This low FODMAP pudding is like nothing you’ve ever seen. Sago pudding is a traditional Malaysian dessert that doubles as a low FODMAP pudding.
All you need is 4 ingredients! Plus it’s naturally gluten-free, refined sugar free and one of my favourite low FODMAP vegan desserts.
You can file this recipe under low FODMAP no-bake desserts because all you need is a stove!
Aside from the easy low FODMAP pudding, here are a few topics we’ll cover:
- FODMAP Notes
- How To Cook Sago For This Low FODMAP Pudding
- How To Serve Pandan Sago Dessert
- Palm Sugar Substitutes
- How To Enjoy Desserts With IBS + 13 Low FODMAP Dessert Recipes
This section will cover the low FODMAP serving sizes of each ingredient in this low FODMAP pudding: sago or tapioca pearls, coconut milk (cream, UHT and canned) and palm sugar.
Sago or Tapioca Pearls
Sago is naturally gluten-free and low FODMAP at 1 cup or 160 grams.
Note that this is not the same as tapioca starch which is a flour and is low FODMAP at 100 grams or 2/3 of a cup. Tapioca starch is commonly used in gluten-free flour mixes.
Coconut Milk Or Coconut Cream
Are coconuts low FODMAP? Coconut products are a little tricky to navigate on a low fodmap diet because not every product is safe.
Here’s what Monash University and their food app have to say about coconut milk, cream, and canned coconut milk:
UHT (Ultra High Temperature processed) coconut milk is low FODMAP at 125ml or 1/2 cup servings. It should be noted that a serving size of 150ml contains moderate FODMAPS and 250ml or 1 cup makes it high in FODMAPs.
2023 Update: Coconut cream has a low FODMAP serving of 1/4 cup or 60 grams. You can add dairy-free or plant milk to coconut cream to thin it out and stretch a single serving.
Canned Coconut Milk
Canned coconut milk has a lower serving size, about 1/4 cup or 60ml is low FODMAP but larger serving sizes exceeding 1/2 cup contain moderate to high levels of sorbitol.
The serving size of coconut products may vary but what is an all around recommendation about them is to avoid any that have inulin!
This low FODMAP dessert uses palm sugar which is made from the sap of the Palmyra palm or Borassus flabellifer. Palm sugar has a deep earthy caramel flavour and is not overwhelmingly sweet.
Monash University has tested this natural plant based sugar and it is low FODMAP at ¼ cup or 40 grams.
Palm sugar is not the same thing as coconut sugar! We have a whole section about the difference between palm sugar and coconut sugar plus the answer to “is coconut sugar low FODMAP,” in our Kuih Buah Melaka recipe.
How To Cook Sago For This Low FODMAP Pudding
Here’s how to cook sago (small) for this coconut pandan dessert:
- Cook sago
- Turn off heat
- Drain sago and add pandan extract
- Place in moulds or in large baking dish
With 4 ingredients and 5 easy steps, you can make this low FODMAP pudding too!
Place the sago in boiling water and cook for 10 minutes.
Did you know sago only needs 10-12 minutes to fully cook? A common mistake people often make is cooking the sago until the pearls are completely transparent.
These little pearls continue to change appearance as they boil and that isn’t entirely visible in the water:
Turn Off Heat
Turn off the heat after the sago has boiled for 10 minutes. Place a lid over the pot and allow the sago to stand for an additional 3 minutes. Look at all the difference that makes:
The sago pearls were visible after being boiled for 10 minutes but after 3 minutes, it’s as if they’ve disappeared. Fret not, they haven’t gone anywhere and the next step will show you just that.
Drain Sago And Add Pandan Extract
Drain the sago pearls and transfer them into a bowl and mix in the pandan extract. The last step to this pandan sago dessert is scooping them into moulds or into a dish to serve.
Place In Moulds Or In Serving Dish
Transfer the cooked pandan dessert in individual moulds like I’ve done below:
Or in a serving plate like this:
People can scoop the sago with a spoon when they serve themselves.
Allow the sago to set and become firm. You can do that by letting it cool at room temperature or setting the sago mixture in the fridge for 30 minutes. While the desserts chill in the fridge, you can assemble the other components.
Add the palm sugar to a saucepan with water and cook until everything is dissolved and thickened. This took about 5-6 minutes:
And for the coconut cream, I just mixed it with water, a bit of salt, and a pandan leaf, brought it all to a simmer to allow the salt to dissolve and all done. After that, you’re ready to serve this delicious dessert. I prefer it cold or chilled but in my childhood home, my mother often served it warm.
How To Serve Pandan Sago Dessert
This gula melaka sago recipe is served either warm or cold. What I love about this palm sugar pudding is that everyone can choose their preferred level of sweetness.
You can decide the coconut cream to sugar ratio. Some like it sweeter, others milder, and that’s a-okay for this dish.
Let your guests make their own bowl and have fun. Add some sago into a bowl, followed by either the coconut milk or sugar. I like to go in order of coconut milk and then sugar. Stir everything together and your coconut pandan recipe dessert is completed.
