Spice Up Your Cooking

Going vegan and then trying to manage an IBS friendly diet can sound a bit daunting and quite frankly, maybe even a bit flavourless. For years people were convinced vegans subsisted solely on lettuce with a token carrot or two.

We know that isn’t the case but add veganism on top of trying to keep your stomach happy and things can become a bit tricky. Particularly when you learn that garlic and onion could be out of the question.

So how can you spice up your cooking and keep things exciting in the kitchen? Easy. Here is my list of condiments and spices I always have on hand to give even the most dull dishes a little kick.  Since going vegan I use almost all of these on a weekly basis and they make me feel like a much better chef than I actually am. With cooking and especially IBS, it is all about experimentation and finding your favourite foods and what works for you.


  • BBQ Sauce – 2 tbsp
    • read the label to be aware of the addition of garlic or onion which can aggravate IBS – limit intake if these have been added
  • Chilli Oil 
    • this has not yet been tested by Monash for an official serving size recommendation, however, its core components sesame oil and chilli are low FODMAP. Start with a drizzle and work from there
  • Garlic Oil – 1 tbsp
    • Great news, though garlic may be off the table, garlic infused oil is definitely not. Full of delicious garlic flavour, drizzle over salads or use as your main oil to cook tasty curries and sauces
  • Ketchup – 2 tsp
    • this does contain fructan but 2 tsp is completely fine
  • Mayonnaise 
    • there is no official portion size at the moment, however most vegan mayo’s I have found can be deemed low FODMAP from the current ingredients listed. Double check your brand and make sure there is no added fructose syrup or inulin.
  • Miso Paste  2 tbsp
  • Mustard – 2 tbsp
    • most mustards are low FODMAP
  • Nutritional Yeast – 1 tbsp
    • initially if you’ve not used nutritional yeast, you may think it looks a little like fish food but don’t let that put you off. It adds that cheesy flavour you’ve been missing from your vegan cooking. I add it to pasta, lasagna and essentially anything that I would have previously added cheese to. Full of B vitamins and not expensive at all I love nutritional yeast.
  • Soy Sauce – 2 tbsp
    • I stick with gluten free sauce as I am wheat free but your average soy sauce is fine if you can tolerate wheat/ gluten
  • Sriracha – 1 tsp
  • Sweet and Sour Sauce – 2 tbsp
  • Tabasco – 1/2 tsp
    • hot sauces can be hit and miss depending on the added ingredients – tabasco is a good shout as it mostly contains chilli, vinegar and salt. Use good judgement with portion sizes
  • Tahini – 1 tbsp
    • I love the rich flavour of tahini. Classically used in hummus it also works great as a dressing to salads and pasta. Mix with a bit of lemon juice and olive oil.
  • Vinegar – 2 tbsp
    • 2 tbsp for most vinegars except balsamic. The recommended portion for balsamic vinegar is 1 tbsp due to the high level of fructose.

Herbs and Spices:

As a generalisation,  most spices and herbs are low FODMAP. So use freely and  generously in your cooking. Spices can help replace salt in your cooking. You won’t feel like you need to add so much salt to enhance previously bland foods.

  • Basil
  • Bay Lead
  • Black Pepper
  • Cinnamon
  • Chilli Flakes
  • Coriander
  • Cumin – both seeds and powder
  • Fresh Chillies
  • Fresh Ginger
  • Lemon/Lime Juice
  • Mint
  • Mixed Spice
  • Rosemary
  • Smoked Paprika
  • Turmeric

 A note on chilli and chilli containing condiments – the spice of chilli is known to aggravate some people’s IBS. You know your own limits just be wary if you get symptoms after eating a spicy meal this could be the cause. Use your own judgement and adjust where necessary

This is not the definitive list on every condiment out there but this is a great jumping off point. Just because you are vegan or have IBS doesn’t mean food can’t be just as tasty and exciting as anyone else’s. Let me know what your favourite condiments are and what you couldn’t live without.

Photo by Charisse Kenion on Unsplash

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