Fast forward 40 years and I'm a vegetarian with celiac disease. As you likely know, fortified breads and cereals are a primary source of B vitamins in the standard American diet, with meat and dairy products rounding out the top sources. This means that I and anyone on a gluten-free diet (especially vegetarians or vegans) need to bring extra intention to getting B vitamins.
B vitamins as a group -- there are eight with names like thiamine, niacin and riboflavin -- serve to aid digestion, metabolism and convert foods to energy production. B vitamins are water soluble and not readily stored in the body, meaning we need to be eating them regularly to stay on top of that dietary need.
My answer? Nutritional yeast. It's got that umami thing going on -- umami being loosely translated from Japanese as "pleasant savory taste." I've developed a pretty tasty marinade and salad dressing. In one 30 calorie serving, it really boosts the B's.
- Vitamin B-12 50.0 %
- Vitamin B-6 187.1 %
- Niacin 124.0 %
- Riboflavin 240.3 %
- Thiamin 273.6 %
And even though I started using nutritional yeast for the health benefits, it really does have a pleasant savory taste. Jenn and my 11-year-old son likes my special sauce on sauteed veggies and tofu.
1 Tablespoon Nutritional Yeast
1 Teaspoon yellow mustard
1/2 Teaspoon tamari sauce
pinch of garlic salt
sprinkle of chipotle chili pepper to taste
Combine the ingredients. Use as a marinade for tofu before pan-frying or sauteing with broccoli, Brussels sprouts, or cauliflower. Or just put it on your food -- Use it just mixed as a salad dressing or veggie dip, or toss with sauteed or roasted veggies immediately before serving.