Cooking for the Sensitive Gut

What to eat? Gooseberries

I began today thinking I would make a seasonal salad. ‘It is so warm and sunny’ and everyone loves to eat salad when it is hot’ I thought. ‘I could include ingredients that don’t usually trigger symptoms and make the salad hearty enough for a main meal. But then I saw new season gooseberries in the green grocer’s and ¬†my heart melted. I had to buy them and cook them up into something simple but good. I will make the salad later.

Gooseberries remind me of green eyes. They stared up at me as I picked over them and placed them in a bag. They taste tart and sour when raw but deliciously jammy when cooked with a generous dose of sugar.

They do not appear on the Low FODMAP Monash App probably because they do not feature in the Australian diet and that is where the analysis for the foods on the App is done.

Gooseberries are neither stone fruit nor very sweet so I doubt they contain either polyols or very much fructose. I also did some research and found they do appear on the list of low FODMAP foods many dietitian give to their patients.

If you like gooseberries and want to try some remember try a small portion (less than 80g) and see how you get on.

I have teemed some simple stewed gooseberries with a comforting, homemade custard. Two left over egg yolks in the fridge prompted me into making custard. Making custard is one of the best uses for nutritious eggs yolks and it is a really nice, mindful, calming thing to do. Really comforting…

So this post is all about:

  • if you are not sure whether you should try/eat a food or not – try a little of it and see how you get on.
  • enjoy eating simple, season food i.e. gooseberries
  • use up leftovers
  • present simple food well it can look a million dollars with a little care and attention
  • mastering a basic cooking skill i.e. making custard
  • if you cook recipes yourself you know what goes into them so you can sooth and calm that sensitive gut.

Stewed gooseberries with home made custard and elderflowers

Serves 4


  • 400 g fresh gooseberries
  • 80 g granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp water

For the custard

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 2 tsp caster sugar
  • 400 ml semi skimmed milk (or lactose free milk)
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence or vanilla paste


Rinse the gooseberries clean water and remove the stalk and calyx (where the flower has died). Place the gooseberries in a pan together with the sugar and water. Gradually heat up the gooseberries and cook them until their skins split and they collapse and soften. Remove them from the heat and allow them to cool a little.

To make the custard: place the egg yolks in a small non stick saucepan with the cornflour, sugar and vanilla essence. Add a little milk to the cornflour and sugar and mix to a paste. Gradually add the remaining milk and place on a very gentle heat. Bring the custard up to a gentle simmer and stir continuously with a wooden spoon until it thickens.

If the custard develops little lumps DO NOT PANIC. Just press them against the side of the pan and they will disappear. Taste the custard and add a little more vanilla and sugar if you like. I prefer my custard not to be too sweet.

Serve the stewed gooseberries and custard and decorate with elderflowers or rose petals. Enjoy your weekend!

Tomatoes-6PS you can add a few of the elderflowers to the gooseberries as you stew them to give a lovely flavour. If you do take them out before serving.

If you want more information on how to manage your sensitive gut go to

IBSLogowithstrap March 2011

This entry was written by Joan Ransley and published on July 3, 2015 at 4:46 pm. It’s filed under Basic methods, Pudding and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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