~ Low Fructose ~

I’m going to start out by saying that I am on very shaky ground with regard to fructose malabsorption.  It’s probably the dietary requirement I know least about.  When you add to my general ignorance the fact that different people with fructose malabsorption seem to be able to eat different levels of fructose and the fact that every reference I look up seems to have a slightly different list of which vegetables are OK and which are not, the whole thing becomes a bit of a minefield.

Part of what makes this tricky is that many people with fructose malapsorption are also avoiding a lot of other things (FODMAPs is a keyword here – it stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols, and essentially means Fructose, Lactose, Fructans, and the alcohol-based sweeteners like xylitol).  In addition, if I am understanding this correctly, it’s the balance of sucrose to fructose in a particular meal that counts, so the context in which an ingredient is being used is the key.

There’s a lot of useful information on the Shepherdworks website, and if you have access to a university library, I can recommend this article by Shepherd et al as a good starting point.  In particular, it contains a number of lists of lower and higher fructose and sucrose foods.  I also had a consultation with one of the dieticians from ShepherdWorks a few months back, in order to better understand how this whole thing worked, and wrote up my notes here – you might find both my blog post and the comments which reply to it useful.

I’m afraid your best bet if you are cooking for someone with fructose malabsorption is still to run the ingredients list past them before you start on a recipe.  And if you have been diagnosed with fructose malabsorption yourself, you should definitely consult with a dietician rather than reading a lot of websites (including this one!), because reading websites is the pathway of confusion!  I’m not a nutritionist, nor do I play one on television…

All this said, the recipes below should be  a fair starting point if you are cooking for someone who needs to avoid fructose.  They may include lower fructose fruits such as berries or citrus, rhubarb, pineapple or passionfruit, but they avoid high fructose fruits such as apples, melons, mangoes and quinces, as well as stone fruit (which contain sorbitol – another FODMAP no-no).  None of the recipes below contain wheat or legumes, and I’ve also avoided onions, asparagus, artichokes and mushrooms.  Everyone seems to agree on these vegetables being a bad idea, but beyond that, the lines seem to get a bit blurry.

(Note that asterisked recipes contain bread or pasta products which are readily available in both gluten-free and low-fructose forms.  Recipes marked with a ~ are low in fructose, fructans, polyols and galacto-oligosaccharides, but contain dairy.)

Soups and Stocks

Broccoli and Roast Potato Vichysoisse (V, VV, D, G, E, F)
Chicken Stock (D, E, G, F, N, GI) (again, depending how sensitive you are, you might want to adjust the vegetables in the stock.  Frankly, you could make this with just chicken, herbs and water if you wanted to, and it would still be good.)
Roast Pumpkin Soup (V, VV, G, D, E, N, GI, F) (skip the roasted onions, and if you are particularly sensitive, leave the onions out of the stock, too)
Tortellini Soup (V, VV, G, D, E, N, GI, F) (leave out the onions – you can replace with a little fennel if you like)
Vegetable Stock
 (V, VV, G, D, E, N, GI, F)

Dips and Spreads

~ Butter (V, G, E, N, F)
Chocolate, Coconut and Raspberry Spread  (V, VV, D, E, F, N)
Coconut and Lemon ‘Buttercream’  (V, VV, D, E, G, F, N)
Guacamole with Kaffir Lime (V, VV, GI, D, E, G, N, F)
~ Labneh (Drained yoghurt) (V, E, N, GI, F)
~ Lemon Curd (V, N)
~ Ricotta and Herbs (V, E, N, GI, F)


Blueberry and Spinach Smoothie (V, VV, GI, D, E, F) (replace date with a teaspoon or two of sugar – or skip it entirely)
Fruit Jaffles (V, VV, D, E, G, F, N, GI) (use banana or berries)
Green Rainbow Smoothie
(V, VV, D, E, G, F, GI) (note that kale is problematic for some; consider replacing with spinach if need be)
(V, D, N, F, G, GI)
~ Porridge (V,  VV, E, G, D, N, GI, F) (use soy or dairy milk)

