Strawberry and Coconut Chia Seed Puddings – FODMAP/Fructose Friendly, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Paleo & Vegan

Strawberry & Coconut Chia Seed Puddings - FODMAP. Fructose Friendly, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Vegan

To further my obsession with puddings for breakfast, I combined some of my leftover strawberry sundae sauce with some leftover coconut cream and the dregs of a packet of chia seeds – I just happened to have the perfect amount of everything, lucky! It was delicious but did not make a super healthy breakfast, as there is decent amount of castor sugar in the sundae sauce, seeing as it’s intended for dessert fare.

It was so good, though, that it was worth revisiting, so the next time I made them I just used fresh strawberry puree with a little maple syrup and stevia. Bingo! They became the perfect weekday breakfast, as they’re made ahead of time. Bonus – they are also sweet enough to serve for dessert, if you wish.


  1. Coconut cream is low FODMAP in servings of 1/2 cup.
  2. Maple syrup is contains 1:1 fructose and glucose, just make sure it’s pure maple syrup and has no additives.
  3. Pure stevia extract is low FODMAP, different brands of stevia products may or may not be low FODMAP, depending on sweetening additives used, such as polyols.
  4. Strawberries are low FODMAP in servings of 8 medium berries or less.

Strawberry Coconut Chia Seed Puddings

Makes 8 x 120 ml/4 oz. puddings.

  • 400 ml of coconut cream (your choice of full or light)
  • 300 g fresh strawberries, plus a few more for serving
  • 1/2 cup chia seeds
  • 1/8 cup maple syrup, or to taste
  • 5 drops of stevia extract, or to taste

Wash, hull and pat dry the strawberries, then place them in your blender with the coconut cream, maple syrup and stevia. Blend on high for 2 minutes, until smooth – or until there are only very small chunks of strawberry left, if you’d like.

Pour into a mixing bowl and stir through the chia seeds.

Divvy the mixture up between eight 4 oz ramekins, or put it all in a large serving dish, before covering and leaving them in the fridge to set for 2 hours. Top with extra strawberries, if you wish. Dig in!

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Chocolate Chia Seed Puddings – FODMAP/Fructose Friendly, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Vegan & Paleo

Chocolate Chia Seed Puddings - Low FODMAP, Fructose Friendly and Gluten Free

A few months ago I shared with you my recipe for Coconut Chia Seed Puddings. They are my go-to for a pre-made, nutritious breakfast or snack that I can take with me on the go. How could I possibly top that?

Uhh, duh. CHOCOLATE!

As if there was any other way?! This variation on the original recipe is just as simple and delicious but has the added benefit of tasting like a chocolate mousse – making it perfect to serve as a healthy dessert. Or dessert for breakfast… I don’t judge.


  1. Chia seeds are low FODMAP but high fibre. They are safe for FM but can trigger separate IBS issues. Read here for a full article about chia seeds and fructose malabsorption.
  2. Cacao powder is a contentious issue. Due to it being unprocessed – and thus more nutritious than cocoa powder – it contains nutrients which some with sensitive guts react to. If in doubt, use unsweetened cocoa powder.
  3. Coconut cream – full fat tastes better but fatty foods can be an IBS trigger (separate to FM). I would recommend full fat for nutrition and taste/texture but if you have to use light coconut cream, as I did until a few months ago, it will still taste good.

Chocolate Chia Seed Puddings

  • 400 ml tin of full fat or light coconut cream
  • 1/3-1/2 cup chia seeds – add more for a firmer pudding
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder or cacao powder – depending on tolerance
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Berries/fruits of your choice to top.

Whip the coconut cream (this will only work with full cream) for a good few minutes, until it lightens up. Add in the maple syrup, vanilla extract and cocoa powder and continue to whip until combined.

Add in the chia seeds and stir through gently, then share the mixture evenly between 4 ramekins/jars and place (covered) in the fridge to set for at least 2-3 hours. The chia seeds need time to develop a mucilaginous lining, which aids digestion and of course turns the mixture into a pudding.

