Dark chocolate brings up feelings of pleasure, guilt, and decadence. With Valentine’s Day approaching, you might be asking: is dark chocolate low FODMAP? Can I have it without experiencing gut symptoms? Let’s find out.
Is Dark Chocolate Low FODMAP?
Chocolate and cocoa powder contain a type of fiber called fructans, one of the FODMAP groups. The good news for chocolate lovers is that fructans are prebiotic fibers that have beneficial effects on our gut.
However, there is some not-so-good news. When our gut bacteria digest them, they produce gas as a byproduct of fermentation. In people who are sensitive to them, they may cause symptoms such as bloating, excess gas, and abdominal pain.
Interestingly, the darker the chocolate, the higher the fiber (and fructans) content. Nonetheless, a moderate portion of dark chocolate (about 1 ounce) is considered low FODMAP by Monash University. This is quite a generous amount that allows you to indulge in sweets such as these delicious truffles without fearing any gut discomfort.
What Makes These Dark Chocolate Truffles Low FODMAP?
- The choice and amount of chocolate and cocoa powder
- The choice of milk (almond or lactose-free milk)
Aside from FODMAPs, high-fat loads can also trigger gastrointestinal distress in people with IBS. These truffles are much lower in fat than traditional ones, made with cream or coconut milk.
If you want to learn more about chocolate and FODMAPs, here is What You Need to Know About Chocolate and the Low FODMAP Diet.
Fun Facts About Chocolate
- Chocolate was not always solid or sweet – Up until 1847, chocolate was a bitter beverage. A British company created solid (and sweeter) chocolate by combining cocoa butter, sugar, and chocolate liquor.
- Chocolate used to be a currency – In Mayan times, cocoa beans used to be, literally, money that grew on trees, and their cultivation was restricted.
- Just smelling chocolate can induce relaxation – The mere smell of chocolate stimulates certain brain waves that trigger relaxation!
Here is a quote I read in the window of an Italian chocolate shop:
Nine out of ten people like chocolate. The tenth is lying.Anonymous
Low FODMAP Mayan Dark Chocolate Truffles
- 6 oz. 60-70% chocolate, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon chili powder
- dash salt
- 6 tbsp unsweetened almond milk or lactose-free milk
- ½ teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder to coat truffles
- In a glass or stainless-steel mixing bowl, toss chopped chocolate with the cinnamon, chili powder, and salt.
- Heat the almond or lactose-free milk over low to moderate heat; when the milk is hot, turn the heat off. Dissolve the cornstarch in 1-2 teaspoons of cold water and add it to the hot milk.
- Pour the milk over the chopped chocolate and stir continuously with a wooden spoon until the chocolate is thoroughly melted and the mixture becomes thick and uniform.
- Transfer the mixture to a plate lined with parchment paper and, with the help of a spatula, shape it into a rectangle about ½-inch thick. Make sure to have enough parchment so that you can fold it over and cover the chocolate. Refrigerate until it hardens, at least 30 minutes.
- After the chocolate has hardened, remove it, unmold it from the parchment paper, set it on a cutting board, and cut it into 24 squares (they won’t be perfect but that’s ok, in fact, it makes the truffles look rustic).
- Put the cacao powder on a plate and toss the chunks until partially, if not fully, coated.