chervil

Chervil

Need to spice things up? Here is a list of Low FODMAP herbs & spices and how they are used around the world:

  • Allspice (Jamaica pepper, English pepper) – Used to flavor stews, meat dishes, desserts, BBQ sauces.
  • Asafetida (or ‘hing’)- “Some vegetarians in India are required, for religious reasons, to shun onions and garlic. They have come to rely on {Asafetida} a potent resin as a replacement.”  This spice smells foul to most but once you drop some in hot oil, you will enjoy a similar taste to onions and garlic.
  • Basil – the main ingredient in pesto, it also tastes lovely with mozzarella, tomatoes and olive oil (insalata caprese), mixed in to pasta at the last moment, and soups or Thai dishes.
  • Bay leaves – are a fixture in European, Mediterranean and American meals.  Leaves are used whole and then often removed before serving stews, braises, pâtés, sauces, meat, seafood and vegetable dishes.  There are several different types of bay leaves (bay leaf) which have mild to strong flavors.
  • Caraway – the fruits have a pungent, anise-like flavor.  It’s used in breads, added to sauerkraut, and used in desserts, liquors, casseroles and Indian dishes.
  • Cardamom – (black and green) has a strong, unique taste, with an intensely aromatic, resinous fragrance.  It is used as a spice in sweet dishes, in savoury dishes and used as a garnish in basmati rice.
  • Cayenne/chili pepper – a hot chili pepper used in hot sauce, buffalo wing sauce or other spicy dishes.  It is high in vitamin A. It contains several other vitamins.
  • Celery seeds – used when making pickles, potato salad, BBQ sauce and in spice rubs for meat.  *Celery oil and celery seeds have been noted by several sources as unsafe during pregnancy.
  • Chervil – has a faint taste of licorice or aniseed and is used to season poultry, seafood, vegetables, omelets, salads, and soups.
  • Chives –used on top of baked potatoes, in omelets, pancakes, soups, fish and sandwiches.
  • Cinnamon –used in or on top of desserts, in oatmeal, in cakes, in preparation of chocolate, in spicy candies, coffee, tea and more.  It is also used in Ayurvedic medicine to help with digestion.
  • Cloves –are used to flavor meats, curries, and marinades.
  • Coriander – the seeds have a lemony citrus flavor when crushed and are used in chutneys, salads, salsa, guacamole and used as a garnish in other dishes.
  • Cumin (ground or whole seeds)has a distinctive flavor and aroma and is used in cheese, breads, stews, soups, chili, pickles and pastries.
  • Curry – is a mix of complex combinations of spices and/or herbs, usually including fresh or dried hot chilies.  Used in meat, fish, lentils, rice and vegetable dishes.  Curries are used all over the world and vary depending on cultural, religious and familial tradition.  I use curry with quinoa, spinach, as well as eggs, stir-fry, in soup and sometimes in gluten-free oats.
  • Dill – Fresh and dried dill leaves are aromatic and are used to flavor fish, soups, pickles and more in Europe, Central Asia, and the U.S.
  • Elderflower –used in beverages and syrups.  In Greece if it is used in yogurt, it’s safe for the FODMAP diet as long as you are not lactose intolerant.
  • Fenugreek –is included as an ingredient in spice blends and also used as a flavoring agent in imitation maple syrup, foods, beverages, and tobacco.  It can be used to help constipation and inflammation of the stomach. It is often used to increase milk supply in lactating mothers and has helped reduce serum glucose and improve glucose tolerance in some people with diabetes.
  • Galangal –In its raw form, galangals have a stronger taste than common ginger.
  • Ginger – is an herb that is aromatic, pungent and spicy and used in stir-fries and many fruit, vegetable dishes and in fresh green juices.  It is used as a spice and also as a medicine. It can be used fresh, dried and powdered, or as a juice or oil.  It can help with gas and diarrhea.
  • Juniper berries – can be compared to rosemary for their piney taste.  They are used to flavor lamb, wild boar, pork, chili, and marinades.
  • Kaffir lime leaves- from the Kaffir lime tree, the leaves are highly aromatic and used or dried, depending on the recipe or usage.  Used in curries, soups, fish cakes, salads, in rice and marinades.
