No matter what type of diet you are trying to follow, most diets require you to give up or severely limit the foods you love the most. The candida diet is no exception. The candida diet is the cornerstone of treatment for a condition known as yeast infection. Candidiasis is an overgrowth of the 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, contraceptives, 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 believed to exacerbate yeast infection. There are many other foods that are also omitted from the diet. So is it possible to continue enjoying your favorite foods when there are so many limitations to this diet? With a little creativity you certainly can.
Tacos are one of my favorite foods that traditionally don’t work for the candida diet. From the taco shell to the shredded cheese that it covers, many of the traditional taco ingredients are simply offensive to the candida diet. So how do we make a tasty taco that is yeast-free and therefore okay for this diet?
The first step is to make or find a yeast-free gluten-free taco seasoning. There are many packages of taco seasoning in the store, but most have ingredients that are not allowed in the diet, such as monosodium glutamate (MSG), yeast extract, citric acid, and sugar. If you want to use a packet of store-bought taco seasoning, read the label carefully. You may be able to find a yeast-free variety at your local health food store or Whole Foods. It’s been so much easier for me to create my own yeast-free spiced taco seasoning mix from my pantry. A mixture of chili powder, cayenne pepper, sea salt, black pepper, and 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. They are usually available at your local health food store, Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s. The most common type that does not contain yeast and gluten are brown rice tortillas. However, in my experience these don’t seem to work as well for tacos as they fall apart very easily under the weight of the taco filling. There are other gluten-free options, but they generally contain yeast or some other ingredient that is off-limits for candida dieters. I have found it easier and more tasty to make mine. There are some great recipes online for gluten-free tortillas. Do a search and be sure to substitute yeast-free ingredients for the troublesome ones.
The third step would be to make yeast-free and gluten-free taco fixings. This is the fun and easy part. Once you’ve seasoned the meat and a taco shell, you can stack the ingredients. Although things like cheese and sour cream are off-limits, you can still make a great taco. Some of my favorite ingredients for yeast-free tacos are tomatoes, avocado, lettuce, homemade salsa, plain unsweetened yogurt, and organic canned beans.
For more information on living yeast-free on the candida diet, visit Yeast Free Living.