This coming Easter wouldn’t it be nice to have a list of chocolate and other goodies you could enjoy that are low in FODMAPs? Well since we love Easter so much, Joanna Baker, APD, RN and Executive FODMAP Consultant and I went looking through stores in the U.S., in Australia, as well as online for the UK and Canada and we have some delicious options for you. We also have two divine and sweet Easter recipes for you below.
Hot Cross Buns, A Much Loved Treat
Before my trip to Australia recently, I was informed that Easter and Hot Cross Buns were a “big deal” in the land of OZ. I made a point to find a few of these sweet buns at the various cafes I visited cafes during my stay in Melbourne and Sydney. The buns I saw all looked very different, and many recipes include high-FODMAPs such as milk, skim milk powder, and all-purpose flour. Currants and raisins are also in hot cross bun recipes and are low-FODMAP at 1 tablespoon each. So as long as buns are gluten-free, not super loaded with either of these dried fruits and do not contain other high-FODMAPs, they may be suitable to consume on a low FODMAP diet. I used 110 grams of raisins in my recipe, which equals about 5.5 grams of raisins per each bun. I suggest consuming no more than two buns (a low-FODMAP serving of raisins is 1 tablespoon, or 13 grams). My low-FODMAP version for Hot Cross Buns came out moist, sticky and sweet. My neighbors loved them, including a surfer guy who is conscious about his physique! Even he jumped right in and had FOUR of them. Yes, success! Joanna’s Low FODMAP Cinnamon & Raisin Easter Cookies are also very sure to please your guests as well as Mr. E. Bunnie himself.
Joanna tells me that, by far her favorite food holiday is Easter, and any excuse to bake with cinnamon and raisins is a good idea. Her recipe contains 110g of raisins over 16 cookies, meaning that 2 cookies contain about 13g, which is a low-FODMAP serve. Like all chewy cookies, they are best straight from the oven when still warm and go just as well with a cup of tea as they do with lactose-free vanilla ice cream.
Reading Labels for Sweets
When reading labels for chocolate or candy, you will need your low-FODMAP detective glasses to scout out these high-FODMAPs:
- Sources of milk, milk solids, yogurt, buttermilk, sour cream, milk curds, and whey protein concentrate (unless it’s lactose-free whey protein concentrate)
- Sources of sweeteners including honey, agave syrup, yacon syrup, fruit sugar, fruit juice from high-FODMAP fruits like apples and pears, concentrated sources of fruit juice, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), isolated fructose, fructose, fructose syrup, crystalline fructose, Isoglucose, fructose-glucose syrup, and glucose-fructose syrup. When fruit juice is used to color a product and not sweeten, it should be safe to consume.
- Sources of polyols such as sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol, isomalt, erythritol and other sugar alcohols.
Low-FODMAP Sugars, Sweeteners & Sweet Ingredients
The following sources of sugars and sweeteners are low in FODMAPs: white sugar, cane sugar, stevia powder, brown sugar, palm sugar, raw sugar, maple syrup, rice malt syrup, corn syrup, dextrose, glucose syrup (from wheat or corn), sucrose. Vanilla essence, vanilla bean pods. Strawberry or marmalade jam (2 tablespoons). Food acid, colors, citric acid, ascorbic acidgelatin, pectin, artificial flavors, soy lecithin, confectioner’s glaze, natural flavors. Dried banana chips (10) cranberries (NSA), raisins or currants (1 tablespoon each).
Quick Low-FODMAP Health Tips
Low-FODMAP Sugar Tips
Joanna and I hope you enjoy your chocolate or your Peeps® this Easter but we want you to consider that even if a treat is low in FODMAPs, try not going overboard as too much low-FODMAP sources of glucose isn’t good for anyone. Here are some reasons to chill on a sugar gorge:
- Sugar can create a state of dysbiosis, upsetting the healthy balance in the digestive system and promoting the growth of bad bacteria in the gut.
- You’ve probably experienced a superficial high before from consuming too much sugar and then a “crash” of sorts. This is the fatigue that sets in after consuming a large quantity of carbohydrates, correlated with an abnormally rapid rise in blood glucose after eating.
- Too much glucose will also soak through the walls of your small intestine and trigger your pancreas to secrete insulin which will then block the production of leptin, the “hunger hormone” that tells your brain that you’re full.
Low-FODMAP Chocolate Tips
Keep to a serving size of 30 grams or about 5 squares of dark chocolate. This is the recommended serving size for dark chocolate, and sticking to the serving size can prevent you from over indulging too much. Why be cautious? Because too much chocolate could mean too much fat and caffeine, both of which become potential gut irritants. If you want to have milk or white chocolate, the recommended low-FODMAP serving size is the equivalent of one fun size bar, or 15 grams.
So if you’re passionate in looking after your health, I hope these tips will help you, but most of all, we hope you will learn how to find a balance that’s best for you. Enjoy these selections below and recipes and enjoy your Easter!
Colleen’s Favorite ~
Wild Ophelia Maine Sea Salt Peanut Butter Cups – Maine sea salt, roasted peanut butter, 70% cacao dark chocolate.
