Chocolate coated peppermint snow peaks – low fodmap Christmas recipes

Just the ticket for giving out to friends who come caroling.




4 egg whites

200g castor sugar

Pinch of cream of tartar

400g of mint dark chocolate

3-4 drops of peppermint flavouring.


Add the egg whites to a bowl and add the peppermint, cream of tartar and whisk, when they are forming peaks add half the castor sugar and whisk till they form stiff peaks.

Add the rest of the castor sugar, mix and then spoon out into a Teflon baking sheet.

Cook for 1 1/2 hours at gas mark 1/4 or 107  degrees C


Melt the chocolate and cover the surface of the meringue and allow to set.

Makes around 12.

How to survive the holiday season without too many gut problems

The holiday season means many different things to different people, it is supposed to be a period of joy but often it really doesn’t live up to all those expectations that we often have. The media portray images of idealistic families around the Christmas tree having all their dreams come true. For some people the reality is somewhat different, Christmas can be a traumatic time and managing with all the family can be challenging, but it can also be a time when some people are alone too. Here are some tips to help you navigate your way through the period and avoid your gut spoiling the fun.

1. Tis the season to be jolly – really? You have my permission to be a Grinch too if you wish. You should not be expected to see people and be jolly, especially people who you never get along with during the rest of the year. If you don’t get on with someone then Christmas is not a time that somehow the ‘magic’ will make a difference, and likely if your inhibitions are lowered with the odd glass of Advocaat (add your choice of tipple here!) it will not end well! Suggest that you have other plans this year, make your apologies for not seeing them if you wish.

2. Scenes on TV cookery shows promote the domestic goddess, but don’t forget all those well choreographed scenes take time and lots of other people to help, likely months of planning too. Not so much of a goddess then! So don’t try to live up to this myth of being able to manage it all, you will only end up frazzled and this will likely make symptoms worse. You could have a Jacobs join – were everyone brings a different part of the dish. Or you could ask people to bring dishes from around the world, and think of others or you could go out to eat on Christmas day. Consider inviting someone who might be on their own on Christmas day. It really doesn’t have to be a traditional day – make new traditions!

Click on here to see what Nigella really thinks
Click on the image to see what Nigella really thinks.

3. Ensure you eat regularly on Christmas day – leaving hours between meals will not help, plan to have a light breakfast before your Christmas lunch – this doesn’t mean grazing all day either. Manage your portion sizes – use a smaller plate if you like your plate full and you will be just as satisfied and not over full and unable to move!

4. Don’t slouch on the sofa eating snacks whilst watching those Christmas movies, let gravity help you gut and try to sit up when eating – or don’t snack, you will eat more than you realise if you are not being mindful about what you are eating. Alternatively plan how much you are going to eat and put it in a bowl so you know when you have had enough. Your body will thank you for it.

Seriously – not a good idea!!

5. Include some light activity mid afternoon if you are able – a gentle walk in the park perhaps or some games to get you moving around.

6. Family dynamics can be a rich source of conflict during the season, this can lead to arguments in the period leading up to Christmas and especially on the day itself. Arguments at mealtimes are really not advisable, this will do nothing to help your digestion. Stress causes your body to produce adrenaline, the fight or flight hormone, this is a response to conflict or dangerous situations, originally utilised so you can escape from predators. Your body is therefore NOT concentrating on digesting lunch. In the distant past a dose of indigestion was a very small price to pay to avoiding being eaten. So you might need to be assertive and lay down some ground rules for everyone to follow so that the meal can be as calm as possible.

7. Budget as much as you can. Planning is the key here and Christmas is for thinking of others, but not at the expense of experiencing anxiety at not being able to live up to their expectations. Again tell people in advance what you are planning, say that you are only going to be able to afford to do certain things – you may find that people are relieved that they don’t have to meet these expectations either.

