Fructose Malabsorption Products: Asafoetida–A Substitue For Onion and Garlic


***UPDATE 1/25/16
A concerned reader has pointed out that asafoetida is not safe for children or pregnant women.  See the comments below for more.

Giving up garlic and onion when you have fructose malabsorption is tough because they are in so many recipes.  Some people can tolerate one or the other, but I know that if I even smell an onion, things can get ugly.

But you never have to settle for flavorless food again!  Asafoetida powder mimics the taste of garlic and onion (personally I think it’s more like onion) when cooked.  Beware of the smell in it’s raw form though: it didn’t get its nickname “Devil’s Dung” by accident.  Make sure to store it in an airtight container, ’cause it really stinks.

Since it is such a strong spice (and quite expensive in its pure form), most places dilute it with a filler, so make sure you don’t get one mixed with something you can’t tolerate.
I got mine from My Spice Sage, which uses rice four and gum arabic.
***UPDATE 6/10/14
Our good friend TinyTornado (below) has pointed out that My Spice Sage’s product now has white flour in it.  Here is an organic version that has no added ingredients!

You really only need a very very small amount when cooking, otherwise it will overwhelm your dish.

Not only is this spice a safe alternative to garlic and onion, it actually helps your digestion and is used in many places to reduce flatulence.  Bring on the Devil’s Dung!!!

4 thoughts on “Fructose Malabsorption Products: Asafoetida–A Substitue For Onion and Garlic

  1. Hi, hate to be a killjoy here……..but I looked into this awhile ago, and found that it is frequently used as an abortifacient throughout the world in some cultures. Meaning……it can induce abortion in early stages of pregnancy.

    I included the cached version in the link above, because apparently many people have to be subscribers to view the uncached version.

    Sad, but true. It’s not a safe alternative for women of childbearing age. FYI.

    • I’m glad you shared this information! But the link says that it could be dangerous when taken in medicinal amounts, and if you’ve ever smelled the stuff than you would know that’s not on most people’s agenda (just a pinch in a recipe usually will do, any more and it will taste too overpowering). I also did some research of my own and it does indeed say pregnant women and children should not ingest asafoetida, but women of childbearing age are OK to have it. I even read it can help start menstruation if it stops for some reason! Thanks for the post, I’ll add a disclaimer at the top!

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