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Chocolate Coated Strawberries – FODMAP/Fructose Friendly & Gluten Free


If it’s a quick, simple and delicious dessert that you’re after, then look no further than these chocolate coated strawberries. They’re so easy that it’s almost embarrassing blogging about them but seeing as it’s almost Valentine’s Day, I thought I’d do it anyway. Though we do chocolate covered strawbs most years, these photos were from Valentine’s Day 2012… Ev bought me a fish – as in a live fish, in a bowl. It only lasted 1 year 😦


  1. Good quality dark chocolate over 70% should be lactose free but it always pays to read labels.
  2. Strawberries are low in FODMAPs, so safe to consume.
  3. The cream cheese icing I suggest to pair with this dessert is not lactose free.

Chocolate Coated Strawberries

  • 10 large strawberries – washed, dried and topped if you wish
  • 1 cup dark chocolate – in chip or chunk form

Melt the chocolate slowly over a double boiler, until it’s smooth and creamy. With a tray with wax or baking paper ready and nearby, dip each strawberry in the chocolate and, after letting some of the excess drip off, place it on the tray. Repeat this for all the strawberries and let them set, so that the chocolate hardens (the fridge can help hasten this), before placing them on the serving platter.

If you have foam and skewers, you could skewer the strawberry before dipping it and then poke the other end of the skewer in the foam to let them harden without a flat side.

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Cream Cheese Icing

  • 6 oz/170 g cream cheese
  • 1 tbsp. softened unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 oz/85 g icing sugar (more or less to your personal taste)

Make sure all the ingredients are properly softened (or the icing will be lumpy) before blending them all together. Done!

I like to surround the dip with the coated strawberries but there is no right or wrong way to serve them. I hope you enjoy them! Just go ahead and dip the strawberry in the cream cheese icing and forget about the calories for one night.

And have a great Valentine’s Day this Friday with whomever you spend it with. Xx


Coconut Chia Seed Puddings – FODMAP/Fructose Friendly & Gluten Free


Ev and I are a little obsessed with puddings and while his brother has been staying with us over the Aussie school summer holidays, he has become addicted to them as well. I bought a 6 pack of rice puddings once day and by the next night there were none left and I didn’t get to have one! Oh well, it was probably for the best. But I swear, teenage boys can eat!

These chia puddings are lower GI than rice and you can control what goes into them, which isn’t much at all – they are so simple!

To find out more about the health benefits of chia seeds and its relationship with FM, read here.



  1. For some with IBS, the high fibre in chia seeds can cause problems – gurgly stomachs, stomach and gut cramps and diarrhoea to name a few. It’s the typical FM case of you need to try it yourself and see. I have had no issues, luckily.
  2. Coconut cream is low FODMAP, although there are small amounts of polyols present.
  3. Some people who have low stomach acid, or just sensitive stomachs, may need to use the light coconut cream for these puddings as the higher fat content in full fat coconut cream can irritate their guts. This is not FODMAP related, however, as fats are not FODMAPs (a group of fermentable carbohydrates).
  4. If coconut is completely out for you, any sort of milk or cream (normal, lactose free, vegan option) will work.
  5. Top with fructose friendly fruits of your choice – I like berries, bananas, desiccated coconut, passion fruit or kiwi fruit.
  6. If you can’t tolerate pure maple syrup, something like glucose syrup or rice malt syrup would also work.

Coconut Chia Seed Puddings

Makes 4.

  • 400 ml can of light or full fat coconut cream – full fat tastes better
  • 1/3 cup chia seeds – add 1-2 tbsp. more if you like a firmer pudding
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Berries/fruit of your choice to top

Mix the coconut cream, maple syrup and vanilla extract vigorously until combined, then stir through chia seeds. See, I said it was simple!

Share the mixture between four ramekins and refrigerate for 2 hours, until set. Once set, top with whatever you’d like; I used mixed berries and desiccated coconut shreds.

