FODMAP-friendly garlic infused oil

Before we begin: a warning. Homemade FODMAP-friendly garlic infused oil kept beyond 4 days runs the risk of growing botulism, a toxin that can be fatal. Make the oil as directed, ensuring you properly sterilise your jar and place it promptly in the fridge. Use the oil within 3-4 days or freeze (see more below). If you’re uncomfortable with the process, you can buy stabilised garlic oil instead. It doesn’t taste nearly as good, but it still adds a garlic hit.

It has taken me way too long to get on board with flavoured oils. I have tried store bought versions in the past, but found them basically negligible in flavour. Certainly not worth the small fortune I was charged for them. So believe me when I say that this FODMAP friendly garlic oil HITS DIFFERENT.

A messy plate of FODMAP friendly hummus topped with a walnut gremolata and vibrant red chilli oil. The plate of hummus is messy and rustic, with a number of chip indents in the dip. It is set against a grey steel backdrop and set on a grey ceramic plate.

FODMAP-friendly garlic infused oil

It’s probably worth including a quick refresher here for people who may be aghast to see garlic on this website. The fructan content of both garlic and onion is water soluble but not oil soluble. This means that if you were to use garlic cloves in a soup, the fructans would leech out. Hello, that nasty dry mouth feeling in 5 seconds flat. However, if you were to use them in oil (like, say, garlic oil?) the fructans cannot escape. The result is all of the flavour and none of the flatulence (sorry).

Storing your garlic oil

Homemade garlic oil is worlds apart from store bought, but there is a caveat. Oil that isn’t used within 3-4 days in the fridge runs a considerable food safety risk. Garlic cloves, in an anaerobic environment (an environment without air, like oil) can be a breeding ground for botulism. Botulism can be fatal. So, you know, I don’t want to alarm you or anything, but you do need to handle garlic oil with care. I don’t know if it makes a difference that we’re removing the garlic from the oil, but I don’t want any of us to find out the hard way. 

That all said! There is a new fangled option for us – freezing garlic oil. If you don’t use all your oil within the allotted 3-4 days, you can safely freeze it indefinitely. The flavour might degrade, but it will be A-ok from a food safety perspective.

I find it easiest to make small batches of the garlic oil, and then freeze any leftovers in an ice cube tray. Generally I make the oil when I plan to be using it in things within that 3-4 day timeframe, just to be on the safe side.

Keep in mind that refrigerated oil has a tendency to go cloudy. Nothing to worry about!

An aerial view of two plates of FODMAP friendly spaghetti aglio e olio. The spaghetti sits atop two white ceramic plates of varying sizes and is rustically presented. A chopping board topped with chopped parsley sits in the top righthand corner, and a fork pokes out from a plate of spaghetti in the bottom lefthand corner.

Sterilising your container

Because of the food safety issue outlined above, and generally just because it’s a must do for preserving food, we need to sterilise the jar or container it will be kept in. Putting garlic oil in an unsterilised jar would be a food safety nightmare, so just don’t do it.

Personally, I wash my jars with very hot, soapy water. I then rinse them really well with hot water, so the suds are removed. Next, I place them on a baking tray and into a 150C/300F oven for 15 or so minutes, or until completely dry. Once they’re cool enough (this is for garlic oil, not for jam) I pour in the oil, screw the lid on, and pop it straight in the fridge. Don’t put boiling hot jars straight in the fridge or they might crack. Also, obvious but important: don’t bake jars or lids with any kind of plastic elements. Regular jars and regular lids only, please. 

A few jar sterilising resources: this quick guide from Cornersmith, Australian preserving experts, and this article from BBC Good Food.

An aerial view of a white speckled ceramic bowl of FODMAP friendly daal. The daal is topped with a chilli oil tadka, fried curry leaves, coriander and some yoghurt. The bowl sits in the centre of a white marble table and two sunlit water glasses sit to the edge of the image

Freezing your leftover oil

If you are getting to the end of the 3-4 day mark and you haven’t used all your oil, it’s time to freeze it. The simplest way to do it is to strain the oil and pour it into ice cube trays. This will prevent the oil from developing any harmful bacteria, and prevent wastage. You can simply pop out cubes of oil as you need them, or decant them into tupperware. I would recommend using a tray specifically for this purpose (or general food purposes) as it might taste of garlic after. Not a pleasant surprise in a margarita. 

