Hello Friends….today’s post is by my colleague, Bonnie R. Giller, MS, RD, CDN, CDE, a registered dietitian from Long Island, New York who is well versed in the low FODMAP diet and foods for Passover. Here is Bonnie and her wonderful post for you:
Passover is an eight-day celebration commemorating the Jewish people’s freedom from slavery in ancient Egypt. The Passover Seder is held on the first and second nights of Passover and is a symbolic reenactment detailing the Exodus of the Jewish slaves from Egypt. The word “Seder” means “order”, as there is a traditional order of blessings, symbolic foods that are eaten, stories that are told and songs that are sung during the Seder.
Matzo is the unleavened bread that is eaten at the Passover Seder and throughout the eight days of Passover. When the Jewish people fled Egypt, they left quickly and did not have enough time to allow their bread to rise. Therefore, eating matzo on Passover commemorates the unleavened bread the Jewish people ate.
Traditional matzo is made from wheat and many Passover recipes include matzo meal or cake meal, all wheat-based. In addition, traditional Passover recipes often contain many FODMAP containing foods. Yes, this is a challenge for you on a Low FODMAP diet, but not impossible.
There are several brands of gluten-free matzos made from certified gluten-free oats and spelt on the market today. However, you must read labels as some of them contain honey. Here are 3 choices for you to consider:
Lakewood Matzo Gluten-Free Oat Matzo made from certified gluten-free oats (in a completely gluten-free environment) and water.
Lakewood Matzo Organic Spelt Matzo made from stone ground organic spelt flour and water only.
Manischewitz Spelt Matzo made from organic Passover spelt four and water.
Also available from Lakewood Matzo is a gluten-free oat-based matzo meal that can be used in your Passover recipes, including your traditional Matzo Ball recipe. Matzo meal typically replaces every day bread crumbs.
In addition, you will find gluten-free matzo-style crackers made from gluten-free oats and spelt on many supermarket shelves. These contain eggs so please be aware that while eggs are acceptable on a Low FODMAP diet, they are typically not acceptable for use at the Passover Seder for those who follow strict Jewish dietary law. There are some exceptions, so it is best to check with your local Rabbi.
Side Dish Grain and Starchy Vegetable Options
When planning your Passover menus, consider using quinoa, white or sweet potato (with the skin on) and winter squash as side dishes to complement your lean protein and vegetable. They provide vitamin C, vitamin A, and dietary fiber which will be beneficial to improve digestion and elimination during the eight days of Passover. Keep an eye on your portion of sweet potato and winter squash to avoid an increase in FODMAPs. Here’s one of my favorite quinoa recipes.
Charoset, one of the symbolic foods on the Passover Seder plate is traditionally made with apple, walnuts, wine and ginger spice. It is customary to have some during the Seder. An option would be to use strawberries instead of apples for a low FODMAP version.
No need to skip dessert this Passover. With a little creativity, you can enjoy a sweet at the end of your meal. Some options include fruit compote made with low FODMAP fruits (keep to ½ cup portion), a piece of 70% or more dark chocolate or a small serving of nuts such as peanuts, walnuts and macadamia nuts. If you are craving a piece of cake, try Banana Cake: Click here for Banana Cake Recipe or Walnut Brownie recipe: Click here for Walnut Brownie Recipe!
Passover is a special time to enjoy with family and friends. With a little pre-planning, you can breeze through the holiday on your Low FODMAP meal plan and feel great.
A big thanks to Bonnie for sharing these great recipes and tips for enjoying a low FODMAP Passover. To learn more about Bonnie’s services and work check out her sites: Passover the Healthy Way and at BRGHealth.com.