain killers are not something that I have always used. About a year ago, however, I was in such a bad state while in NYC with friends that I had to give in. Apparently I went green, all I know is my head was spinning and I had to hold on to something, never mind the cramps I was having. That is what apple does to me.

  • Paracetamol (Panadol in Australia)
  • Ibuprofen (Nurofen in Australia, Advil in the USA)

Obviously, I’m not a pharmacist. Please follow any directions on the tablets you can find over the counter.

Soothing Teas

Ginger and mint both have soothing properties. Ginger especially is known to help with diarrhoea and nausea.

But all in all, even a Ceylon tea like Dilmah has helped me out. I think the warmth just helps to sooth stressing guts.

Infused Water

Working on the principles that ginger and mint have soothing properties, I will sometimes make a lime, mint and ginger infused water that I put in the fridge for 20 minutes before drinking.

  • 1/2 lime, sliced
  • 3 cm ginger roots, sliced
  • 10-15 mint leaves

Mash the mint and ginger in a mortar and pestle for 30 seconds or so to release more of their nutrients. Place everything in a jug/drink bottle and fill with water. Refrigerate for 20 minutes or add ice cubes.

The cold helps to refresh me when I’m feeling sick and the lime/mint flavours are very invigorating. I don’t own a specific infuser but this method seems to work well enough for me.

IMG_2996 IMG_2997

Does anyone out there have any other methods they’d like to share? Considering I’m currently testing sorbitols out, I might need them in the coming days!