Guide to Low-FODMAP Summer Vegetables (& how to cook 'em!)

In the last newsletter I sent to my Email Crew, I shared 3 favorite low-FODMAP veggies and fruits that I've been stocking up on at the farmer's market and how I put them to use.

(By the way, have you joined the email crew yet? It's free and you'll get a weekly dose of awesomeness that you won't find on the blog. If that sounds like your cup 'o tea, click here.)

Anyhoo, that got me thinking about ALL the amazing low-FODMAP produce that's at the peak of summer deliciousness right now. So, on my Sunday morning trip to the farmer's market, I whipped out my iphone and took some (hopefully) inspirational snaps of the veggies you should be feasting on right now.

Side note: Taking pictures at the farmer's market is a wee bit embarrassing. Fortunately, I'm not ashamed of my enthusiasm for fresh produce, AND the farmer/cashier-guy likes my dog, so that made it less awkward.

Okay. Since I know pretty pictures aren't going to help you put food on the table, I have a bunch of mini recipes and suggestions for what to do with all this gorgeous produce (Do not let it wither away in your refrigerator crisper drawer! I say this because I've definitely been guilty!).

Roasted Purple Carrots with Feta & Mint

Roasted Purple Carrots with Feta & Mint

You can keep reading for all the recipes and ideas, including the amazing Roasted Purple Carrots with Feta and Mint I made last night. Love this.

Just one more thing: Please know that you don't need access to a farmer's market to stock your kitchen with delicious produce.

When I lived in Florida for 5 years, there were no farmer's markets, so I totally get it. You might not be able to get your hands on 5 different varieties of summer squash for example, but you can absolutely make do with basic zucchini!

Alright, let's do this! I'm starting in the upper left corner and moving clockwise.

1. Summer Squash--Aren't the little baby squashes too cute? Toss them with olive oil, dried thyme salt and pepper and roast at 400F until golden brown and tender, tossing them around the baking sheet once or twice. Serve with fresh mint. I love making a batch and using them for omelets with plenty of goat cheese.

2. Zucchini Blossoms--I have been known to stuff zucchini blossoms with cheese and deep fry them with a tempura-style batter if I'm being very indulgent, but let's not go there. For a healthy, low-FODMAP option, sauté with a little olive oil for about a minute and add to whatever pasta dish you're dreaming up (with gluten free pasta of course).

3. Shisito Peppers--Have you seen these before (they're the little green peppers next to the zucchini flowers)? Trader Joe's has started selling them in packages, so they're officially going mainstream! Supposedly one out of ten shisitos is spicy, but most of the time they're very mild. Blister them in a heavy skillet on medium-high heat until skins are collapsing and browned. Then toss in a bowl with gluten-free soy sauce (tamari) and sesame seeds. Shisitos have not been specifically tested for FODMAP content, so you may want to skip if you're in the elimination phase. I think of them like bell peppers and chiles which are low in FODMAPs, and I know they don't bother me personally. But we are all different!

4. Potatoes--Boring? Heck, no! I love trying all the cute fingerlings in different varieties and colors. While you probably know a few ways to cook potatoes, the go-to that never fails me is roasting at 400F (prep with evoo, salt and pepper and any dried herbs and spices you like) then tossing with garlic oil and fresh rosemary or thyme when they're hot out of the oven.

5. Eggplant--The long, slender purple ones are Japanese eggplant. If the white eggplant have a fancier name, I don't know it. Broiling is one of my favorite methods for eggplant, but if you want smoky flavor, grill these bad boys. Halve lengthwise, brush with olive oil and seasoning, then grill till the flesh is very, very soft. The Japanese type taste just like traditional Italian eggplants, but with fewer seeds, which is nice! The white ones have a creamier texture, but a more mild flavor.

6. Bell Peppers (next to the eggplant)--Not trying to sound like a broken record, but grill 'em! I cut the sides of the pepper away from the core, so I get 2 or 3 flat pieces. Grill until the skin is nearly black and peel it off once it's cool. From here, you can chop the peppers and add to salads or grain dishes. Puree and make a dip. Or toss with olives, chopped tomatoes, herbs, vinegar and garlic oil to create a tangy topping for fish or chicken.

7. More Potatoes--See #4 above!

8. Turnips--This veggie has such a bad reputation, but so much potential! When in doubt, roast it. Turnips have a slightly bitter kick, but roasting at 400-425F (use a lower temp for larger chunks) kickstarts caramelization, bringing out the natural sweetness (be sure to get them very soft and deep golden brown). You can also boil them and mash like potatoes. You know how everyone's into mashed cauliflower these days? Well, here's your chance to get in on that and keep it low-FODMAP. By the way, that's kohlrabi to the left of the turnips. There's no FODMAP data on it, but if you want to give it a try, shave it with a vegetable peeler for salad or grate it to make a slaw.

9. Carrots--I cannot resist buying these every single week. The purple are so pretty. Sometimes they have pale yellow ones too, but as far as I can tell, the different colors don't have different flavors. So here's what I did for my purple carrots in the photo: Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper (add any dried herbs and spices you like here!) and roast on a baking sheet at 400F for 20 minutes. Turn the carrots (or toss them around) and continue for roasting until soft and easily pierced with a fork, 10 to 15 minutes more. Transfer to a serving plate and sprinkle with feta cheese, lemon zest and fresh mint. That's it!

10. Green Beans--So many varieties--those are purple ones in the very back of the photo. I like to keep it simple with these guys. Blanche them (This is the fancy way of saying boil until tender, drain, then dump them into a big bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. It also keeps the color bright.), toss with evoo, orange zest and juice, fresh herbs, salt and pepper. Get fancy and top with roasted pecans or sunflower seeds.

And there you go! This kind of turned into an epic post, but whatcha gonna do??? 

As always, keep in mind that serving size is key when it comes to low-FODMAP success. The best place to check serving sizes is the Monash University Low-FODMAP app--I use it all the time. 

Another tip when eating veggies (and yes, I still have to remind myself of this) is to remember moderation even when all the foods you're eating are low in FODMAPs. If you have a low-FODMAP serving of carrots AND green beans AND eggplant all in one sitting, it might be too much for your delicate little belly. Just something to keep in mind.

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