Ethereal Confections Foil Wrapped Mini Bunny $2.95 – Chocolate* (Cocoa Beans*, Cane Sugar*, Cocoa Butter*). *Organic Ingredient. Made on shared equipment with dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, eggs & soy
Interesting Flavor ~
Chuao Dark Chocolate Organic Blueberry Lavender – Organic chocolate liquor, organic dried cane syrup, organic cacao butter, organic soy lecithin (as an emulsifier), organic vanilla, organic dried wild blueberries (organic blueberries, organic sugar, organic sunflower oil), organic maple sugar and organic lavender flowers. Store locator
Vosges Mo’s® Dark Chocolate Bacon Bar – fruitwood smoked uncured bacon, 62% cacao dark chocolate, Alderwood smoked salt.
Allergen Friendly ~ I had three favorites!
- No Whey! Foods Franky the Big Smiling Vegan Bunny– Vegan Cane Sugar, Cocoa Butter, Cocoa Mass, Maltodextrin (From Corn), Sunflower Lecithin, Tragacanth Gum (Natural Thickener), Titanium Dioxide (A Mineral For Color), Dextrose, Natural Vanilla.
- Divvies Chocolate Bunny – Solid, hand poured, vegan and nut free semi-sweet chocolate.
- Pascha 85% Cacao Mini Chocolate Bars – I was introduced to these at the Natural Products Expo West. They are free from many allergens but you would never guess! “Fine aroma cocoa beans from Peru, combined with organic cane sugar and vanilla bean, create a beautiful, well-balanced taste.” Free from peanuts, nuts, dairy, soy, eggs, wheat and gluten.
Additional U.S. Dark Chocolate Brands Colleen Loves (Colleen really loves her dark chocolate!)
- Rescue Chocolate Easter Bunny –Rescue Chocolate has partnered with House Rabbit Society to promote “Make Mine Chocolate,” a campaign that encourages the purchase of chocolate bunnies for Easter rather than live rabbits.
- Alter Eco – 85% Dark Blackout USDA Organic and Fair Trade.
- Ghirardelli Intense Dark 86% Cacao Chocolate Bars
- Green & Blacks 85% Cacao bars
- Endangered Species 88% Cacao bars
- Endangered Species Dark Chocolate Bites with 88% Cocoa
- Chocolove 70% Cacao bars
- Theo 85% Cacao bars 100% Organic, Fair Trade, and non-GMO certified
- Artisan Kettle Organic Bittersweet Chocolate Chips
- DAGOBA ECLIPSE Extra Dark chocolate bar 87% Cacao
Joanna’s Favorite ~
Cadbury Coco Block Chocolate: 70% Dark Cocoa Sea Salt And Pecan -Elegantly smooth and refined dark chocolate, with lingering cocoa character. Available at Coles.
Coles Belgian 70% Dark Chocolate – “Not overly creamy or easily dissolved but the kind of dark you can happily chew into, enjoying the solid cocoa taste and eagerly reaching for more. It is quite dense in texture and pleasantly filling.” Review by Kath of Chocablog. Shop at Coles
Interesting Flavor ~
Lindt Chili EXCELLENCE Bar – “Feel the subtle heat created by this adventurous recipe from the Master Chocolatiers. The spicy flavor of red chili combined with aromatic dark chocolate for an exhilarating taste experience.”
Lindt Dark Chocolate Bunny – “The dark chocolate version of our Easter favorite. Exquisite, enchanting, extraordinary.”
Allergen Friendly ~
Moo Free Original Organic Egg with Buttons – Moo Free has created another delicious allergy-friendly “Milk” chocolate with this Egg Treat. The box also contains chocolate drops.
Chocolate in the UK and Canada
- Moo Free Original Organic Egg with Buttons
- Lindt Chili EXCELLENCE Bar
- Montezuma’s Sea Dog – Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt & Lime Bar
- Montezuma’s Dark Chocolate Egg with Dark Mini Egg Truffles (contains a small amount of whipping cream which is low-FODMAP).
- Betty’s Dark Chocolate Venezuelan Egg –dark chocolate (97%) (cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter, emulsifier (soyalecithin), flavouring (vanilla); cocoa solids 65% minimum), dark chocolate (sugar, cocoa mass, cocoa butter, emulsifier (soya lecithin), flavouring (vanilla); cocoa solids 39% minimum), colours (iron oxide, titanium dioxide). May contain milk, I reached out to Bettys and as far as the milk is concerned: “There is no milk intentionally added to the Venezuelan egg – it is made with all dark chocolate. However, we have to state that it ‘may contain milk’ as our raw material supplier cannot guarantee that it would not pick up small traces of milk during their methods of manufacture.”
- Several single origin dark chocolate bars are available to buy online from the Chocolate Trading Co.
- Purdys Classic Bar – 88% Dark Chocolate
- Purdys Ecuador With Himalayan Pink Salt and Lampong Pepper
- Lindt Dark Chocolate Bunny
- Zazubean (Canada) – 80% dark chocolate bar. Fair trade and organic.
