Something you Mite Love
Happy Valentine's Day!
Let's talk about a beloved food for a minute. As an ex-vegan, I love the savory flavor of nutritional yeast and many foods that I consider "favorites" are spiked with yeast. Yeast can be tricky not only because it may be grown on media that includes gluten, but also because it's so often fortified to include synthetic folic acid. Many people think they have a yeast allergy when in fact, they've reacted to folic acid. Women may discover this allergy in pregnancy, when folic acid supplements are highly recommended as a part of healthy pregnancy preparation.
First, let's lay a fear to rest: There is NO living yeast in nutritional yeast, it will NOT cause candida infection, and a food reaction to it is not caused from "overgrowth" of incoming yeast. Full disclosure, I don't know whether your own body's yeast can overgrow because you ate nutritional yeast. I"m not sure that's ever been studied scientifically. But I do know the other things I mentioned. As far as I know, if you've had a bad reaction to yeast it's because it either had gluten in it, or you're sensitive to folic acid.
Not all food yeast is safe for Celiacs, and one of the most beloved forms of it is called Marmite or Vegemite. It's a popular bread spread, used like cream cheese or butter, in the UK and Australia. In the US we tend to get our nutritional yeast from a powder we mix into soups and stews, or in a mug of broth. So here are some resources for food yeasts whether you like it American style of Aussie style.
Tip: If you know you react to folic acid (I do, even vitamin pills with it will make me ill), then choose a non fortified yeast.
Bragg's Fortified yeast flakes (certified GF)
Anthony's Fortified yeast (batch tested, not certified though)
Lewis Labs Non Fortified yeast powder (grown on sugar beets, not certified, may contain traces of peanuts)
Bluebonnet Brewer's yeast, Not fortified (sugar beet based, not certified, processed in a facility with many allergens, check label)
Finally, here's a recipe featuring nutritional yeast you might try if you have many food allergies and want a dairy free, gluten free mac and cheese alternative.