I completely avoided dairy for about three months. That's as long as I could make it. I feel so much better taking that break from dairy. I have been eating a limited amount dairy lately. A little butter here, a tiny bit of cheese there, but nothing too outrageous. I think cheese was the main culprit for me, but I love cheese, so I've not banished completely from my diet.
While I was avoiding all dairy, I came up with this sort of "cheese replacement." Crackers and cheese is one of my favorite snacks, and we enjoy it immensely during happy hour, so I knew I had to come up with an alternative. I had recently tried and enjoyed an olive tapenade at a local restaurant, so I thought I'd give it a try at home.
Olives are a fruit (although this chart lists them in the veggies category) and are considered low in FODMAPs. I don't seem to have any issues with olives! I've always loved black olives, but never cared for green. Well, this recipe has changed that. I make it half green olives, half black olives and it's been a great introduction to green olives for me. I found a recipe from Alton Brown that I thought looked ideal to alter for my low-FODMAP diet. Instead of garlic, I use garlic-infused oil. It gives it a more smooth flavor, not as pungent. And because I always have anchovy paste in my fridge, I adapted the recipe to use that instead of whole anchovies.
I find this tapenade to be very addicting! I like to eat it with a neutral tasting cracker, such as Sesmark Brown Rice Thins. Blue Diamond Nut-Thins and Le Pain de fleurs Buckwheat Crispbread are also really good.
Low-FODMAP, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free
makes about 1 1/2 cups
1 can (dr. wt. 6 oz.) pitted, whole black olives, drained
1 can (dr. wt. 6 oz.) pitted, whole green olives, drained
2 tablespoons drained capers
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon garlic oil (try my quick or oven-roasted recipes)
1 1/2 teaspoons anchovy paste
3 large, fresh basil leaves (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender. Whirl until it forms a smooth paste (about 1 minute in a food processor). You can serve this at room temp but I actually like to eat it chilled. Serve with crackers or as a sandwich spread. Store any leftovers in the fridge.