Light Meals

Baked Ricotta (V, G, N, GI, F)
Beetroot Gnocchi (V, D, E, N, F)
Beetroot Gnocchi with Broccoli (V, G, E, F, N)
Modular Salad (V, VV, G, D, E, N, F, GI)
Pumpkin, Chicken and Chickpea Filo Triangles with Moroccan Flavours (D, E, N, F, GI) (leave out the chickpeas)
Quinoa Salad with corn, coriander and lime (V, VV, G, D, E, N, GI, F) (leave out the spring onions)
~ Risotto Cake (V, G, F, D, N)
Tomato stuffed with quinoa salad (V, VV, D, G, E, GI, F, N)


Main Courses

Chicken – Roast, Stock, Leftovers (D, E, G, F, N, GI)
~ Pasta Carbonara, my way (N, G, F) (dress the salad with lemon juice rather than vinegar)
~ Pasta Shells Stuffed with Ricotta, Mint and Feta (V, GI, N, F) (keep an eye on the garlic levels, the rest is fine)
Pasta with Sausage, Weeds and Leaves from Root Vegetables
(E, N, G, F)
(omit the onion)
Pumpkin and Tofu Curry with Lemongrass (V, VV, D, E, G, N, GI, F) (omit the onion and replace the pistachios with toasted almonds)
Ratatouille (Extremely Good) (She says, modestly)
(V, VV, D, E, G, N, GI, F)
Stuffed Zucchini on Roasted Tomatoes (V, G, N, F)

Side Dishes

~ Eggplant with tomatoes and yoghurt (V, E, N, G, GI, F) (you might want to reduce the garlic to 1 clove)
Greek-ish Salad (V, G, E, N, F, GI)
Preserved Kumquats (V, VV, D, E, N, F)
Roast Potatoes (V, VV, D, E, N, G, F) (leave out the onions.  You don’t need onions.  You have potatoes!  Maybe reduce the garlic powder, depending on your sensitivity.)
Slow-Roasted Tomatoes (V, VV, D, E, N, F, G, GI)
~ Strawberry Salad with Fennel and Parmesan (V, E, N, F, GI) (this one is probably borderline, what with the vinegar and the fennel.  Use your judgment.)
~ Sweet Potato and Pumpkin Salad (V, VV, D, E, N, F, GI) (again, leave out the spring onions)


Almond Milk Crème Patissière (V, D, F)
Béchamel Sauce (V, E, N) (use almond milk, or soy, but do check that your soy milk is made from soy pea protein, not whole soy beans)

  • Chestnut Flour (V, G, E, F) (use a non-dairy milk)
  • Goat’s Milk (V, E, N, F) (use spelt flour)
  • Soy (V, VV, D, E, N, F, GI) (use spelt or chestnut flour, and make sure you strain out the onion carefully)

Big Cakes

Note that many of these cakes contain wheat flour, which is of course forbidden for those avoiding fructose!  However, since spelt flour has the same properties when baking and is now pretty readily available, I thought it would be a pity to exclude recipes that would work just fine provided you substituted in spelt.  And I thought annotating each recipe individually would be a little silly, hence this note.  If you don’t like spelt, or need to involve gluten as well as fructose, there are a number of good gluten-free flour mixes out there that are also low in fructose – these will also work in the recipes below.

~ Almond and Berry Cake with Chocolate Flowers  (V, D, F)
~ Blue Curacao Tart for Eurovision (E, N, F)
~ Chocolate, Almond and Raspberry Cake (V, F)
~Chocolate and Raspberry Cake with Bling (V, N, F)
Chocolate and Raspberry Truffle Cake (V,  D, N, F)
~Coburg Garden Cake (V, VV, D, E, F)
Cross-Dressing Ken Cake (really, you can use any big solid cake for the base, so gluten-free, vegan and low fructose options are all possible)
Gluten-Free Banana Bread (V, G, D, F)
~ Gluten-Free Sponge Cake (V, G, D, F, N)
Herman the German Chocolate and Raspberry Cake (V, F)
Herman the German Strawberry, Pomegranate and Lemon Cake (V, F, E, N)
Lemon Meringue Sponge Cake (V, D, F, N)
~ Lemon Yoghurt Cake with Raspberries and Rosemary (V, F)
~Lemon, Rhubarb and Yoghurt Cake (V, D, F)
~ Perfumed Blood Orange and Cardamom Cake (V, F, D)
Rainbow cake (V, F, N, G)
Sfoof (Semolina and Turmeric cake) (V, VV, F, D, E)
~ Sunshine Yellow Lemon Cake (V, D, F, N)
Zucchini Cake (spicy chocolate) (V, VV, D, E, G, N, F )

Little Cakes

See note above re wheat flour vs spelt flour.