Can’t get a hold of palm sugar for this low FODMAP dessert? Here are some palm sugar substitutes.
Palm Sugar Substitutes
Unable to find palm sugar or coconut sugar at your local grocer? No problem! You can still make this vegan low FODMAP recipe with these substitutes:
- Brown Sugar:
Brown sugar is low FODMAP at ¼ cup or 40 grams. Muscovado sugar is sugar with a high molasses content and has a deep earthy flavor like palm sugar.
It’s the perfect substitute for palm sugar.
- White Sugar:
Great news! As of Spring 2019, Monash University updated the low FODMAP serving side of white sugar from 14 grams to 50 grams!
If you only have white sugar at home, simply add it to a small saucepan, caramelize it and add water to make a rich burnt sugar caramel syrup to replace the palm sugar syrup.
What Is Sago?
Sago are little white pearls made from a palm plant called Metroxylon sagu or true sago palm.
These starch balls are used differently across cultures. In Malaysia, you will find sago used in dessert dishes rather than savory ones. Because sago is essentially a starch it is the perfect low FODMAP vegan ingredient that is a great base for IBS friendly desserts.
What Puddings Can I Eat With IBS?
Puddings that are dairy-free are a safe bet when it comes to low FODMAP puddings. Vegan options should not contain any soy unless it is soy protein which is low FODMAP.
Always check the ingredient list to make sure there isn’t anything that could potentially trigger IBS symptoms.
Is Pudding Mix Low FODMAP?
Are instant pudding mixes like Jell-O pudding low FODMAP? Monash hasn’t tested Jell-O pudding mix yet but it is believed to be low FODMAP according to the spoonful app.
The ingredient list is a whole lot of words but it’s mainly sugar and modified cornstarch which is low FODMAP. It’s also soy free, gluten free and lactose free.
However it isn’t vegetarian or vegan friendly because one of the ingredients is derived from meat or fish. So technically you can make low FODMAP puddings with pudding mix.
Is Tapioca Pudding OK For IBS?
Yes! Tapioca pearls have a generous low FODMAP of 1 cup or 160 grams. Both tapioca starch and sago pearls are easy to digest low FODMAP dessert options.
How To Enjoy Desserts With IBS + 13 Low FODMAP Dessert Recipes
I have a massive sweet tooth and I think the scariest thing about going into the low FODMAP IBS diet for me was the thought of cutting out desserts but luckily there are tons of ways to enjoy low FODMAP desserts without triggering IBS symptoms.
I have a guide to baking and eating low FODMAP IBS dessert and essentially, the 3 most important points are:
- Know your triggers
- Watch your serving sizes
- Avoid stacking FODMAPs
13 Low FODMAP Dessert Recipes
Low FODMAP dessert recipes may seem hard to find but I’ve got plenty of FODMAP friendly dessert recipes like this Malaysian dessert with coconut milk.
So what desserts can you eat on low FODMAP diet? Here are 13 low FODMAP desserts you can make:
Looking for more low FODMAP desserts? We’ve got 11 more low FODMAP desserts for you!
There you have it folks. Did I not promise an easy and delicious low FODMAP pudding with a twist? I doubt you’ll find low FODMAP pudding recipes like this on the internet.
Malaysian Low FODMAP Pudding (Sago Pudding)
This 4 ingredient low FODMAP pudding is a pandan-flavored sago, paired with decadent coconut cream and palm sugar syrup.
- 150g sago pearls
- 1/2 tsp pandan extract
- Coconut cream:
- 180ml coconut cream (roughly 3/4 cup)
- 200ml water (1 cup)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- *optional: Pandan leaf
- 200g palm sugar
- 200ml water
Fill a pot 3/4 of the way full with water and bring to a boil.
When the water comes to a boil, add your sago pearls *see notes 1. Cook the pearls for 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes, turn the heat off and cover with a lid. Let the pearls stand for 3 minutes.
Strain the sago. DO NOT RINSE *see notes 2.
Transfer the sago to a bowl and stir in 1/2 teaspoon pandan extract.
Place sago pearls in individual moulds or into a large serving dish.
Let the pearls set and cool in the fridge for 30 minutes.
In a pot, combine the coconut cream, pandan leaf, water and salt together and allow to simmer until the salt has dissolved. Set aside until ready to serve.
Palm sugar syrup:
Chop your palm sugar into pieces.
Add palm sugar and water to a pot on medium-high heat. Once the palm sugar has dissolved, cook the sugar syrup for an additional 3-5 minutes. This will give you a slightly thicker syrup.
This dish can be served cold or warm.
Place the pandan sago pudding in a bowl, add coconut cream and palm sugar syrup to liking.
- Only add sago to boiling water. Sago is made from a type of starch. If it comes into contact with cold or warm water, the balls will dissolve and disintegrate into the water.
- Do not rinse the pearls. The starch is needed for the pearls to stick together and hold their form in a mould or when serving.