  • Lavender –flowers, and leaves can be used fresh or dried.  Used in salads, bread, cakes or use as a garnish on top of lactose-free ice cream.  It is used for skin care, sunburn or for aromatherapy.
  • Lemon basil – should be used fresh and added during the last moments of cooking.  Use in pesto, insalata caprese, bruschetta, seafood, soups and sauces, vegetables, with Low FODMAP cheeses and more.
  • Lemongrass -a stalky plant with a lemony scent, it provides a zesty lemon flavor and aroma to many Thai dishes.  Look for firm stalks with the lower stalk being pale yellow in color, and the upper stalks green in color.
  • Lemon myrtle –has a beautiful fragrance and a calming effect when used as a tea.  It is a powerful anti-microbial and anti-fungal agent.  Use in fish, cake and chicken recipes.
  • Lemon thyme –is a hybrid thyme that has a citrusy, flowery aroma that blends well with chicken, fish, salad dressings and a variety of sauces and vegetables.
  • Licorice – made into liqueur, candies, and sweets.  Used as a flavoring in soft drinks, and in some herbal infusions where it provides a sweet aftertaste. Italians like to eat unsweetened licorice in small black pieces made only from 100% pure licorice extract; the taste is bitter and intense.
  • Mace -from the nutmeg tree, two spices are derived from the fruit: nutmeg and mace.  Both are a little similar in smell and taste.  Nutmeg is slightly sweeter and mace has a more delicate flavor. Mace is used in light dishes for its bright orange, saffron-like color.  Mace is used in potato dishes, meats, stews, sauces, baked goods and more.
  • Marjoram -has sweet pine and citrus flavors. In some Middle-Eastern cuisines, marjoram is synonymous with oregano.  Used green or dry to season soups, stews, dressings and sauce.  This herb contains many notable phytonutrients, minerals and vitamins.  Some of its compounds are known to have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.  When fresh it has high levels of Vitamin C, it also has high levels of Vitamin A, an ample amount of Vitamin K and iron.
  • Mustard (seeds/condiment) – This is such a great go-to spice for people following the FODMAP diet, looking for some flavor to add to sandwiches, meats, salads, dressings, sauces, soups, marinades and BBQ sauce and gluten-free pretzels.  It is very low in calories and contains selenium and omega 3 fatty acids.  Mustard has iron, calcium, Vitamins A & C.
  • Nutmeg –used in dessert and savory dishes as well as with pasta and spinach.  The nutmeg tree originates in Banda, the largest of the Molucca spice islands of Indonesia. “Ingestion of small amounts of nutmeg is harmless to the body, however, the consumption of 1 to 3 whole nutmegs (in excess of 1 teaspoon ground) can cause wild hallucinations, nausea, vomiting, and/or circulatory collapse within 1 to 6 hours after ingestion. Very large doses can be fatal.‘”
  • Oregano – I grew up on oregano!  My Italian Father liked to cook family recipes and my Irish Mother also knew how to cook Italian so oregano was found in our sauces, salads, sausage dishes, other meats and pizza.  Depending on the climate and region where oregano is grown, it can have a robust, full flavor with a slightly bitter and peppery taste or a more delicate aroma and sweeter taste.
  • Paprika –a spice made from ground, dried fruits of Capsicum annuum (bell pepper or chili pepper varieties or mixtures so color varies from bright orange-red to deep red). It is high in Vitamin A, and 1 TB provides 7% iron, 5% Vitamin B-6 and 3% magnesium.  Use it with chicken, crab, fish, goulash, lamb, potatoes, rice noodles, shellfish, stroganoff, veal.  Gluten-free goulash recipe
  • Parsley –  is a very nutritious herb and has high amounts of Vitamin K and A and also has Vitamin C, folate and iron, volatile oil components and flavonoids. Choose Italian flat leaf parsley for hot dishes.  Use on grilled fish, in sauces, salads, soups and sautés and combine with lemon and salt to use as a rub on meat.
