I’ve made a lower FODMAP apple crumble before, with the sneaky use of zucchini instead of apple. It’s a great way to use up summer zucchini and is lower fructose than apple; I stand by that recipe proudly. Recently, however, I saw jicama on the Monash FODMAP app, and decided to give it a try. Not only does jicama have the crunchy, fresh texture of apple, it is lower FODMAP than zucchini and is barely detectable as an apple dupe. So, further ado: let’s make a low FODMAP ‘apple’ crumble.
Low FODMAP ‘apple’ crumble
This low FODMAP apple crumble is not made with apples at all! It uses jicama flavoured to taste like apple, along with a gluten free, nut free crumble.
The crumble uses a really simple mix of white rice flour or sorghum flour with sugar and butter. You can experiment with the sugar you use, and you can easily substitute a plant based butter to make this crumble vegan.
Are apples low FODMAP?
Most varieties of apple have a low FODMAP threshold of around 20g. In servings sizes larger than this, they become moderate and then high for fructose and sorbitol. One whole apple is around 150-200g, according to the Monash app, so 20g is not a lot of apple.
As such, it is difficult to make a crumble with apples while on the low FODMAP diet. There is a solution, however: this low FODMAP apple crumble that uses jicama in place of apples.
What is jicama?
Jicama is a root vegetable that originates in Mexico, and has since become common in Asia as well. It goes by a number of names depending on where you are – Mexican potato, Chinese potato or yam bean are just a few.
Jicama look a little like a a cross between a large bulbous potato and a turnip. They taste like a crispy apple that isn’t sweet – some say a cross between a potato, an apple and a pear. They’re used in salads, fruit salads and a host of other applications.
Jicama can be eaten fresh or cooked. If you like fresh and crunchy fruit and vegetables, I think you’ll love jicama.
Are jicama low FODMAP?
Yes, jicama are low FODMAP. The Monash app says that jicama are low FODMAP in 75g serves or around 1/2 cup. However, they only become moderate for fructans in 250g servings, or 1 1/4 cups. This suggests there is considerable wiggle room as to what constitutes a low FODMAP serve, and it likely higher than 75g.
This low FODMAP apple crumble contains 1kg of jicama. All other ingredients are low or no FODMAP, so it is only the jicama we need to focus on.
1kg of jicama divided between 6 people is 160g jicama per person. This is still within a potentially low FODMAP serve. It is important to note that you should assess your own tolerance – you might be able to eat more or less.
If you really want to stick to the 75g serving that Monash specifies, the crumble will need to serve 13. I feel like the serves will look a tad bit stingy, but see what works for you.
Where can I find jicama?
This depends on where you live. In Australia, I have found it at Asian supermarkets and grocers, often under the name yam bean. I have never looked too closely for it at supermarkets or specialty grocers, but I will keep my eyes out. I daresay you won’t find it at your local Coles, but you never know.
Because jicama is native to Mexico, you might also be able to find it at Mexican or South American grocers. Maybe Casa Iberica in Fitzroy, if you’re local to that area. I daresay Victoria Market, or Minh Phat in Melbourne/Abbotsford, would be good places to look. I bought mine in Springvale.
Tips for working with jicama
These tips all pertain to using jicama as a low FODMAP apple alternative only.
Peel the jicama. It can actually be easier to cut a slit in the skin and peel it off with your fingers.
Chop the jicama into small, bite sized pieces. I cut mine too big and it ruined the trick a little.
Boil it for 20-30 minutes or until it becomes soft. This takes time! It doesn’t get much less crunchy in the oven. If you don’t get it to the texture you’d want to eat in an apple crumble, it won’t change during baking. It will be similar to eating a fresh, crunchy (yet cooked) apple. Some people might like this texture, so adjust according to your own preferences.
Jicama don’t get saucy in the oven like apples. If you like a saucier apple crumble, add a bit of liquid or slightly less corn starch.
More low FODMAP desserts
- A roundup of all my low FODMAP cookie recipes
- My favourite low FODMAP cake recipes
- My favourite low FODMAP desserts
Low FODMAP ‘apple’ crumble (gluten free)
For the filling:
- 1 kg jicama weighed after peeling (1.2kg ended up being 1kg after peeling for me)
- 50g butter
- 125 ml (1/2 Aus cup)* fresh lemon juice (reserve 1/4 cup or 60ml for the corn starch slurry)
- 220 g (1 cup)* white sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 20-30 g cornflour see notes
- Good pinch of fine salt
For the crumble:
- 160 g (1 cup)* white rice flour or sweet white sorghum flour
- 100 g white sugar or light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon gluten free baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 125 g butter room temperature cubed
- 60ml (1/4 cup)* low FODMAP milk of choice
- Good pinch of fine salt
To make the filling:
- Preheat the oven to 180C or 356F.
- Peel the jicama and slice into small, bite sized cubed around 1cm X 1cm. Jicama is very resistant to becoming soft or overcooking, so small cubes are best here.
- Heat a large pot of water over a high heat. Once boiling, add the cubed jicama and cook for anywhere between 15-30 minutes or until they reach your desired apple consistency. They don’t soften too much more in the oven, so it’s important to get the consistency right at this stage.
- Once boiled, drain the jicama and return them to the pot. Add the butter, 60ml (1/4 cup) of the lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon and salt and stir to combine. Cook for 5 or so minutes or until a golden coloured syrup has formed in the pot.
- Mix together the remaining lemon juice and corn starch to form a slurry. Pour the slurry over the jicama mixture and stir to combine. It should thicken quite quickly. Cook it for a minute or so, then remove it from the heat. Jicama don’t expel water as they cook, so the thickness of your ‘apple’ now will be the consistency once cooked. Add a splash of water if you prefer a saucier apple crumble. Set aside while you make the crumble.
To make the crumble:
- Whisk the dry ingredients together in a medium mixing bowl. Add the cubed butter and rub it into the flour using your fingertips until a course, moist crumble forms. Add the milk and stir to combine.
- Decant the ‘apple’ mixture into a 30x20cm baking dish (I use a rectangular Le Creuset)
- Sprinkle the crumble evenly over the apple. Place the baking dish on a sturdy baking tray to catch any drips, and then put your crumble in the oven for 30 minutes or until the crumble is browned and the filling is bubbling up through the crumble.
- Serve with ice cream or custard that works for you (lactose free, vegan, or regular if you have no lactose concerns).
- Leftovers keep well in the fridge for a few days and freeze well too.
- Add less corn starch (10-20g) if you prefer a saucier crumble, and more (20-30g) if you prefer a less saucy crumble.
- I haven’t tried a different starch for any corn allergies, but I would suggest trying potato starch. I find it to be the next best thickener – tapioca seems to produce a more gloopy result. It thickens things more than corn starch though, so use less to suit.
- I recommend white sugar for the filling. Either white or light brown sugar works for the crumble, although your crumble will be darker using brown sugar (I used brown sugar for these photos)
- Use plant based butter and milk to keep this recipe vegan.
- The Monash app says that jicama are low FODMAP in 75g serves or around 1/2 cup. However, they only become moderate for fructans in 250g servings, or 1 1/4 cups. This suggests there is considerable wiggle room as to what constitutes a low FODMAP serve, and it likely higher than 75g
- This low FODMAP apple crumble contains 1kg of jicama. All other ingredients are low or no FODMAP, so it is only the jicama we need to focus on.
- 1kg of jicama divided between 6 people is 160g jicama per person. This is still within a potentially low FODMAP serve. It is important to note that you should assess your own tolerance – you might be able to eat more or less.