I like to use canning jars (or left over jam jars) to store my chia puddings as they come with lids, which keeps the pudding air tight – this means it lasts longer in the fridge and is already in a travel friendly case. Just don’t forget your spoon!

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Hedgehog Slice – Fructose Friendly & Gluten Free


During my two years of VCE – years 11 and 12 of secondary school in Victoria – I swear I kept the canteen running from my addiction to Hedgehog Slices. Jam doughnuts were a close second. Very close. This dwindled out when I started my B. Science and Monash Uni’s Cafe Cinque Lire had ah-MAZING citrus tarts. Seriously amazeballs. It made 8 am starts with 2 hours of biology and chemistry bearable – I wasn’t to know that, by 2nd year physiotherapy, 2 hours was a walk in the park; try 5 hours. However, when I moved to Melbourne Uni to start my physiotherapy degree, Thresherman’s Bakehouse near Lygon St had cheap and delicious custard tarts.

You can tell I’m a bit of a pastry fan 🙂

After moving to Seattle and having to deal with not only HFCS – for those of you back home in Australia it’s corn syrup that has been chemically altered to change over half of its glucose to fructose – but an increase in my sensitivity to wheat as well, I had to cut baked goods from my life unless they were homemade. Combine this with the fact that I haven’t even seen a hedgehog slice in the US, last summer I decided it was high time that I made my all-time favourite slice.


  1. This contains coconut. While coconut is no longer listed as a FODMAP by Monash University, some people are sensitive for other reasons. I use unsweetened desiccated coconut.
  2. The biscuits used can either be store bought GF/FF plain biscuits – think Arnott’s Marie biscuits from Aus – or roll the almond meal pastry mixture flat onto a baking tray and completely blind bake it to form plain biscuits which can then be crumbled and used instead.
  3. A serving of 20 almonds or more is considered high in FODMAPs. If you limit yourself to one or two pieces of this, you should be right, unless you are particularly sensitive to GOS’s.
  4. Butter could be replaced with the same amount of coconut butter.
  5. Although I use dark chocolate and cocoa powder, which has less lactose than milk chocolate, be aware that this might cause a reaction in those who are sensitive to lactose.
  6. This mixture uses raw eggs. They are added to the hot butter mixture, so they will cook but not at length in an oven. To be safe, I would say this is not safe for consumption by pregnant women or infants. If you can tolerate it, condensed milk would provide the same binding properties that eggs would. Just be sure that, if you buy the sweetened version, you know what it is sweetened with.
  7. The original recipe called for 1tbsp. dark rum, instead of maple syrup. You can swap it back if you’d like.

Hedgehog Slice

Adapted from Stephanie Alexander’s, ‘The Cook’s Companion’ to be FF/GF.

Slice Base

  • 350-375 g/12.5-13 oz GF/FF Arnott’s Marie style biscuits or almond meal pastry biscuits.
  • 100 g/3.5 oz chopped walnuts
  • 125 g/4.5 oz unsalted butter
  • 3/4 – 1 cup dextrose/castor sugar – dextrose isn’t as sweeet as sucrose so more might be necessary to your taste
  • 1/3-1/2 cup Dutch cocoa powder – I’m a chocaholic so I add the 1/2 cup
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten or approx. 1/3 cupcondensed milk for an egg free version, you can add more later if necessary

Chocolate Icing

  • 130 g/4.6 oz dark chocolate
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup – optional
  • 50 g/1.75 oz unsalted butter or coconut butter
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened desiccated coconut to top, more if you wish

Grease a baking tray’s base and sides and set aside – should be around 20 cm/8 in square with edges but if it’s a little bigger, like mine was, don’t worry.

Put the biscuits in a marinade bag and smash them with a rolling pin. You want chunks, not powder, so don’t crush them too much. It’s very cathartic, so I recommend making this if you’re angry – chocolate and stress release in one!


Melt butter and dextrose until well combined, then add in the cocoa powder and mix until completely smooth. Add in the lightly beaten eggs or condensed milk and mix until smooth once more.


