One of the greatest things I discovered when I changed my diet is herbs. After cutting processed food out of my diet and eliminating fructose and FODMAP foods, I had to learn new ways to flavor my food. I could no longer have onions, garlic or salad dressing out of a bottle. I improvised by combining lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil. Some people prefer vinegar and oil but I avoid vinegar because of my fructose malabsorption issue. My salads seemed a little bland and I tried to think of what I could add for flavor. I’ve always loved cilantro and that was the first herb I tried adding to my salad because it is fairly inexpensive and always available at the supermarket. It adds a nice little kick of flavor too.
I began growing herbs in containers in a sunny window and then in planters on my patio and even mixing them right into my flower beds. I found so many ways to use them to add flavor to my foods that I don’t know what I would do without them now. I use them in everything!
Last year I made a DIY herb garden right on my patio (check out my DIY page to see that post). I love growing my own herbs and knowing they are completely organic. When the plants are producing more than you can use, try drying them or chop and freeze herbs in ice-cube trays to use during the winter months when they aren’t so plentiful. The cubes are easy to toss into a pot of soup or sauce. Herbs will stay fresh for a couple of weeks or more in the refrigerator if you stand them in a container like you would a bouquet of flowers, with an about an inch of water in the bottom and cover the top with a plastic bag that you can cinch close or seal with a rubber band.
Since onions and garlic are on the FODMAP
shitlist avoidance list, you might be wondering how you are going to live without them. Herbs are your answer. Chives can give you that onion flavor and do not seem to cause any digestive issues.
I top a bowl of homemade soup with a pile of chopped herbs, chives, and fresh-grated parmesan. Steamed veggies are delicious with a little butter and a sprinkling of minced herbs. I stir them into scrambled eggs, use them in smoothies, sauces and marinades.
Herb butter is easy to make and tastes so good melted on top of a grilled steak. Just soften a stick of unsalted butter and blend about three or four Tbsp. of your favorite minced herbs to the softened butter. Place it on plastic wrap, shape into a roll and place in the refrigerator until firm.
It also makes a great gift!
Herbs are a great way to flavor your water. Lemon balm, mint or cinnamon basil in a glass of ice water is so refreshing.
The possibilities with herbs are endless! Check out my recipes page for more ideas.