- Chocolatier Constance Popp Bacon Bark (dark chocolate) made with real maple infused bacon, a little sea salt & dark chocolate
- Rheo Thompson – Marshmallow Egg – Dark Chocolate – Marshmallow made from their original recipe (glucose, sugar, gelatin, vanilla & corn starch) and enrobed in semi-sweet chocolate. “Perfect addition to any Easter basket.”
- Sweet Lollapalooza has some delicious looking dark chocolates
- Pure Lovin Chocolate Solid Chocolate Bunny
Other Easter Candies You Can Enjoy ~ Fructose Friendly
*Always read labels of any candy for potential high-FODMAPs
- Tory & Howard Meyer Lemon & Raspberry hard candies
- TruJoy Organic Bunny Shaped Lollipops
- Sue Shepherd’s Irresistible Fruit Salad Natural Confectionery
- YumEarth Organic Strawberry Lollipops
- YumEarth Organic Gluten-Free Strawberry Licorice
- Marshmallows (made without high fructose corn syrup)
- Swedish fish
- Sweet tarts
- Sour patch kids
Low-FODMAP Easter Recipes
Low-FODMAP Hot Cross Buns
Makes 20 buns
For the Buns
- 3/4 cup (110 g) brown raisins
- 2 cups (475 ml) warm but not hot lactose-free milk
- 2 tablespoon active dry yeast
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 3 cups Low-FODMAP Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Mix (I used Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1)
- 2 teaspoons xanthan gum
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- 1 teaspoon each fresh lemon and orange zest
- 2 extra large eggs at room temperature
- 1/4 cup (50 g) brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 tablespoons (55 g) melted butter, warm
- 1 egg mixed with 2 teaspoons water for egg wash for top of buns
- Extra melted butter or olive oil spray for greasing muffin pans
- Extra tapioca flour for cutting cross on each bun
For the Glaze
- 2 cups (225 g) powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon lactose-free milk
- 2-3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (adjust to your taste preferences)
- Place raisins in a cup or small bowl and fill with water. Let raisins sit until plump.
- Grease two 12-muffin pans with melted butter or olive oil spray.
- In a small bowl, whisk together warm milk and 1 tablespoon sugar until sugar is dissolved. Whisk in yeast. Set aside to proof (you will see foam on top).
- In a medium bowl, mix together flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, salt, spices, zests and 1/4 cup sugar. Set aside.
- In bowl of mixer fitted with paddle attachment, place eggs, vinegar, melted butter, and vanilla. Mix briefly to combine. Add yeast mixture. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture. Turn up speed to medium high and beat for 3 minutes. Add raisins and beat on low until just combined.
- Fill muffin cups about 3/4 full. Dip a sharp knife into extra tapioca flour and cut a deep line from top to bottom into top of each bun. Dip your knife again in tapioca flour and cut in another line to make a cross. Repeat for each bun. Extra tapioca flour left on top of buns is OK.
- Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Place muffin pans in a warm place and let rise until double in bulk–about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- After buns have risen, brush tops of each bun lightly with egg wash. Bake at 375° for 20 minutes–or until tops of buns are golden brown on top.
- When buns are done baking, remove from oven, carefully remove buns from muffin pans and place on racks to cool.
- Make glaze. Whisk together powdered sugar, milk, and lemon juice until smooth. When buns are cooled, using a tablespoon or ladle, drizzle on a bit of glaze into crosses of each bun. If crosses have sealed up somewhat, you may need to cut into crosses again, allowing space to drizzle in glaze. Allow glaze to drip down sides ~ absolute yumminess! You will have some glaze leftover which can be used to drizzle over low-FODMAP fruit or stir a little into oatmeal or quinoa flakes.
This recipe was adapted to be made low-FODMAP from The Art of Gluten-Free Baking, by Jeanne Sauvage.
Low FODMAP Cinnamon & Raisin Easter Cookies
By Joanna Baker
- Makes: 16 cookies
- Low FODMAP serve: 2 cookies
- Prep time: 10 minutes
- Cook time: 15 minutes
- Difficulty: easy-moderate
- 100g raisins + boiling water
- 150g softened butter
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup white sugar
- 2 eggs
- 150g Well & Good FODMAP Friendly certified self-rising flour
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 100g quick oats
- 25g desiccated coconut
- Place raisins in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave to soak for 20 minutes until plump. Drain and discard liquid.
- Preheat oven to 180C (350F). Cream butter, brown and white sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in eggs.
- In a separate bowl sift flour and cinnamon, before gently mixing in oats and coconut.
- Combine wet and dry ingredients and mix thoroughly until a dough is formed. Fold in raisins.
- Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Drop heaped tablespoons of the dough onto the sheet, spaced well apart. Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden.
Additional sources for the information shared in this post include:
- Where to Find the Best Chocolate in Canada
- FODMAP Friendly Food Program App
- Sweeteners and FODMAPs, Patsy Catsos October 31, 2014
- Diet-Induced Dysbiosis of the Intestinal Microbiota and the Effects on Immunity and Disease
- Hendrickson, Kirstin.“Side Effects of a Sugar Overdose”. Demand Media, Inc. Retrieved 8 November 2011.
- Monash FODMAP app
- Low FODMAP Guide to Halloween Candy ALittleBitYummy.com, Alana Scott