At this point, you can either let the mixture cool before adding the biscuits and walnuts, or mix them in anyway – it will just mean the mixture takes longer to set later on. If you feel more condensed milk is necessary (i.e. the mixture is too dry) add it now.

Once the dry and wet ingredients are mixed though, you can press them into the greased tin you prepared earlier. Condense the height and even it out with a spatula. I only had a large baking tray and it worked without any issues.


To prepare the icing, melt the dark chocolate, butter and maple syrup (or rum) in a double boiler until smooth and creamy. Pour over the slightly cooled base, being careful if you used a bigger pan than necessary, as I did. You don’t want to lose the icing on the uncovered portion of the baking tray.


Sprinkle with as much shredded desiccated coconut as you’d like and refrigerate for at least 3 hours before cutting them into 5 cm/2 inch squares.


These are best made the day before eating, so they can really firm up in the fridge.  Store them in the fridge for no more than a week, due to all the dairy and the potentially uncooked eggs.  They go really well with a cup of Earl Grey tea. Enjoy! And if you use the condensed milk option, let me know how the slice turned out.


Chocolate Hazelnut Tartlets – Low Fructose & Gluten Free

Somehow I always seem to get roped into making dessert for dinner parties… unless my friend Chath is also going. I couldn’t hope to top her creations. I suppose people know my strengths; I can never think of creative or tasty canapes but dessert? That I can manage. And I enjoy making them, so it’s a win-win situation.


After a chocolate making session with our house guest Mia, who is aiming to become a Chocolatier, I had learnt to make ganache and we had a lot of it left over. It took all the strength I possessed not to take a punnet of strawberries and start dipping right there and then. DE-LICIOUS.

A couple of days later I needed to make dessert for a dinner party we were going to and after spending the day in Seattle, I was glad I had the ganache in the fridge. Half the work done already, woo! Good thing I didn’t scoff it two days earlier!

Pastry Shells

  • One full batch of GF sour cream pastry (follow link to instructions) that has been completely blind baked. Makes 24 x 4 cm tart shells.


Chocolate Hazelnut Filling

  • 1 cup thickened cream
  • 570 g/1.25 lb milk chocolate
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tspn GF hazelnut extract – more or less to taste
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup thickened cream – optional I’ll explain later…

Bring your cream to the boil in a small saucepan, until it just bubbles at the edges.

Place chocolate chips and butter in a separate bowl. Once the cream has finished heating, pour it over the chocolate and stir with a whisk until everything is thoroughly combined and all the chocolate has melted. You just made ganache. Easy, huh?!

Flavour it with the hazelnut extract and put aside to cool. You will probably have left over ganache, especially if you whip it. Yay!

Now, here is where you have two options. You can either:

  1. Use the ganache to fill the tart shells – they wont have any height to them and will be very rich. That isn’t a bad thing, necessarily. Chill them to firm the ganache up a little before sprinkling with desiccated coconut and refrigerating again before serving.
  2. Once the ganache has cooled to room temperature, add in the extra cream to cut the rich chocolate flavour and whip it to give it some air and body. This option will allow you to give height to your tarts and for more people than just dedicated choc-aholics to enjoy them. Top with desiccated coconut and refrigerate before serving. This is what I did.



Cherries have polyols in them; if you are sensitive to them then don’t serve them along with your tarts. Duh!


A word of warning:

THIS is what happens when you don’t let your tart shells cool completely (for an hour) before filling them. When you move them, they crumble. Whoops. You have been warned; be patient!


Mixed Berry Clafoutis – Fructose Friendly

I love French pastries. LOVE them. And when I heard about a French pastry that requires basically no effort, I had to try it. I looked at a few recipes but decided to just go with the basic one to begin with. Next time I will definitely try adding some lemon zest or substituting almond meal and possibly research a few other alterations but this one was pretty delicious as is. And, even better, it is basically fool-proof.


