Like many of my fellow Aussie’s, I grew up on Vegemite. A proper Vegemite kid. And even in my adulthood there has pretty much never been a time when there’s not been a jar of it in my fridge.
So why would anyone want to make this healthy homemade Vegemite recipe rather than just buy it?
Well, here are the reasons why I think the original version is not necessarily the healthiest choice:
- It is extremely salty, which isn’t so bad since it’s used in small amounts (unless you’re a spread-it-on-thick type, like me). However, the problem with Vegemite is that it’s refined salt – the evil kind.
- Its claims of being high in certain vitamins (such as B vitamins and folic acid) may be true, but the product is fortified with man-made versions of these. And the man-made kind are never absorbed as easily as the nature-made kind.
- It contains colour and flavour enhancers.
Those were enough reasons for me to reconsider my love for Vegemite…
So I searched a few existing recipes out there and found that none were really hitting the spot for me. And that’s how this recipe came about!
Why Is Homemade Vegemite Better?
Here’s what makes this easy homemade Vegemite alternative so much better than the original:
- It’s based on black tahini, which is loaded with natural earth-made vitamins & minerals and a whole heap of other health benefits
- Making it at home means you can use your own natural salt (because hopefully by now you don’t have any sign of refined salt in your pantry)!
- It contains brewers yeast, just like the original Vegemite, which gives it a similar flavour as well as the added nutritional benefits of brewers yeast (see below)
- It can be made gluten-free if needed
- It’s slightly nuttier and wayyy creamier than the original – SO much more delicious, in my opinion 😉
In this recipe I’m giving you two options:
- A gluten-free Vegemite alternative that doesn’t taste quite as much like the original. But still, a great option if you don’t do gluten.
- A version that does contain gluten but tastes more like the original Vegemite.
FOR THE ORIGINAL RECIPE:
- Black tahini – this is the star ingredient in this recipe and gives the vegemite alternative its colour. It’s packed full of nutritional bonuses and is very high in calcium and zinc.
- Coconut aminos – a soy-free alternative to tamari or soy sauce. You can certainly use tamari instead, however you may want to add less salt if you do, because tamari/soy sauce tends to be saltier than coconut aminos.
- Brewers yeast – it might surprise you that brewers yeast can actually be found in health food stores, because it’s so loaded with nutrition. For all you breastfeeding Mummas out there, it’s also a great milk supply booster!
- Malt extract syrup – this natural sweetener is extracted from barley and is also used in original vegemite. It’s high in B Vitamins, is good for the gut and is a proven mood-booster! It balances out the other flavours really well and also gives it a bit more “shine”.
- Apple cider vinegar – gives the recipe that awesome tang that ACV provides best (and with the most health benefits)
- Good salt – the earth-made kind ;). And we use quite a lot of it. 3 teaspoons to this recipe yielding only around 1 cup. Sounds like a LOT, but it still doesn’t even come close to being as salty as the original Vegemite! You can use more or less salt, depending on your taste.
FOR THE GLUTEN-FREE RECIPE:
Simply swap out the brewers yeast for nutritional yeast and omit the malt extract to make this healthy homemade Vegemite spread gluten free.
Nutritional yeast does have a different flavour – it’s more of a cheesy flavour compared to the bitter flavour of brewers yeast. But it still works well in the recipe.
You can add a tablespoon of maple or agave syrup instead if you want to add the touch of sweetness that the malt extract provides.
How to Make Vegemite at Home
OK, so this is the tricky part… haha, jokes. You simply get all your ingredients, put them in your blender and pulse until smooth! I use a small bullet blender since it’s a fairly small batch.
Start with just 1 teaspoon of salt, however, and see how you like the taste. I prefer mine saltier so its more like the real thing, so I use the full 3 teaspoons. But you may prefer it with less so start slow and you can always add more.
This healthy homemade Vegemite alternative is best served on organic toast with a smear of vegan butter if you like to keep things simple. OR, even better is served alongside a smear of avocado and/or this homemade vegan cream cheese… so delicious!
Wwith gluten-free option!
- 3/4 cup black tahini
- 1/3 cup coconut aminos
- 2 tbsp brewers yeast (sub nutritional yeast for gluten-free)
- 2 tbsp malt extract syrup (omit OR sub 1 tbsp maple/agave syrup for gluten-free)
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1-3 tsp good salt (Sea/Himalayan/Celtic/lake salt)
Add all ingredients to blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Place in a jar. Store in the fridge for up to 18 months. The more salt you use, the longer it will last 🙂