Bleeding Heart Cupcakes for Halloween (V, D, G, N, F)
Chocolate and Chestnut Cupcakes (V, G, D, E, N, F)
Chocolate and Chilli Cupcakes (V, VV, G, D, E, N, F)
Chocolate, Raspberry and Coconut Cupcakes (V, VV, D, EN, F)
Chocolate and Scream de Menthe Cupcakes (V, VV, D, G, E, F)
Chocolate, Hazelnut and Zucchini Mini-Cupcakes with Spices (V, G, D, F)
DIY Gluten-Free Brownie Packet Mix (V, G, F)
Fresh Ginger Cakes with Rhubarb and Hibiscus (V, G, D, N, F)
Jasmine and Orange Blossom Cakes
(V, VV, G, D, E, F)
Pasilla Chilli Chocolate Cakes with Hot Chilli Ganache and Smoky Chilli Mousse (V, VV, G, D, E, N, F)
Passionfruit Cupcakes with Lemon Coconut Butter (V, VV, D, E, N, F)
Raspberry, Coconut and Lemon Cupcakes
 (V, VV, D, E, G, F, N)
Strawberry, Orange and Blue Curaçao Cupcakes (V, VV, D, E, G, F, N)
Sunken Blueberry, Macadamia and Lime Cupcakes (V, D, G, F)

Biscuits, Pastry and Slices

See note above re wheat flour vs spelt flour.

Almond Biscuits with Davidson Plum and Ruby Ganache (V, G, F)
Almond Butter Christmas Cookies (V, VV, D, E, G, F, GI) (use ginger rather than cherry garnish)
Almond cookies with lemon myrtle (V, D, G, F)
Anzac Biscuits (FAILSAFE and vegan) (V, VV, D, E, G, N, F) (replace cashews with almonds)
~ Banana Chocolate Oat Cookies (V, VV, D, E, F, N)
~Buddha’s Hand Shortbread (V, E, N) (use gluten-free flour)
~ Choc-chip and Oatmeal Cookies (V, FN)
Chickpea Meringues (V, VV, D, E, G, N, F)
Chocolate Crackles for Grown-Ups (V, VV, D, E, G, F)
Chocolate Crackles that Crackle (V, VV, D, E, G, F)
Chocolate and Hazelnut Cookies with Wattleseed (V, F, G, N)
Chocolate Tahini Shortbread (V, VV, D, E, G, F, N)
Croquembouche (V, F, D)
Eggplant Tarts (V, N, F )
~Gingernuts with Chinese Five-Spice (V, VV, D, E, G, N, F )
~Lemon Raspberry Tarts with Ruby Chocolate  (V, F) (use spelt flour)
~Lemon Meringue Pie with Gingernut Crust (V, N) (use gluten-free gingernut biscuits)
Meringue Easter Bunnies (V, D, G, F, N)
Orange and Cardamom Wafers (V, E, N, G, F)
~ Ras el Hanout Shortbread (V, E, N, F)
Strawberry Gum and Macadamia Cookies (V, D, F, G)
Super Nutty Snickerdoodles (V, D, F, G)
Walnut and Chocolate Biscuits (V, D, G, F)


Breads, Scones and Quickbreads

Note:  All of these recipes contain high-protein wheat flour.  You can use fructose-friendly spelt flour quite comfortably instead of wheat flour, but be aware that the rising time will generally be longer for yeasted doughs.

