Whether you're new to IC or an IC veteran, finding IC-friendly recipes can be difficult. You'll find that once you're diagnosed and told about the IC diet, you'll go to the grocery store and find that food companies LOVE to hide problematic ingredients in their food. Things like soy, vinegar, and citric acid are just a few ingredients that you can find anywhere in the ingredient list on a food label.
Here are 8 IC-friendly swaps and a variety of recipes that you can try
while conducting an elimination diet:
1. Soy Sauce -> Coconut Aminos
If you enjoy the taste of soy sauce on rice, there is no need to give that up! Coconut aminos is a perfect substitute for soy sauce. Though a little on the sweeter side, this knocks the craving of enjoying rice with the favored soy sauce flavor. Here's a recipe for asian chicken lettuce wraps that use coconut aminos!.
2. Chocolate -> Carob
Chocolate is a delicious treat that doesn’t have to be left beyond. The carob is a perfect substitution if you’re looking for a more chocolate flavor, without the added dairy and sugar, Carob actually contains some antioxidants and fiber. A Little milder on flavor, include carob in your oatmeal for a little chocolate flavor! Here are links to recipes for chewy carob brownies and carob almond freezer fudge.
3. Tomatoes -> Red bell peppers
Red bell peppers are a great substitute for tomatoes in recipes and the taste actually comes out similar to tomatoes! Here's a recipe for a "no-mato" pizza sauce.
4. Mayo -> Cream cheese, cottage cheese, or plain Greek yogurt
Mayonnaise contains vinegar, which is typically ~no bueno~ for most of our bladders, but luckily, there are a few options for substitutions that have ingredients with similar textures. Here's a tasty chicken salad recipe that utilizes cottage cheese instead of mayo. You may want to test Greek yogurt in a small amount before going big - some people with IC aren't able to tolerate it.
5. Coffee -> Dandy blend or Tyler's Acid-Free Coffee
Dandy Blend is made of only 5 ingredients — roasted barley extracts, roasted rye extracts, roasted dandelion root extracts, roasted chicory root extracts, and roasted sugar beet root extracts. Dandy Blend provides a seamless transition from coffee, as it tastes just like coffee and gives you the feeling that you’re drinking coffee.
Another option for coffee is Tyler's Acid Free coffee. The decaf coffee is both acid-free and caffeine-free. Tyler told me himself! Use code CKN2021 at checkout for 10% off your purchase.
There are a few other coffee alternatives out there, but these are two of the best tasting based on reviews from my clients and other IC Warriors.
6. Marinara Sauce -> Alfredo, roasted red pepper sauce, IC friendly pesto.
7. Lemon or lime juice -> Zest
This would be more of a "try it" item to test during the testing phase of an elimination diet, but a lot of IC Warriors are able to tolerate lemon and lime zest in recipes.
8. Spicy Spices -> blend of dried garlic, thyme, sage, rosemary, tarragon, basil, and oregano
Foods should taste amazing and flavorful. Some spicy spices can cause flares in IC, though there are some spices that are IC friendly. Creating your own herb blend can enhance flavors in the kitchen! Combining dried garlic, thyme, sage, rosemary, tarragon, basil, oregano can be amazing for seasoning meats, vegetables, and fish. Try creating your own herb blends using the IC friendly herbs!
Now that you have tons of new recipe ideas, go create! An elimination diet does not mean you have to eat plain or bland food...get creative! You could even involve your spouse or children in helping you cook or bake these recipes - family involvement is key in implementing an elimination diet and getting you feeling better ASAP!
Have an IC friendly swap I didn't mention? Feel free to comment it below.