Wow – what a weekend it has been!! I am slowly recovering from organising my first pop-up event, a Vegan Low-Fodmap brunch with my good friends at Ärtyvät Ämmät. When we initially discussed the idea before Christmas, I would never imagined how challenging, rewarding, unnerving, exciting and positive the experience would be. Although I think myself fairly experienced in the kitchen, this was my first time preparing any kind of Low Fodmap recipes. For anyone unaware, FODMAP stands for Fermentable, Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, And Polyols. A low FODMAP diet is often used in the treatment of many digestive and intestinal issues, in particular Irritable Bowel Syndrome (for more information visit the Finnish Crohn’s and Colitis society). We were therefore fairly restricted in the ingredients we could use and were consulting the Monash University’s official list of Low FODMAP foods. To make the challenge a little tougher we decided to combine this with a vegan diet and hold Helsinki’s first Vegan Low FODMAP brunch!
I discovered low FODMAP cookery is all about adapting and inventive replacement of off-list ingredients (try finding many recipes for a gluten free, vegan cake, which doesn’t use cashew nuts!! I eventually discovered that by making my own coconut butter i could use it to set a delicious New York style lemon cheesecake). We managed to make a good variety of tasty salads, dips, oat bread, and chia pots and I served my walnut ‘meat’ tacos and cacao smoothie bowls. A special shout out to Melanie’s mum who made the most amazing seed crisp breads, in quantities that could feed a small army! If anything the diet needs far more promotion to help build a better understanding and hopefully restaurants will begin to offer more, or any! FODMAP friendly dishes on their menus.
We have been overwhelmed with the support and positive response we have received. Not only were we fully booked over a week in advance, but we have been asked to hold another brunch as soon as possible. Thanks to Melanie’s tireless efforts we also secured sponsorship from Jalo Tofu, who provided us with a lorry load of their products. I whipped up an asian style crispy tofu salad with an almond butter dressing, which went down a storm. I will be posting the recipe in the next few weeks. Thanks again to everyone who came, Mari and David for letting us loose at Deli Cafe Maya and to anyone I have forgotten to mention who helped us along the way.