19 Aug 2016
Forage’s range of FODMAP-Friendly Muesli
Ah muesli. One of those “healthy” foods you adore eating because it tastes delicious and goes with just about anything. From meal to snack food, toasted vs untoasted, premium vs plain, crunchy vs. chewy, fruit filled vs. fruit free, high fibre, gluten free … the options are endless! Sure, you can make it yourself (I’ve got some killer recipes in the FODMAP Friendly Vegan eBook), but let’s be honest, sometimes you want to wake up after a long week of work/study and know that you have a comforting bowl of muesli waiting for you. All you have to do is add the milk, yoghurt, or pour into a snack sized bowl and Bob’s your uncle. It’s also a great travel snack, as muesli requires zero refrigeration and can last for ages if stored in an air-tight container in a dark spot in the pantry. However, nowadays, most store brought mueslis are not only junk foods disguised as “healthy options”, they are also high in FODMAPs, containing (sometimes large amounts) of dried high FODMAP fruits and honey. When faced with a wall of mueslis at the supermarket or health food store, you can end up feeling very overwhelmed trying to make sense of packaging claims and find the best value for money. Not to mention one that won’t upset your belly and lead to painful IBS symptoms.
I was recently encouraged by my friends at FODMAP Friendly to try Forage’s range of low FODMAP, gluten free muesli. Despite my initial hesitations (I’m usually not a fan of store brought anything, as I’m super fussy when it comes to flavour combinations), I was thoroughly impressed. The creator of Forage cereal, Damian Kristof, is actually a naturopath and nutritionist himself, and you can certainly tell once you have a read of the ingredients list of his products. The Forage range has no added processed sugar, preservatives, or additives. But, to be honest, it’s more about what the products DO include that makes me love these blends. My personal favourite is the gluten-free Bircher which so far I’ve tried with my macadamia and seeded milks, and sprinkled on my nana and pumpkin ice creams, and homemade coconut yoghurt, just some of >65 recipes you can find in The FODMAP Friendly Vegan eBook . Some of the FODMAP-friendly ingredients contained in these blends include:
Rolled Brown Rice: one of the easiest to digest foods, Brown rice is rich in a number of healthy nutrients, and the water from brown rice has actually been used for centuries by the Japanese as a digestive aid (similar to bone broth for my Paleo friends)! Health benefits of this grain include better functioning of cardiovascular, digestive, brain and nervous systems. It is loaded with powerful antioxidants which provide relief from a range of ailments such as hypertension, unhealthy levels of cholesterol, stress, mental depression and skin disorders. Brown rice has also been found to help maintain healthy bones and a stronger immune system.
Puffed Millet: is a good source of very important nutrients, including copper, manganese, phosphorus, and magnesium. It has heart- protective properties, helps in the repair of body tissue, and may substantially reduce type 2 diabetes risk. It may also prevent against gallstones and its high fibre content has been associated with reduced risk of breast and colon cancer. Most low FODMAPers find millet very easy to digest.
Puffed Amaranth: a gluten free complete protein makes amaranth a key ingredient in a vegan, low-FODMAP diet, which can often lack high quality protein. Amaranth also contains calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and iron.
Puffed Buckwheat: actually a fruit seed, Buckwheat is a suitable substitute for people who are sensitive to wheat or gluten. Buckwheat is particularly good for maintaining heart health, controlling blood sugar levels, and contains plenty of phytonutrients and fibre to maintain bowel health.
Sunflower Seeds: are high in vitamin E, a family of fat-soluble nutrients (meaning adding some sunflower seeds to your salad or steamed veg is a great idea to increase nutrient absorption!). Vitamin E helps protect your cells against free radicals, chemicals that oxidize and damage your proteins, cell membranes and DNA. Sunflower seeds also offer health benefits due to their vitamin B-1, or thiamine, content, which activates enzymes within your cells.
Pumpkin Seeds: one of the richest sources of vegan zinc, not to mention a great source of protein and healthy fats. Super tasty and slightly buttery, these seeds are one of my all-time favourites!
Coconut: Previously feared for its high saturated fat content, it is now known that the medium-chain saturated fatty acids (MCFAs) contained in coconuts is actually a “healthy” form saturated fat compared to trans-fat. The body metabolizes MCFAs in the liver, immediately converting it into energy (fuel for the brain and muscle function) rather than storing it as fat. The fatty acids in coconut contain anti-microbial properties, which have a soothing effect on bacteria, candida, or parasites that cause poor digestion.
Almonds: up to 10 almonds (much more than what you’d get in the average serving of Forage muesli) is considered a FODMAP-friendly serving. Almonds are packed with vitamins, minerals, protein, fiber, and are associated with a number of health benefits. Almonds also contain high levels of healthy unsaturated fatty acids in addition to many bioactive molecules that can help lower cholesterol, reduce the risk of several cancers, and prevent cardiovascular heart diseases.
Macadamia Nuts: are a rich source of energy and dietary fibre. Additionally, they are rich in phytosterols such as B-sitosterol. The nuts contain no cholesterol and their high mono-unsaturated fatty content has actually been shown to lower LDL cholesterol. They are also rich in many important B-complex vitamins that are vital for metabolic function.
Raisins: up to 3 tbsp raisins (much more than what you’d get in your average Forage serving size) has recently been declared FODMAP friendly – a win when it comes to adding a natural sweetness and plenty of dietary fibre to your muesli blends!
A quick note …
It is important to note that these blends come in unactivated form, so for optimal digestion, I would advise you presoak your Forage blend in some filtered water or milk prior to consumption. This will help break down some of the phytates (antinutrients) contained in the nuts, seeds, and grains, and enhance nutrient absorption.
Try the range of Forage cereals out today and notice the difference … your belly will love you for it!