I absolutely adore lemon curd. It’s one of my favourite treats, which is really saying something for this chocolate lover. You know how people say they eat peanut butter by the spoonful? Well I do that with lemon curd (or any other type of citrus curd for that matter).
Yet lemon curd isn’t exactly the healthiest choice, especially when made using a traditional recipe. It’s nearly all sugar and butter with just enough lemon to flavour it. But because I love lemon curd so much, the homemade stuff that is, I wanted a healthier recipe so that I could enjoy it more often.
How I made lemon curd healthier, plus low FODMAP and dairy-free
To make the traditional lemon curd recipe healthier, as well as making it low FODMAP, dairy-free and gluten-free, these are the changes I made:
- I used a lot less sugar. While this makes it healthier, it also makes it tangier and more lemony, which suits my taste buds perfectly.
- Rather than using whole eggs plus egg yolks, I used only whole eggs. This decreases the fat content, since it’s the yolks that have the fat, but it also boosts the protein content a bit. The real reason I made this change though is because it creates a less fiddly recipe and removes the need to use up leftover egg whites.
- I completely removed the butter from the recipe to make it dairy-free and to get rid of saturated fats, instead replacing it with a smaller amount of extra virgin olive oil. This might seem like an unusual substitution, but you’d be surprised by how well it works.
- Lastly, to thicken the curd slightly, I used a small amount of tapioca starch, which also made it gluten-free.
Together these changes make a lovely tangy lemon curd that’s smooth and rich, but lower in kilojoules and higher in protein. Don’t get me wrong here though, I’m definitely not calling this a health food. It’s still a treat, especially if eaten in large amounts. But if you only use small amounts at a time, then this healthier version goes a long way to making it more of an everyday food.
So how can you use this lemon curd?
Aside from my tendency to eat it by the spoonful, these days I mostly eat lemon curd dolloped on a bowl of porridge, along with some fresh fruit. I’ve also been known to dollop it rather generously on other breakfast cereals such as a homemade muesli or gluten-free Weetbix.
Today's beautiful breakfast is a variation on one of my favourites. Vanilla porridge with kiwifruit, pepitas and a big dollop of citrus curd. This curd is orange, lime and lemon – all of the major citrus that are low FODMAP. A nice zing. #dairyfree #wheatfree #vegetarian #breakfast #lowFODMAP #fodmapfriendly #fodmap #wednesdaybreakfastclub #porridge
Remember how I said that using whole eggs adds extra protein to the curd? Well I use the curd on my breakfast as a kind of substitute for yoghurt. Admittedly it doesn’t have any probiotics or calcium like yoghurt does, but it does add some extra protein and substance to my breakfast, as well as a dash of sweetness and deliciousness.
Note that if you can eat dairy, lemon curd is delicious swirled through plain yoghurt – make sure you choose a lactose-free yoghurt if you need it to be low FODMAP.
I also like to eat the curd in desserts such as a lemon tart, but I also very much enjoy it spread on toast. It makes an interesting change from nut butters or jam, and in a way it’s kind of like an in between type of spread since it’s got protein (egg), sugar and fruit juice in it. I’m also quite partial to lemon curd on waffles, pancakes, on top of muffins or meringues.
Try using it in these Meringue Nests with Lemon Curd and Fresh Fruit.
Regardless of your favourite way to eat it, I’m sure you’ll love this tangy low FODMAP lemon curd.
A healthier recipe for tangy lemon curd that’s low FODMAP, dairy-free and gluten-free. Delicious in pastries, on porridge, or even on toast.
- 3 Meyer lemons (about 350g)
- 3 extra large eggs
- 1/4 cup (60g) sugar
- 1 tsp tapioca starch (arrowroot) + 1 tsp water
- 1 tbsp (20ml) extra virgin olive oil (the good stuff!)
- Zest the lemons and then juice them. You will need 150ml of lemon juice.
- In a small saucepan, whisk the eggs and the sugar. Then add the lemon juice and zest and mix well. In a small container, mix the starch and water making sure that all lumps are removed, then add it to the lemon mixture and mix well.
- Put the saucepan onto a low-medium heat until it just starts to bubble, making sure that you stir it constantly (I find that a flat-based wooden spatula works best). As soon as you see it beginning to bubble, reduce the heat to low and continue to stir continuously for 2-3 minutes until it thickens. Remove from the heat.
- Put a metal sieve over a clean bowl/container and sieve the curd to remove any lumps of egg white (or lemon pips that accidentally snuck in). Add the olive oil and mix in thoroughly. Then cover the bowl/container and refrigerate for several hours or overnight until the curd cools completely.
- This recipe will keep for at least a week in a sealed container in the fridge. But don’t freeze it – it comes out grainy and weird when defrosted.
- This recipe is suitable for a low FODMAP diet, provided that the recommended serving size for this recipe is not exceeded.
- This recipe is naturally dairy-free, gluten-free and nut-free. However, if you have an allergy to any of these items, or have coeliac disease, please check the labels on any purchased ingredients to ensure they are safe for your requirements.
- You can substitute different citrus juices instead of lemon, however it’s important that there is a high amount of acidity in the final juice combination used. For instance, switching the lemons for limes works perfectly (although can be quite tart), but switching for oranges alters the texture of the curd into a less than perfect state. You can mix and match though to include about 50ml of orange juice and have the remaining 100ml made up of lemon and/or lime juice – that will result in a delicious and silky curd.
- You can use cornstarch instead of arrowroot/tapioca starch.
Low FODMAP Portion
- Serving Size: 1-2 tbsp