  • Peppermint –it is used in tea and for flavoring desserts, gum, and toothpaste but it also is powerful in helping with abdominal pain, indigestion, irritable bowel syndrome, and bloating (or wind).  Italian investigators indicated that people who used peppermint oil over a four week period reported a major reduction in IBS.
  • Poppy seeds –seeds are used, whole or ground, as an ingredient in many foods like bread, and cake, sprinkled on top of pasta, sauces and used as a thickener.
  • Rosemary –has a bitter, astringent taste, is highly aromatic and used to flavor various foods, such as stuffings, sauces, breads and roast meats.  Used fresh and dried. Rosemary is high in iron, calcium and Vitamin B6.
  • Saffron –is an expensive spice, derived from the flower of Crocus sativus.  It has been described as “metallic honey with grassy or hay-like notes.”  It has been used medicinally for several years.  Use it your next Low FODMAP seafood, soup, stew or rice noodle recipe.
  • Sage –used in butter, olive oil, sausage, and several dishes.  This was also another herb my family used often.  Pair sage with eggs, chicken, lamb, polenta or pineapple!  Sage can be used to reduce gas and it’s also an antispasmodic, used to relieve abdominal cramps and bloating.  The essential oil of sage contains alpha- and beta-thujone, camphor, and cineole, which are antioxidant and antimicrobial agents. The volatile oils in sage kill bacteria, making the herb useful for all types of bacterial infections.
  • Sesame seeds – “Sesame seed is considered to be the oldest oilseed crop known to humanity.”  Sesame seeds are used whole for its delicious, rich nutty flavor.  You’ll find them mostly in baked items like bagels, crackers, and bread.  The Japanese use them in sushi, salads and baked snacks.  They are also found in Chinese dishes like dim sum and sesame seed balls.  Sesame seeds are also popular in India, Korea, Vietnam, and Africa.
  • Spearmint – leaves can be used fresh, dried or frozen.  Spearmint is used to season lamb in Indian cuisine.  It is also used in alcoholic drinks, candies, and gum.  You can use spearmint tea to help with a stomach ache.  I have seen spearmint used in many High FODMAP recipes, unfortunately, so you might just use it with lamb or other meats.
  • Star anise – is the fruit of a small evergreen tree native to southwest China.  If you do not know what star anise is, chances are you’ve probably seen these eight-pointed, star-shaped fruits.  Star anise is used in five-spice powder, braising sauces and stews and dipping sauces and tea.  It’s used with pork, beef, chicken, eggs and shirt ribs.
  • Sumac – these plants grow in North America and Africa.  As a child growing up in Long Island, I remember sumac for its bright reddish drupes that would easily rub off on skin.  The sumac fruits are ground into a powder and used in Middle Eastern cuisine to add a lemony taste to meats, kabobs and salads.  Sumac is also used is Arabian, Iranian and Jordanian cuisine.
  • Szechuan pepper – can be used whole or ground into a powder and mostly used in Szechuan cuisine.  It has slight lemony overtones and is not as hot as other peppers. It’s also one of the blended ingredients use for five-spice powder.
  • Thyme – used fresh and dry and also retains its flavor after drying more so than other herbs.  I love to sprinkle thyme in eggs, on top of chicken, and in soups or chowders.  Check out this recipe using thyme.
  • Vanilla – is a flavor derived from orchids of the genus Vanilla.  Three majors species of vanilla exist globally and all derive from Mesoamerica, including Mexico.  It’s the second most expensive spice (saffron first), and can have a mild, delicate, spicy or strong aroma.  We use either the whole pod, powder, extract or vanilla sugar (vanilla mixed with sugar).
Photo: Larry Hoffman

Sweet Marjoram Photo: Larry Hoffman

*Buy organic, fair trade whenever possible
*Look into growing your own herbs and spices
*Use spices and herbs to bring life and excitement to your meals!

*Some spices and herbs will help you to benefit from vitamins, minerals, compounds as well as phytonutrients, like:

  • Parsley: Lutein
  • Chili peppers: Capsaicin
  • Tea: Polyphenols

*If you have IBS and do not handle spicy foods very well, use the above spices according to your individual tolerance.

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