The Natural Food Show 2016

The Natural Food Show 2016

As hard and inconvenient as the low FODMAP diet can be, at least we live in a fairly exciting time for free from food. With so many people across the globe taking more interest and care in what they’re putting in their bodies, endeavouring to learn more about and take control of their health, a huge range of organic, raw and free from products have materialised.

Part of the Natural & Organics Products Europe exhibition, the Natural Food Show in London is the culmination of this movement, housing hundreds of stands from brands just starting out to products that most of us now know and love. I was excited to head over there this morning to see these brands in a new light… it was a really great opportunity to chat with representatives from some of my favourite free from brands (and discover a whole load more!)

Some of the brands on show included…

Rude health
Biona
Pukka
Suma
Bioglan
Nakd
Lucy Bee
Pukka Tea
Yogi Tea
Suma
Meridian
Nairns
Planet Organic
Raw Health
Amisa
Biona Organics
Bounce

There was no shortage of sweet options (many, many delicious variations on the bliss ball and raw cacao theme!) … but what I was really after was some helpful savoury options.

There were a couple of standouts. I tried some really delicious noodles made from soy bean from a brand who disappointingly aren’t yet stocked in the UK, and spoke to a lovely guy from Really Healthy Pasta. Their pastas caught my eye – no maize ingredients in sight! All their pastas are made from really inspiring and inventive ingredients such as red lentil, chickpea, mung bean and black bean. And although these will be high in GOS – it might be an answer for some of us!

I’ll be reviewing a couple of flavours soon – but until then, have a gander at the photos below and consider getting over there next year. It’s sure to be even bigger and better as this market continues to grow.

Long may it continue!

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The Natural Food Show 2016

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Low FODMAP Thai Red Chicken Broth

Low FODMAP Thai Red Chicken Broth

There’s a little place at the end of the street I work on in Bermondsey that sells really, really good soup. I never usually buy soup for lunch because it doesn’t really move me, but I didn’t get to do my usual lunch prep last Sunday which led me to a soup that really stayed with me. I couldn’t wait to try and recreate a low FODMAP version (not least because the shallots in it gave me cramps for three whole days… I never learn).

With my weekend ritual of buying some fresh veg, roasting a chicken and making stock completed a day late, by Tuesday night stocks were replenished and I was REDDY for action.

Now, there are two very good reasons for making your own low FODMAP Thai curry pastes at home:

  1. Shop bought varieties contain garlic and usually shallots or other onion varieties, and
  2. Making it at home (unless of course you’re buying the real McCoy from a Thai supermarket or similar) yields a tastier, more authentic paste that you can use again and again. Supermarket jars are watery and far less powerful usually.

low fodmap red thai curry paste

Get your mini chopper / food processor ready! You can store any leftover paste in an airtight jar in the fridge for about a week.

you will need:

1 x stalk of fresh lemongrass
1 x red chilli (stalk removed. Leave the seeds if you like an extra kick)
1 x thumb of ginger (chopped roughly, skin removed)
2 x tbsp tomato puree
1 x pinch asafoetida powder
1 x tsp ground cumin
3/4 tsp ground coriander
1 tbsp chilli powder
2 x tbsp fish sauce
1 x tsp sugar
3 x tbsp coconut milk (reserve the rest of the can for the broth recipe below)
2 x tbsp fresh lime juice

method:

Add all your ingredients to a food processor and whizz up. You can add / take away chilli powder depending on your preference for heat / which chillies you’re using.

Once you have the paste, you can of course go on to make a curry, but this was a lighter and more refreshing option for me this week. Recipe below …

low fodmap thai red chicken broth

(pictured above)

you will need:

1 x tbsp coconut oil, for frying
3 x tbsp low FODMAP red curry paste
2 x cans coconut milk (you can use the remainder of the milk used to loosen the paste above)
2 x cups of chicken stock
2 handfuls of cooked chicken, roughly chopped
2 x peppers, sliced finely (sweeter ones like red and yellow work best)
2 handfuls of fresh coriander, chopped finely
pinch of salt

method:

Begin by adding coconut oil to a hot pan. Add the curry paste and fry until fragrant. Chuck in the sliced peppers and fry until soft.

Add the coconut milk, followed by the chicken stock. Then add your cooked chicken and a good heap of fresh coriander. Season with some salt and allow to simmer gently for about 15 minutes so that the flavours infuse nicely.

If you tolerate GOS, you can chuck in some cooked lentils, too. This made a whole load of soup that will keep well in the fridge; don’t be put off by the coconut milk curdling, just stir and re-heat the soup to its former glory.

Miss onion? Time to try asafoetida powder!

asafoetida

Just a quick post this week to sing the praises of something I’ve only recently welcomed to my kitchen. You might have heard of asafoetida powder, hailed by many as a low FODMAP onion substitute. I gave it a go recently and am pleased to confirm the rumours; this stuff really does give your recipes that  onion-y kick that the small amount of celery we’re permitted in one serving doesn’t quite achieve.

Popular in Middle Eastern and Indian cooking, asafoetida powder is related to fennel. It’s potent stuff though, you’ll only really need a pinch of it in most cases. And don’t be put off by the smell; it disappears when cooking and will give your meals a lot more depth, I promise. So far I’ve tried it in stock, cooking up lentils, risotto, soup and stews; I’m definitely a convert.

So good.

Oh and P.S. If anyone has tried garlic leaves, I’d love to hear your thoughts on how you felt – I’m looking into them as a garlic alternative but can’t find any concrete info yet on whether they’re low FODMAP. I’ll keep you all posted!