In my kitchen, pesto goes with everything. Well… maybe almost everything – I probably wouldn’t put it on ice-cream. Probably.

Unfortunately, pesto is one of those recipes that just don’t work without garlic. Fortunately for low FODMAPpers, we can cheat with garlic-infused olive oil! Here’s a very simple recipe for you, but one that will probably help you out in a pinch. Nothing to eat in your fridge? Pasta with pesto. No time for cooking an elaborate meal? Cheese sandwich with pesto. Unexpected guests? Comfort food emergency? Bored of traditional pizza toppings?… you catch my drift. After the recipe, I’m sharing my personal pesto life hack!


Low FODMAP Pesto

(Yield: 1 1/4 cup, preparation: 5 minutes, total time: 5 minutes, difficulty: easy)

  • 2 packed cups of basil leaves, washed and dried
  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste (start with a pinch of each)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

I’ll start with the traditional directions, and then tell you how I do it to save time.

Combine the basil and pine nuts in a food processor, pulse until coarsely chopped. Add half a cup of oil and blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. If using immediately, stir in the cheese and remaining oil. Otherwise, freeze and add the cheese and oil once thawed, right before serving.

Pine Nuts

So… this sounds too complicated (are you getting an idea of how simple I like cooking to be?) What I do instead is throw everything into a tall container, blend it using an immersion blender and freeze in small portions. If I need just a little bit for sandwich dressing, I shave it off with a knife – the pesto is greasy enough to not solidify into a frozen block of ice. And if I want to thaw the whole container, I just put it on the counter for a few hours or leave it in the fridge overnight. Now bear in mind that using my hack, the texture after thawing will not turn out perfect and the ingredients may separate. I don’t really mind, it still tastes delicious!

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When your love for onion rings, whipped cream latté and apple pie has to surrender in the face of a gastrointestinal war... when the world becomes a bleak place, full of chicken soup and carrots... do not despair! There's more than one sweet fish in the sea, and your culinary adventures have only just begun. I hereby present you Squashablanca, the land of plenty for people following a low-sugar version of the low FODMAP diet. Enjoy your food!

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