8. Stick rigidly to your Low Fodmap foods (or other tolerated foods) before the day, so if you eat something that you react to, you possibly won’t have as severe symptoms as you would have with eating as you please for the full season.

9. Drink plenty of fluids through the day – a least six to eight cups of non carbonated drinks and if you do drink alcohol, match every alcoholic drink with a non alcoholic one – this will mean you drink less and stay hydrated at the same time. Drinking whilst eating slows the absorption of alcohol into the body. Stay within the healthy drinking guidelines (no more than 2-3 units per day) and watch mixers for fodmaps and fizz. Make a glass of water the final drink before going to bed to counteract the dehydrating effects of alcohol. Remember alcohol is a gut stimulant and hangovers won’t help your IBS symptoms although some people can tolerate small amounts. Try not to over indulge – intoxication can remove your resolve and you might be tempted to have more than you planned. Check out Drink Aware for details of how much alcohol is in your favourite tipple.

The true toll of Christmas tipple how excess plays havoc with mind and body

10. The best tip is – remember to enjoy yourself – it is not money that makes the difference but being in the presence of friends, family and company on the day – spending time with others.


Happy Holiday!

Christmas carols and canapes

It’s that time of year again – although it’s unusually warm outside this year! I purchased some gluten free frozen puff pastry and it is also Low Fodmap so here are some canapes to have with Christmas carols and shots – so invite your friends round and celebrate! They are simple to make, although a little fiddly to say the least. See below for the recipes. I could have made my own pastry – but life’s too short to be making puff pasty this time of year!

First cut the pastry into two and using the first block roll it out as thin as you can with plenty of flour to prevent sticking – I used rice flour. Use a small circular cutter and cut out as many circles as you can. Bring the trimmings together and roll out again. I made about 35-40 disks. Brush each with a little beaten egg. Use the following as toppings:

Basil, walnut and Parmesan

A handful of chopped walnuts, 2-4 freshly chopped basil leaves, a handful of pine nuts and 10g of grated Parmesan cheese. Mix these ingredients together with a teaspoon of olive oil and spoon a small amount on the top of each disc. Top each with half an olive cut lengthwise.

Serrano ham and manchago cheese

Place a small square of Serrano ham on each disk, top with a thin slice of cheese.

Smoked mackerel and potato

Thinly slice small new potatoes and spray with oil- roast for 10 minutes in an oven and top each disc with the cooked potato and a small amount of shredded mackerel.

Rosemary and Parmesan pinwheels

Using the other half of the pastry roll it into an oblong block as this as you can brush with egg wash. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan and chopped fresh rosemary leaving a thin strip away from you without cheese. Roll adding further egg wash as you roll it up and stick down once rolled. Slice into 1cm circles.

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Place each disk on a baking tray and cook in a hot oven for 10-15 minutes until cooked. Serve with your drink of choice. Remember alcohol can, for some  people make symptoms of IBS worse, so do take care. Your friends and guests will hardly be aware that these are gluten free.  These canapes are also high in fat but one or two are all that are needed, moderation is always key – even at this time of year! They make a delightful change to the usual peanuts or crisps served with party drinks.

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I do hope you all have a wonderful holiday.

To wish you a Merry Christmas – Gluten Free, low Lactose, chestnut and chocolate Yule log!

yulelogBuche de Noel – or chocolate log, this is the last treat recipe of the holidays – yule log, chocolate & chestnut flavour. It uses chestnut spread a really tasty alternative to cream. The sponge is a fat-free one – however just because it is low-fat does not make it a healthy option, it contains plenty of sugar – just a treat for once a year! Obviously 😉


1 tin of chestnut spread

4 eggs

4 tablespoons of castor sugar

50 g of gluten-free cocoa powder

50 g of self-raising gluten-free flour

150 g of gluten-free dark chocolate for serving (at least 70%)


Line two 30 x 19 cm sandwich trays with baking parchment.