Recipe notes

I have chosen to add just garlic to this oil. In the past, I have added garlic, onion, lemon peel AND rosemary to for maximum flavour, although I feel like the onion flavour was mild at best. Of course, you can try mixing it up, and I will add more flavour combinations as I make them.

The finer you chop the garlic, the more flavour your oil will have. Remember: the fructans can’t leech into the oil, but the flavour can.

I have read a number of different articles that specify you should remove the cloves of garlic from the oil before refrigerating it. This is to minimise the risk of botulism, as it grows on the garlic in an anaerobic environment. I find that this means the flavour of the garlic is drowned out a little in the final product. To counteract this, I recommend slicing the garlic in pieces big enough to fish out yet thin enough to maximise surface area. Cook the garlic for a few minutes in a small amount of oil.

From there, add the remaining ingredients and oil, and cook for five minutes until super fragrant. Finally, fish out the garlic with a clean, dry spoon, decant the oil into your sterilised container, allow to mostly cool, and then pop the oil in the fridge. Use it within 3 days or freeze in a manner you see fit (in an ice cube tray or a small container).

Honey and dukkah roasted carrots with homemade lactose free labne, Aleppo chilli oil and lemon quinoa. Gluten free, FODMAP friendly, vegetarian and easily adapted to be vegan. Recipe from www.georgeats.com | @georgeats

Flavour suggestions

  • For a clean and classic flavour, simply use garlic!
  • If you’d like an Asian leaning flavour profile, use garlic, shallots and peanut or vegetable oil. You could also add in some coriander root or makrut lime leaves.
  • You could try adding bay leaves, curry leaves or spring onions.
  • I love making a quick chilli and garlic oil using Korean chilli flakes. They are milder in heat and a vibrant red colour, which makes for a beautiful chilli oil. I buy a bulk pack at my local Asian grocer which lasts me a year. Garlic chilli oil is the sort I use on these crispy potatoes
  • Personally, I think salt is such an important addition that really brings out the flavours. It’s up to you whether you want to add salt, but I highly recommend. It does degrade oil, but because you need to use infused oil in 3-4 days, this doesn’t really matter here. I add it at the end when the oil has cooled and I can taste for seasoning. 

A close up aerial view of a plate of garlic and chilli oil smothered crispy smashed potatoes on a bed of zingy spiked yoghurt and topped with a walnut herb salsa. The ceramic plate is white, and sits in the centre of the white marble table. Two water glasses sit to the right of the image.

Usage suggestions

I mean, the sky is the lime for FODMAP-friendly garlic onion oil. I recommend drizzling it over things as a finishing oil to get the full effect, but you can try cooking with it, too.

A pleated gluten free dumpling is suspended against a white backdrop by a chopsticks held by a hand to the top left of the image. The dumpling has been dipped into a white ceramic bowl of chilli oil, and a drip of oil is in motion

FODMAP friendly garlic infused oil

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Ingredients
  

  • 1/3 cup (80ml) neutral flavoured oil of choice
  • up to 1 head of garlic, papery skins removed and cloves sliced
  • salt, to taste

Instructions
 

  • Prepare your garlic and have it ready to go.
  • Heat the oil in a small saucepan over a medium heat. Add the sliced garlic and cook for 5-10 minutes, or until the oil smells deeply garlicky and the pieces of garlic are lightly golden.
  • Strain the oil into a sterilised container, leaving the garlic bits behind. Gift those to a garlic starved member of the house (they'll be thrilled, I promise).
  • I think the garlic hit is most pronounced when you use it uncooked - that is, drizzled over salad or baked potatoes. It also works nicely drizzled over pasta. Use the oil within 3-4 days to ensure it is food safe.

Notes

Homemade FODMAP-friendly garlic infused oil kept beyond 4 days runs the risk of growing botulism, a toxin that can be fatal. Make the oil as directed, ensuring you properly sterilise your jar and place it promptly in the fridge. Use the oil within 3-4 days or freeze (see more below). If you're uncomfortable with the process, you can buy stabilised garlic oil instead. It doesn't taste nearly as good, but it still adds a garlic hit.
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