Guide to Creating Low FODMAP Summer Salads | healthylife

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Low FODMAP summer salad guide

11 August 2022|5 min read

We are all about a good summer salad! The options when it comes to salad combos are endless, whether it be as side dish or a main.  Salads certainly don’t need to be boring, even when low FODMAP.  So, we’ve put together an easy guide to help you create your own low FODMAP summer salad!

Step 1: Choose your veggies

You can go for the classic raw salad or mix things up and do a roast vegetable salad.  Here are some seasonal low FODMAP veg to choose from. Remember, aim for variety and lots of colour!

  • Carrot
  • Cucumber
  • Leek (green part only)
  • Bean sprouts
  • Tomato
  • Zucchini (65g limit per serve)
  • Eggplant
  • Capsicum
  • Radish
  • Green beans (75g limit per serve)
  • Baby spinach

Step 2: Choose your protein

Protein is a particularly important part of a salad when having it as a main.  It helps make a salad more substantial as it keeps us fuller for longer. Some excellent protein options for salad include:

  • Fish: tinned salmon, tuna and smoked salmon are all particularly good for salads.  Super convenient to throw in last minute before serving.
  • Chicken or turkey: warm or cold chicken/turkey is great for salads whether you choose to grill, roast, poach or BBQ it.
  • Beef, pork or lamb: beef, pork and lamb can all be a delicious inclusion in salad whether it be hot or cold. 
  • Tofu: firm tofu is a delicious inclusion in salads.  We love to bake or pan-fry it until it is nice and crispy! 
  • Eggs: hard boiled eggs are a delicious inclusion in salad, or you could do poached if making a low FODMAP Caesar salad.
  • Cheese: ahh delicious cheese!  Some of our favourite low FODMAP cheeses to include in salads are fetta, bocconcini, cottage (2 Tbsp limit per serve), haloumi (40g limit per serve) and goats cheese. 
  • Legumes: tinned chickpeas (1/4 cup limit per serve) and tinned lentils (1/2 cup limit per serve) are both delicious thrown into a salad.

Step 3: Choose your carbohydrate

This optional step is particularly good when having salad as a main meal.  The addition of carbohydrates to a salad will help sustain energy levels, add extra nutrients and add more texture/flavour.  Some great options to add in hot or cold are:

  • Quinoa
  • Rice
  • Buckwheat
  • Gluten-free pasta
  • Potato
  • Pumpkin (Kent or Jap varieties, not Butternut)
  • Sweet potato (1/2 cup limit per serve)

Step 4: Choose your extras

These extras are what add flavour, nutrients and texture to the salad.  Also, nuts/seeds will assist with the feeling of fullness, due to the healthy fat content.  So, some great low FODMAP extras to throw in your salad include:

  • Nuts (roasted or raw): macadamias, walnuts, pecans and pine nuts are delicious low FODMAP nuts to throw in.
  • Seeds: flaxseeds/linseeds (1 Tbsp limit per serve), sunflower seeds, hemp seeds and pumpkin seeds/pepitas are all great options.  For extra crunch and deliciousness, try toasting your seeds.
  • Fruit: when paired with the right salad ingredients, the addition of fruit can be amazing!  Some favourite low FODMAP fruits to add are orange, lemon/lime (juice), grapes, and pineapple. 
  • Herbs: some fresh herbs you can throw into a salad are basil, chives, parsley, mint and coriander.

Step 5: Choose your dressing

This is also an optional step, as not everyone likes dressing on salad.  Also, some salads are so flavoursome as is and therefore don’t require dressing.  Most store-bought salad dressings won’t be low FODMAP as they usually contain garlic, onion, wheat, and/or honey.  So, some low FODMAP alternatives are:

  • Red wine or apple cider vinegar diluted with extra virgin olive oil (usually a 50:50 ratio works best e.g 1 Tbsp olive oil + 1 Tbsp vinegar).
  • Balsamic vinegar (limit 1 Tbsp per serve) and pure maple syrup.  Per person, a good ratio is 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar to ½ Tbsp maple syrup.
  • Drizzle of Cobram Estate garlic or onion-infused extra virgin olive oil.
  • Basil and brazil nut pesto.  This one is delicious tossed through a salad, or used to marinate your protein.
  • Pinch of turmeric mixed with extra virgin olive oil

Some of our favourite salad combos

Whilst there are so many we love, some of our favourite summer salad combos are:

  • Baby spinach, roast pumpkin, tinned baby beetroot, walnuts, feta, and a dressing that is half red wine vinegar and half extra virgin olive oil. Choose Kent or Jap pumpkin varieties, and note tinned beetroot is low FODMAP at ½ cup per serve.
  • Chicken, Rocket, Walnut Salad with Blueberries.
  • Baby spinach + rocket, roast red capsicum, roast pumpkin, cherry tomatoes, goat's cheese, toasted walnuts, and a drizzle of garlic-infused extra virgin olive oil.
  • Crispy Salt and Pepper Tofu with Asian Salad.
  • Greek salad (just swap the onion for the green end of shallots or leek).
  • Lamb and Vegetable Buckwheat Salad.
  • Potato salad using low-fat mayonnaise, lemon, fresh basil, shaved leg ham, the green part of shallots and boiled eggs.
  • Smoked Salmon Salad with Orange.
  • Caprese salad! Simply layer slices of tomato, slices of bocconcini, and torn fresh basil.  Drizzle with some garlic-infused extra virgin olive oil and finish with sea salt and cracked pepper!
  • Tuna and Egg Salad with Turmeric Dressing.

So, hopefully, you agree with us that you do make friends with salad!  Let us know what delicious combos you create!

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If you are experiencing gut symptoms and have not been recommended a low FODMAP diet by a health professional, get started with the manage your gut symptoms program.

Reviewed by the healthylife Advisory Board March 2022