No matter what type of diet you are trying to follow most diets require you to give up or severely limit the foods that you love the most. The candida diet is no exception. The candida diet is the cornerstone of treatment for a condition known as candidiasis. Candidiasis is an overgrowth of typically benign yeast, candida albicans, in the digestive tract. This condition often occurs due to a variety of external factors but the main causes tend to be overuse of antibiotics, birth control, steroids and diets high in sugary and processed foods. These external factors cause an imbalance in the digestive system and the candida diet helps to restore this balance. The candida diet eliminates sugar and yeast laden foods, glutinous grains, fruit, cheese and processed foods that are thought to exacerbate candidiasis. There are many other foods that are also omitted on the diet. So is it possible to still enjoy your favorite foods when there are so many limitations on this diet? With a little creativity you certainly can.
Tacos are one of my favorite foods that traditionally made do not work for the candida diet. From the taco shell to the shredded cheese topping many traditional taco ingredients are just plain offensive to the candida diet. So how do we make a tasty taco that is yeast free and hence okay for this diet?
The first step is to make or find yeast free gluten free taco seasoning. There are many taco seasoning packets in the store but the majority of them have ingredients that are not allowed on the diet, such as monosodium glutamate (MSG), yeast extract, citric acid and sugar. If you do want to use a store bought taco seasoning packet read the label carefully. You may be able to find a yeast free variety at your local health food store or Whole Foods. I have found it much easier to create my own taco seasoning mix using yeast free spices from my pantry. A blend of chili powder, cayenne pepper, sea salt, black pepper, onion powder does the job just as well as any store bought variety.
The second step is to make or find gluten free yeast free tortillas. There are a variety of gluten free tortillas on the market. These are usually available at your local health food store, Whole Foods or Trader Joe's. The most common type that is both yeast free and gluten free are the brown rice tortillas. However, in my experience these do not seem to work so well for tacos, as the crumble very easily under the weight of the taco filling. There are other gluten free options but these usually contain yeast or some other ingredient off limit to candida dieters. I have found it easiest and tastiest to make my own. There are some great recipes online for gluten free tortillas. Do a search and make sure to substitute yeast free ingredients for any problematic ones.
The third step would be to prepare yeast free gluten free taco fixings. This is the easiest and most fun part. Once you have seasoned meat and a taco shell you get to pile on the toppings. Although things like cheese and sour cream are off limits you can still compile a great taco. Some of my favorite yeast free taco fixings are tomatoes, avocado, lettuce, homemade salsa, plain unsweetened yogurt and organic canned beans.
For more information on living yeast free by following the candida diet visit Yeast Free Living.