I’m hopeful that barbecue weather is just around the corner! However, barbecues can sometimes be tricky to navigate on the low FODMAP diet because there can be a lot of high FODMAP foods on the table, so in this article I’d like to help you make the right choices to ensure your meal is a low FODMAP barbecue.
The first thing I’d like to say is, don’t be afraid to bring your own ‘safe’ low FODMAP barbecue bits and pieces to someone else’s barbecue. If gluten or wheat’s a problem for you, bring gluten-free burger buns with you. If you can’t tolerate lactose, bring lactose-free or dairy-free cheese slices with you. Any good host will welcome the fact that you will be comfortable and have a good time without you having to worry about eating the wrong thing.
Here are my best suggestions for creating your own low FODMAP barbecue.
Your low FODMAP barbecue staples:
Let’s be honest, when most people think of barbecues they tend to think of grilled meat, so I’ll address these low FODMAP barbecue options before moving on to vegan and vegetarian options.
Thankfully, all meat, poultry, fish and seafood are completely free of FODMAPs because they’re proteins not carbohydrates. As a result, this leaves you with plenty of options to choose from!
Low FODMAP barbecue burgers:
The iconic meat of a barbecue is the burger and this is actually quite an easy one to make low FODMAP. I’d advise you to steer clear of ready-made frozen burgers because they are often made with added onion and are not ideal for a low FODMAP barbecue. However, many butchers and butcher’s counters in supermarkets make their own steak burgers which are frequently just formed of 100% minced beef steak, so that’s where I’d suggest you look.
Equally, you could try making your own at home with 500g of good quality steak mince mixed with an egg yolk (to help bind the low FODMAP burger together) and some finely chopped green spring onion tips (which are low FODMAP). Mix well and then form the mixture into four burger patties and you’ve got yourself a batch of low FODMAP barbecue burgers just waiting to be grilled!
Low FODMAP barbecue sausages:
Again, this one’s fairly easy to ensure you’re making good low FODMAP choices. Just make sure that you’re selecting your sausages to suit your own dietary requirements. So, if you can’t tolerate any gluten then make sure you buy gluten-free sausages. If you are very sensitive to onion or garlic then check the ingredients list to make sure they’re not included.
A lot of supermarkets are now stocking gluten-free sausages and many of them have simplified ingredient lists which omit onion and garlic, so have a good browse and see what low FODMAP barbecue sausages will suit your needs. I often find that asking in low FODMAP Facebook groups leads to people offering very helpful product suggestions for me!
Low FODMAP barbecue fish:
As with any barbecue, you don’t have to stick with the same old combination of burgers and sausages for your low FODMAP barbecue! There are loads of great fish barbecue options out there. It’s just a question of finding out which ones are robust enough to withstand the rough cooking environment of a barbecue.
My favourite option is monkfish because it doesn’t have any little bones in it and it has very firm, meaty flesh that lends itself really well to a barbecue. It’s perfect for cutting into chunks and threading onto barbecue skewers before grilling. Monkfish also absorbs marinades well too. Other good low FODMAP barbecue fish options are salmon and tuna steaks.
Low FODMAP barbecue seafood:
I have a confession to make. I love prawns. I could eat them for days. Shrimps, prawns, king prawns, whatever! I’ll happily eat them all! So, I probably don’t need to say that they’re a staple low FODMAP barbecue food in my houseMy favourite type of prawn to use for a low FODMAP barbecue are raw king prawns because they’re really robust and when threaded onto a barbecue skewer they stay on throughout the barbecue process. I often like them just plain and grilled, but I sometimes marinade them for a few hours beforehand in a bit of lime juice and chopped coriander. Delicious!
Vegan and vegetarian low FODMAP barbecue options:
Although I’m talking about them within a vegan and vegetarian context, you can’t underestimate how delicious barbecued vegetable kebabs are! There are so many options out there to combine together, not to mention the plethora of delicious marinades you can coat them in.
I’m a big fan of putting large pieces of red and yellow bell peppers, oyster mushrooms and tomatoes onto barbecue skewers and then marinating them for a few hours before popping them on the grill. Courgettes are also a good option for low FODMAP barbecue skewers, but you need to remember not to have more than 65g in a sitting because it becomes high in fructans.
Also, if you’re a vegetarian, I’d highly recommend adding halloumi cubes onto your vegetable skewers too (a 40g serving is low FODMAP for lactose). So tasty!
Vegan low FODMAP barbecue tofu:
I know many people may roll their eyes at the suggestion of tofu as a low FODMAP barbecue option for vegans, but it really is very tasty when marinated overnight in smoked paprika and olive oil and then grilled. The beauty of firm tofu is that it absorbs marinade flavours beautifully while remaining robust upon cooking.
You can also have a very generous low FODMAP portion of up to 160g of firm tofu, so it’s ideal for popping in a burger bun and topping with your favourite low FODMAP barbecue sauce! On the subject of which.
Low FODMAP barbecue sauces:
There are now some absolutely excellent low FODMAP BBQ sauces out there. My favourite is Fody Food’s low FODMAP barbecue sauce which you can buy from Fody’s own website as well as Holland and Barrett.
You can use your low FODMAP barbecue sauce to simply add on top of your burger or serve it on the side as a dip, but don’t hesitate to try using it as a marinade too! It works really well as a coating for meat, fish and tofu before grilling.
In summary, if you follow these tips you should make sure you have a good, ‘safe’ low FODMAP barbecue. I’d love to hear your own tips for tasty low FODMAP barbecue foods, so let me know your suggestions please! And keep an eye out for my next article in which I share the best low FODMAP barbecue recipes!