Garlic & Onions on a Low Fodmap Diet and Banana Oat Truffles

Banana Oat Truffles - low Fodmap and gluten-free

Onion and Garlic – My Enemies

When people hear that I can’t eat onions and garlic, they are horrified. They can’t imagine food without what they consider to be the base of so many recipes. I guess I thought like that too before I discovered that onion and garlic were my very worst food enemies and had caused me decades of pain.
I can now assure you that life goes on without either of those two food items. And it goes on pain-free. I would never wittingly consume either ever again now I know what life can be like without them and their close cousins – other high Fodmap foods.
When I prepare a meal that would normally have a base of fried onion and garlic, I use different vegetables to create a similar but innocuous base. I would use any mix of the following:


We can eat ½ a cup at any one time so if you are serving four people, add 1 cup and you can be sure you are safe unless you eat more than your share. Above ½ a cup and you get an overdose of fructans.
Leeks – just the green tops. Chop them up finely and again take into account that you can have ½ a cup. Leeks also contain fructans so be careful.


Go very easy on celery but you can get away with ¼ of a stalk so just use a little for the crunch. It contains mannitol, which is one of the polyols.


Add them right at the end of the cooking for a light onion-like flavour. But only a tablespoon for you.

Spring Onions

Use only the green tops so you can avoid the fructans in the white part. I use this just the way I would use onions.

Garlic-Infused Oil

We don’t actually have to do without the garlic flavour since we can have the oil as long as the garlic cloves have been removed. The fructans in garlic don’t dissolve in oil and that is the only part that hurts us. Even one clove is lethal for us though because of the fructan content.

So don’t tell me again that you can’t imagine life without onions and garlic. Life is not only fine without them, it is better than fine. Better than it was in the part of my life which contained onions and garlic. Much, much better.

The Recipe

This is a quick recipe to throw together if you need some simple snacks for work or for the kids’ school lunches. Just remember to not use very ripe bananas as they have a higher fructose load than barely ripe ones. And don’t eat too many because you shouldn’t have more than 1/4 cup of oats. Now that the provisos are out of the way, enjoy!

Banana Oat Truffles
  • 2 bananas
  • 2 cups instant oats
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • ¼ cup tapioca flour
  • 1 tbsp raw sugar
  • ½ cup of pumpkin seeds or chocolate chips
  1. Heat oven to 180°C/350°F.
  2. Process the banana and peanut butter until well mixed.
  3. Add all the dry ingredients and process again.
  4. Rub a little oil onto your hands and roll the mixture into small balls.
  5. Position on a lined oven tray.
  6. Place in the oven and bake for 8 minutes.
  7. Remove and eat warm or cool first. They are also great with some lactose-free Greek yoghurt.

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  1. says

    Fennel is such a versatile veggie! And flavorful — it contributes so much to a dish that onions and garlic wouldn’t be missed. There’s a whole branch of Indian cuisine that doesn’t use onions or garlic (Jain vegetarianism), and their recipes may (or may not) be Fodmap friendly. Anyway, love these truffles! Such nice flavor — thanks.

  2. says

    I think I would struggle if I heard I was no longer able to have onions and garlic but you do make it seem quite possible with a list of good alternatives. To me this condition seems to need to be treated in the same way as being a diabetic xx

    • says

      I think being a diabetic is more life threatening. This threatens our digestive health and our sanity but not our lives. I used to think the same way about onion and garlic but I really don’t miss it now at all. I equate them both with pain so that helps me resist.

  3. says

    I think you have such a wonderful blog for those that have suffered as you have. You have given people not only an option on how to enjoy eating a meal without consequences but delicious recipes. I was happy when you commented about the shrimp scampi that I had posted about and said that you could use garlic infused oil and enjoy the recipe.

  4. Maree says

    I was like you and thought it would be impossible to live without onions and garlic. i used them daily! But when I cook for myself it has become easy. There is flavor out there without these two things. Iuse a lot more ginger and scallions. Ginger is not the same of course, but it is flavorful and easy on the stomach.
    There is a tradition in I think Aryuvedic cooking of avoiding onion and garlic. It is believed these things are aggravating and un balancing, I believe. Have you heard of this?

    • says

      Yes, that’s right, those who follow the Ayurveda way don’t eat garlic or onions. I also use a lot of ginger and chillies to flavour food. Throw in some fresh coriander and lemon juice and I am in Heaven.

  5. VL says

    This is really great information for cooking for myself. The hardest thing I’ve found is avoiding onions, garlic, and their respective powders when eating out. Any tips?

    • says

      Make out a card with the main foods you can’t eat and laminate it and ask the wait staff to hand it to the chef and get his recommendation of a dish to eat. It’s not worth the pain if you choose the wrong thing.

  6. says

    I remember early on when you were doing the elimination diet and had either some garlic or onions and suffered from the accidental ingestion. Glad you can still get some of the flavors without the side effects!

    • says

      It really is just conditioning that makes us think that we need onions and garlic in our food. There are so many wonderful spices and herbs we can use.
      I have had a couple of slip ups since that time too and the reaction is always the same – painful.

  7. Lisa says

    Oh my goodness, I have just made these for my daughters school lunches, they are just DELICIOUS! Thank you, a wonderful recipe.

  8. Martha Southgate says

    I am allergic to onions and garlic. I found that white pepper is one of the best substitutes for these. Can you have white pepper on the FODMAP diet?

      • Martha Southgate says

        Yes, that kind of white pepper. I’ve used it in every recipe that calls for onion and garlic. It adds some heat, if you use enough. I’ve even used it in my white bean chicken chili and people cannot believe there is no onion or garlic in it. It is nothing like black pepper. It has a really interesting flavor.


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