Beat the eggs and sugar till the mix is aerated, sieve the dry ingredients and add to the mix, fold with a metal spoon till incorporated.

Add the mix to the tins and cook in the middle of an oven gas mark 6, 200 degree C for 10 minutes – watch them closely, as they are thin and at risk of burning.

Before you remove the sponge from the oven open your tin of chestnut spread and be prepared to use it.

Remove one sponge from the oven and working quickly remove the baking parchment and spread it with the chestnut spread. Roll into a log – it will crack a little but don’t worry, this will add to the overall log appearance. Keep the other sponge warm, then repeat with the process and cut the sponge at an angle to simulate a branch.

Melt 1/3 of the chocolate in a basin over boiling water – remove and add the rest of the chocolate and cool the mix to temper it. (I am not sure this was wholly successful as it still looked a little dull on setting of the log.) Pour this slowly over the log to ensure it is covered, add some to each end of the log using a palette knife. Allow to set then serve!

Serves 6-8

I wish all my readers a happy holidays and a calm gut New Year!

Got Leftovers? A Christmas rice salad Low FODMAP and Gluten Free

DSCF1100modI have a hobby – I collect vintage Christmas decorations. The one in the picture, the watering can, was part of my granddad’s Christmas decorations and I remember it when we used to visit his house. It does look a little the worse for wear now, and granddad passed away a number of years ago, but I have happy memories when I use it so I would not throw it away. I have a number of other family decorations that come out every year and I have also bought some more – second-hand, this year. A number of the shops are selling vintage look baubles – but in my view you can’t beat the real thing! Using second-hand or ‘left overs’ is a really good idea – too much in life is disposable these days and this is a really environmentally friendly and economical way of living.

I have made this recipe using chicken as we had some chicken to use up, but it can also be used with turkey leftovers, I am sure you will have some to spare!


150 g Brown basmati rice

30 g Wild rice

20 g Camargue red rice

1 Tablespoon of garlic Infused oil

15 g Fresh Tarragon

2 Chicken breasts

1 Tablespoon of grained mustard gluten-free

1 Tablespoon of light mayonnaise (gluten-free or egg free mayonnaise if needed)

40 g pine nuts

5 Radishes

5cm Slice of cucumber

Salt + pepper to taste.

Fresh salad leaves to decorate

Serves 3-4


If using fresh turkey or chicken coat the meat in oil and chop the tarragon and add it to the chicken – roast in an oven till cooked. Cool quickly. If using cooked meat then add the oil and tarragon to the rice and use the meat cold.

Add the rice to a pan with water and simmer till cooked and soft, cool quickly.

Mix the mayo and grained mustard together and add to the rice with the chicken, pine nuts, sliced radishes and chopped cucumber add salt + pepper to taste and serve.

If you are sensitive to resistant starches this dish can be served freshly cooked and hot – just serve the radish and cucumber on the side of the plate.

I wish all my readers a happy calm gut holiday!

Blooming blinis this should be a good holiday!

This recipe is really easy to make and is gluten-free and low lactose. You shouldn’t need to buy these, the recipe makes about 30. A great treat for Christmas eve parties to have with a glass of wine to toast to the season.


300g Buckwheat flour

1 teaspoon of dried yeast

2 eggs

3/4 pint of lactose free milk

Salt + pepper


Remove the eggs from the fridge and leave to warm to room temperature. Heat the milk till luke warm (body temperature.) Weigh out the flour and add the eggs, milk, yeast salt and pepper. Mix well, heat a frying pan and using spray oil to fry, drop some of the mixture into the pan and leave to cook, you should see small bubbles forming on the surface of the blini. Turn over and cook through.

Serve with smoked salmon and dairy free cream cheese and a glass of chilled white wine. Cheers!


If you are following the Low FODMAP diet this recipe works just as well with gluten free self raising flour.

Contamination free Buckwheat four (Gluten Free) can be sourced from Infinity Food Organics and was purchased for this recipe.