Just a word of warning, the pictures will show cherries in there. I am currently testing them to see how I react to sorbitol. When I was diagnosed seven (!!!) years ago, I was only told about fructose and fructans, so I am now beginning to test myself out on polyols. I already know that too much lactose can make me symptomatic but that requires a lot (like a huge milkshake) and doesn’t happen often, if ever. I mostly drink almond milk now, anyway.

Mixed Berry Clafoutis

  • Butter to grease your cake pan/pie dish
  • 1 tbsp. castor sugar (or glucose powder)
  • 300 g/10 oz mixed berries/fruits you can eat
  • 1/3 cup GF plain flour
  • 1/3 tsp. xanthan gum
  • 1/2 tsp. bicarb soda
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 cup icing sugar (and a little extra to dust before serving if you wish)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup double/heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp. lemon zest (to try next time)

Preheat oven to 160 C/325 F. Grease a 9″ round baking dish and sprinkle it with the castor sugar and mixed berries – the berries will rise to the top when the clafoutis is baked.


In a medium bowl, sift together the dry ingredients and put aside – if you want to try the lemon zest, add it here. In a small bowl, combine the eggs, cream and vanilla and beat thoroughly. Make a well in the dry ingredients and slowly pour in the wet, while beating. Continue to mix until the mixture is smooth.

Pour the mixture over the fruit and then make sure the fruit is evenly spread around the dish.


Bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes; turn the oven off and let it cool down in the oven to prevent it from sinking.


Serve warm, with whipped cream or ice cream.

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See, I told you it was easy.

It tastes like a warm, custardy tart minus the shell. Essentially the flour you mix through allows the otherwise custard mix to form a a base as it cooks. Be careful when you flip it out. A spring form cake tin would really be best, or a ceramic tart dish that you intend to serve it in.

Have fun!

Vanilla Bean Custard – Fructose Friendly

I have very fond memories of the homemade custard that my Dad’s mum, “Mama,” made for Christmas every year when I was younger. Eventually she decided that she’d done enough Friend Family Christmases – the event now alternates between my parents’ house and Dad’s brother’s family’s house every Christmas Eve – and the custard has never been the same since. Store bought, no matter how good, is never as good as fresh, warm custard.

This recipe is very versatile. It can be used to make a great pouring custard or kept on the stove a little longer to thicken more and is a great filling for tart shells or eclairs.

This recipe makes enough to pour on dessert for around 6-8 people, or to fill 6 small tart shells.


  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup thickened cream/heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 vanilla bean (optional)
  • 1/2 cup castor sugar
  • 3 tbsp. corn starch
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract (a little more if you don’t have a vanilla bean)

To make the custard, heat milk slowly in a medium saucepan until it is just bubbling at the edges.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine sugar and corn starch and mix well. Stir into hot milk all at once. Cook, stirring over a medium heat, until it boils. This takes time, don’t be impatient; and keep stirring or you will get lumpy custard.

Milk tends to foam when it boils and is easy to burn

Foam on the back of your spoon is a good indication of when to reduce the heat

Reduce the heat and simmer for one minute. Beat a small amount of the mixture into the egg yolks and then pour the egg yolks back into the saucepan and cook, stirring, over a medium heat until the mixture boils and thickens. Stir vanilla in at the end. Again, don’t rush the process or your custard will be lumpy. It can take anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes, depending on how much custard you are making and how “medium” your stove heat really is. If you are making a pouring custard, you can leave it a little runny. However, if you want this custard to support any toppings it will need to be quite thick.

Thickened custard

If you are going to let the custard cool, place a sheet of waxed paper over the surface to prevent a skin from forming on the custard, or simply place the lid on the pot. Once the custard has cooled down to a lukewarm/room temperature, you can use it to fill tart shells or eclairs etc.

Pouring custard

If you are planning to use the custard for pouring, then make it as close to when you need to use it as possible and then leave it on a very low heat to keep it warm.

I have tried to reheat this custard before and it tends to become lumpy, even with a low heat… but maybe someone else would have better luck than me? If you have any tricks, I’d love to hear them.