5 Low FODMAP and Gluten-Free Chocolate Valentine's Day TreatsPublished on Tuesday, February 14, 2023 by
What is Valentine's Day without a little sweetness?
When you or your Valentine need a gluten-free or Low FODMAP diet on Valentine's day, choosing the wrong chocolate treat can invite symptoms that ruin the romance.
Chocolate is naturally gluten-free and dark chocolate is Low FODMAP in a serving of 30 grams according to Monash University research.
However, chocolate treats could be sweetened with a high FODMAP sweetener or conceal other high FODMAP ingredients including, but not limited to:
- Sweeteners: High fructose corn syrup, honey, sugar alcohols, agave, molasses, fructose, isomalt
- Fruit: Most dried fruit, others including but not limited to currents, cherries, apricot, prunes, blackberries
- Nuts: Pistachios, cashews
- Dairy: Lactose-rich dairy
- Grains: Refined wheat flour or blends made from wheat, barley, or rye or legume-based flours
- Additives: Inulin, chicory root
Moreover, even chocolate treats without gluten-containing ingredients can be contaminated with enough gluten to trigger an autoimmune reaction in people with celiac disease if processed on equipment used for foods that contain gluten.
Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to enjoy chocolate on Valentine’s Day even on a gluten-free or Low FODMAP diet. Here are five of my favorites:
1. Dark chocolate
Good news--you can go completely classic and gift a dark chocolate bar with flowers! Try some of these delicious options:
- Strong & velvety 88% dark chocolate bar by Endangered Species
- Enjoy Life Dark Chocolate Bar -- only 57% for those who prefer a lower percent cacao dark chocolate
- Scharffen Berger 82% Extra Dark Chocolate Bar
High-quality dark chocolate can also be a great low-added-sugar treat option. The American Heart Association suggests limiting added sugars to less than 6 teaspoons (25 grams) for women and children, and to less than 9 teaspoons (36 grams) for men--regardless of FODMAP content. While many desserts exceed a day’s serving of added sugar, the chocolate bars above contribute only 3 - 13 grams of added sugar per serving.
2. Flourless Chocolate Cake
Pay attention to the (small!) serving size for flourless chocolate cake. Rich desserts such as these can be Low FODMAP in the right serving, but still trigger GI symptoms when overeaten due to either high-fat content or overdoing FODMAPs.
3. Hot chocolate
This is the perfect treat for snuggling up by a romantic fire. Check out dietitian Tara Rochford’s Low FODMAP French Hot Chocolate for a fancy option--or simply warm up a mug of your favorite dairy-free gluten-free chocolate milk.
For a Low FODMAP diet, look for a lactose-free or dairy-free chocolate milk or cocoa sweetened with Low FODMAP sweeteners such as sugar, maple syrup, or stevia, and made without chicory or inulin.
4. Chocolate-covered strawberries
These are my personal favorite dessert for Valentine’s Day! A serving of about 5 medium strawberries is Low FODMAP according to Monash University’s retested results for strawberries in 2021, so stick with five or fewer strawberries or mix in other Low FODMAP fruits, such as kiwi or pineapple.
5. Brownies or chocolate chip blondies
These are easy, down-to-earth, treats--and they’re not difficult to make gluten-free and Low FODMAP. Check out dietitian Kate Scarlata’s Dark Chocolate Congo Bars (blondies) or Monash University’s Double Chocolate Brownies.
Happy Valentine’s Day and Enjoy Your Chocolatey Treat!
- Monash University. (2014, April 8). Research diet updates. Department of Gastroenterology. Retrieved January 23, 2023, from https://www.monash.edu/medicine/ccs/gastroenterology/research/updates
- Johnson, R. K., Appel, L. J., Brands, M., Howard, B. V., Lefevre, M., Lustig, R. H., Sacks, F., Steffen, L. M., Wylie-Rosett, J., & American Heart Association Nutrition Committee of the Council on Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Metabolism and the Council on Epidemiology and Prevention (2009). Dietary sugars intake and cardiovascular health: a scientific statement from the American Heart Association. Circulation, 120(11), 1011–1020. https://doi.org/10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.109.192627
- Vos, M. B., Kaar, J. L., Welsh, J. A., Van Horn, L. V., Feig, D. I., Anderson, C. A. M., Patel, M. J., Cruz Munos, J., Krebs, N. F., Xanthakos, S. A., Johnson, R. K., & American Heart Association Nutrition Committee of the Council on Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health; Council on Clinical Cardiology; Council on Cardiovascular Disease in the Young; Council on Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing; Council on Epidemiology and Prevention; Council on Functional Genomics and Translational Biology; and Council on Hypertension (2017). Added Sugars and Cardiovascular Disease Risk in Children: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association. Circulation, 135(19), e1017–e1034. https://doi.org/10.1161/CIR.0000000000000439
- Wilson, D. (n.d.). Flourless low fodmap chocolate cake recipe. FODY Food Co. Retrieved January 17, 2023, from https://www.fodyfoods.com/blogs/low-fodmap-recipes/flourless-chocolate-cake
- Flourless chocolate olive oil cake. Monash University . (2019). Retrieved January 17, 2023, from https://www.monashfodmap.com/recipe/flourless-chocolate-olive-oil-cake/
- Rochford, T. (n.d.). Low Fodmap French hot chocolate. Tara Rochford Nutrition. Retrieved January 23, 2023, from https://tararochfordnutrition.com/low-fodmap-french-hot-chocolate/
- Scarlata, K. (2019, December 3). Dark Chocolate Congo Bars (gluten free + low fodmap). Katescarlata.com. Retrieved January 17, 2023, from https://blog.katescarlata.com/2019/12/03/dark-chocolate-congo-bars-gluten-free-low-fodmap/
- Monash University. (2019, October 28). Double chocolate brownies. Monash Fodmap. Retrieved January 23, 2023, from https://www.monashfodmap.com/recipe/double-chocolate-brownies/
Elyse KrawtzMS, RDN, CSOWM, LD