Are Chicken Stock Cubes Low FODMAP?

Trying to make soup, stews, casseroles or sauces without chicken stock can be a nightmare. But what happens if you’re following a low FODMAP diet? Do you need to avoid chicken stock cubes and are they low FODMAP or not?

The Quick Answer

Chicken stock cubes are unlikely to be low FODMAP, unfortunately. Shop-bought chicken stock cubes will often contain ingredients which are high FODMAPs which is why buying chicken stock cubes should be avoided if you’re following a low FODMAP diet.

Chicken Stock Cubes on a FODMAP Diet

Unfortunately, chicken stock cubes should really be avoided at all costs. You can buy low FODMAP versions from some online specialists but these do come with a hefty price tag. That’s why you should give the following a quick read.

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Ingredients to Avoid in Chicken Stock Cubes

There are a few ingredients which will commonly crop up on the packets of store-bought chicken stock cubes – these are the culprits which make most chicken stock cubes unsuitable for anyone following a low FODMAP diet:

Onion Powder: This is one of the hardest ingredients to avoid when buying anything premade, like stock cubes, from the supermarket. It’s an easy and cheap way for any brand to add flavour to a dish so you’ll often see onion powder on the ingredients list. Knorr chicken stock cubes, for example, contain onion powder.

Garlic Powder: Like onion powder, garlic powder is often added to quickly and easily add a hit of garlic to stocks.

Gluten/Wheat: Most brands now avoid using wheat in their chicken stock cubes as more and more people are avoiding gluten. But there are still a handful of store-bought stock cubes which contains gluten.

It’s very rare that you’ll find a stock cube in the supermarket that doesn’t contain one of the above. That’s why we highly recommend knocking together your own batch of stock and then storing it in the freezer.

Low FODMAP Chicken Stock Recipe

Your safest approach, when it comes to consuming chicken stock, is to make your own. Nearly all chicken stock cubes from the supermarket will contain at least one high FODMAP ingredient. If you can put aside a little time to knock together a big batch of chicken stock then you can relax knowing that it is 100% low FODMAP.

Ingredients:

  • 2.5kg chicken carcass (after a roast dinner) or 2.5kg chicken wings
  • 2 leeks, green part only and roughly chopped
  • 2 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 1 bunch of celery leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 celeriac, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 parsnips, roughly chopped
  • 1 bunch of parsley
  • Few sprigs of thyme and/or rosemary
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 star-anise
  • 1tbsp black peppercorns
  • 1tbsp salt
  • Olive oil
  • Water

Method:

  1. Add a drizzle of olive oil to a large stockpot or casserole and lightly colour all of your vegetables. Toss in your herbs and bay leaves and stir through to release the flavours.
  2. Place your chicken into the pot. If using wings, give them a few minutes to also colour up.
  3. Add the rest of your ingredients to the pot then top up with water. Everything should just be submerged by the water. Bring the water to a boil then turn the heat down as low as possible and place a lid on the pot.
  4. Now you can sit back and relax. Leave the stock to simmer over a low heat for roughly 3 hours.
  5. Every hour or so, check on your stock and spoon off any of the scum from the top.
  6. Once the stock has had 3 hours, pour through a sieve into a jug then place it into the fridge overnight (once it has cooled to room temperature).
  7. The following morning, you can skim the fat from the top. You’ve now got delicious, low FODMAP stock.

Low FODMAP Chicken Stock Recipe

The stock will only keep for a few days in the fridge so if you want to store it for the longer term then freeze it. It will last in the freezer for a good 6 months. Just make sure you freeze it into suitable portions so you don’t need to defrost it all in one go. Small foil trays work great here!

Low FODMAP Chicken Stock Cube Alternatives

If you don’t have the time to slowly simmer chicken in water to make a low FODMAP stock or simply forget to get one out of the freezer in time and need some stock at the last minute then perhaps there are some alternatives you could use instead?

Water: No, really! You can use just water. Take a jug and add in a pinch of salt, a few black peppercorns, a bay leaf and a few sprigs of woody herbs and pour over boiling water. The boiling water will become infused with the herbs. It won’t have the same depth of flavour but can work great as the base of soup if you haven’t got any stock to hand.

Dashi: Dashi can be found in the Asian aisle of some large supermarkets or in Asian stores. It’s usually made from soaked kombu and bonito flakes. It can be a little fishy so bear that in mind when you come to use it but it is known to have those famous umami properties.

Quick Summary

So, are chicken stock cubes low FODMAP or not? Unfortunately, chicken stock cubes are not low FODMAP, in general. They’ll often contain high FODMAP ingredients such as onion or garlic so are best to be avoided. Making your own doesn’t take too much effort and is the safest way to have chicken stock to hand without the risk of high FODMAP ingredients.

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