In summer, there’s nothing more refreshing to eat than a delicious, fresh salad. Although many types of cuisines can be difficult to make low FODMAP, thankfully salads aren’t one of them! There are loads of salad vegetable options for you to create the perfect low FODMAP salad and I’m going to share some of them with you here.
Low FODMAP Salad Veggies:
Let’s start with the basic building blocks of your low FODMAP salad. The veggies!
Alfalfa Sprouts: These delicate immature sprouts of the alfalfa plant add a lovely raw nuttiness to low FODMAP salads.
Bean Sprouts: I know this might seem a bit off-base, but I had an Asian-inspired low FODMAP salad in a restaurant once that was out of this world! (To clarify, the salad was out of this world, not the restaurant!) The raw bean sprouts added a lovely crunch to the salad and a real freshness in taste. They’re low FODMAP, so where’s the harm in trying them?
Carrots: Almost everyday I thank the gods that carrots are low FODMAP because they’re such a versatile veg. Carrots are fantastic used in low FODMAP salads because you can grate them, thinly shave them along the length of the carrot or cut them into batons. They add crunch and sweetness to a low FODMAP salad.
Chives: Yeah, I know chives are a herb, but I’m including them here because they work really well in low FODMAP salads because they add an oniony flavour without adding any FODMAPs. You can leave the stems long or you can finely chop them and scatter them into your salad. It’s all up to you. (They also work brilliantly in salad dressings!)
Choy sum: Is a leafy vegetable that’s commonly used in Chinese cooking, but it’s also lovely finely sliced and served in a salad. It adds a deep flavour that’s similar to that of spinach.
Cornichons: (Aka baby gherkins.) Cornichons are baby cucumbers which have been pickled in seasoned vinegar. I love both them and pickled gherkins sliced and served in a low FODMAP salad because they add a sharp, but sweet, kick to the background flavours.
Cucumber: In my opinion, a salad ain’t a salad unless it’s got cucumber in it. It’s a staple FODMAP-free veggie that adds crunch, moisture and a lovely fresh flavour to any low FODMAP salad.
Jalapeño: I love the hot spiciness of a pickled Jalapeño in a low FODMAP salad. They’re FODMAP-free, so if you enjoy a bit of heat in your meals then give them a go!
Kale: Many people think kale is only eaten when cooked, but it’s actually very tasty in a low FODMAP salad. I always pinch the green kale leaves off the stalk and discard the stalks because they’re too tough to eat raw, but the kale leaf itself is lovely in a salad. It’s a very robust leaf and adds an earthiness to a low FODMAP salad.
Lettuce: Lettuce only contains trace amounts of FODMAPs, so you can easily have a generous portion without suffering any ill-effects. I always think it’s good to change the leaves I use in my salads because it keeps them interesting! There are so many varieties of lettuce out there to add to your low FODMAP salads, but here are a few of my favourites:
Cos lettuce: (Aka Romaine lettuce. A crisp lettuce most commonly used in Caesar salads. It has a crunchy texture and a mild taste. A good all-rounder to use in low FODMAP salads.)
Endive: (A slightly bitter lettuce which adds interest and a terrific yellow colour to a low FODMAP salad.)
Frisée: (Aka Curly Endive. A delicate green and yellow salad leaf that has a slightly bitter taste.)
Hot house lettuce: (Aka Butter lettuce. A soft leaf lettuce that has a lovely tender texture and a very mild ‘grassy’ flavour.)
Iceberg lettuce: (A robust, firm lettuce that is very crisp, but isn’t terribly strong tasting. A great all-rounder lettuce leaf.)
Red Leaf lettuce: (Aka Red Coral lettuce. A crisp lettuce that has a dark red colouring and a slightly sweet, earthy taste.)
Rocket: (Aka Arugula. A small leaf lettuce that packs a real punch of ‘grassy’ flavour along with a peppery aftertaste. One of my favourites!)
Mushrooms: Now, I’m not a fan of raw mushrooms, but a lot of my family members love them served thinly sliced in a salad. If you’re a fan of raw mushrooms then try sliced oyster mushrooms in your low FODMAP salads and see what you think.
Olives: Both black and green olives are FODMAP-free and are ideal for adding to a low FODMAP salad in order to add saltiness and soft textures.
Peppers: Red bell peppers are FODMAP-free, so they’re perfect for adding to your low FODMAP salad and they add a beautiful pop of colour too.
Radishes: You can’t go wrong with the humble radish because it’s FODMAP-free, adds a lovely crunch to salads, has a beautiful white and red colour and brings a real pepperiness to a low FODMAP salad. I can happily eat them anytime!
English Spinach: Spinach used to be perceived as only edible when cooked, but thankfully that is now changing. It’s a great tender leaf to add to low FODMAP salads because it’s deep, earthy and is incredibly nutritious. (Baby Spinach is higher in FODMAPs, so try to stick to the large leaf English Spinach variety in your low FODMAP salads instead.)
Spring Onion Tips: (Aka Scallions. The green tips of the spring onion plant are a saving grace for anyone on the low FODMAP diet because they are FODMAP-free. (Just remember that the white part of the plant is not FODMAP-free though, so stick to the greens only!)
Common Tomatoes: Yeah, I know it’s technically a fruit, but we all view it as a veggie, so let’s just go with it. I love common tomatoes (they’re the large standard tomatoes we generally use in sandwiches). You can serve them as wedges or sliced in a salad and they bring a light sweetness to the dish. I’m ever thankful that they’re FODMAP-free!
So, that’s a run-down of low FODMAP vegetables you can use in your low FODMAP salads. I’d love to know what kind of salads you like making in the summer, so please get in touch! Also, keep an eye out for my next blog in which I round-up my favourite low FODMAP salad recipes! I’ll also be sharing my favourite low FODMAP salad dressings with you on my social media pages too. We’re going to have an awesome low FODMAP summer, folks!