Golden Snake Bread (V, VV, D, E, F, N) (my notes say yes to cranberries and no to dried fruit, which is unhelpful. My advice is to skip the cranberries, or to go easy on them)
~ Pink Scones (V, VV, D, E, N, G, F)
~ Scones (V, F, E)
Zucchini Pesto Surprise Muffins (V, D, G, F)



Berry and Chocolate Crumble (V, E, G, F)
~Blood Orange Curd Cheesecake with Raspberries (V, G, F, N)
~ Crêpes (V, F, N) (use spelt flour)
~ Chocolate, Strawberry and Vanilla Ice-Cream (V, N, F)
~Foolish Mess (V, G, F, N)
~ Lemon and Kaffir Lime Delicious Pudding (V, D, N) (use almond or coconut milk)
* Rhubarb Crumble (V, VV, D, E, F) (use a low fructose flour or flour mix)
Rhubarb Crumble Ice Cream
(V, VV, D, E, F)
~ Rosy Berries with Mascarpone and Yoghurt (V, VV, GI, D, E, F, N)
Strawberries and Cream (V, G, E, N, F, GI)
Strawberry, Mint and Dark Chocolate Gelato (V, VV, E, G, F, D)
Shrikhand (Saffron and Cardamom Yoghurt) (V, E, G, F, N)

Confectionery and Sweetmeats

Note that a number of these sweetmeats rely on glucose syrup.  In Australia, this is made from corn, making it gluten-free.  This is not the same as high fructose corn syrup (and in fact, glucose syrup is a very useful ingredient for people with fructose intolerance, as it allows you to ensure that you have the appropriate glucose to fructose ratio happening), so please don’t panic, but do read the labels carefully to make sure you have the right syrup!

Agar Jellies for Cross-Dressing Ken (V, VV, D, E, G, N, F)
Almond Pistachio Caramel Nougat (vegan) (V, VV, D, E, G, F) (swap out the pistachios for almonds or hazelnuts)
Chocolate Caramel with Choc Chips and Cranberries (V, VV, D, E, G, F) (you will need to lose the cranberries, but it will still be delicious without them)
Coconut Caramels (vegan) (V, VV, D, E, G, N, F)
Grapefruit pectin jellies (V, VV, D, G, E, N, F)
Gingerbread Bliss Balls (V, VV, D, G, E, F, GI)
Lemon and Ruby Cakepops (V, G, F, N)
Passionfruit and Mango Pâté des Fruits (V, VV, D, E, G, N, F)
Pineapple and Lime Pectin Jellies (V, VV, D, E, G, N, F)
Raspberry Chocolate Truffles (raw & vegan) (V, VV, D, E, G, F)
Rose-Scented Sugar (V, VV, D, E, G, N, F)



Lemon Drink (V, VV, D, E, G, F, N)
Lemon Drink with Orange-Flower Water (V, VV, D, E, G, F, N)
Mint Syrup Cordial (V, VV, D, E, G, N, F)
Mulled Citrus Juice (V, VV, D, E, G, N, F) (skip the honey)
Raspberry and Lavender Lemonade (V, VV, D, E, G, F, N)


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4 comments for “~ Low Fructose ~

  1. September 28, 2012 at 1:41 pm


    It’s wheat, not gluten, that is the issue for fructose intolerance (although a lot of FM people are also GF people sadly). Buckwheat is safe if you want a gluten free option, but for gluten filled usefulness: Spelt flour.

    Pure spelt flour can be grabbed from one of the flour/bakery places at vic markets at about $4 for 500g (which is cheap compared to a lot of places). It lends things a slightly nutty flavour which has to be taken into account and has a higher gluten content than regular wheat so easily over worked…

    But, yes, SAFE XD

    • September 28, 2012 at 6:07 pm

      Thanks for the info… though I’ve found that spelt seems to be one of the controversial ones, that’s OK for some people and not for others (even setting aside the gluten-intolerance thing) – I suggested spelt for a recent fructose-free cake, and was told in no uncertain terms that it was not fructose-free. So I’m guessing it’s one of the ones that is OK for some people and not for others… the reputable internet sites I’ve looked at are divided on the issue, so I tend to avoid it unless I’ve been told it’s OK.

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