Recent bloodwork showed that a couple of our family members were very low in vitamin B – one was almost totally deficient, while the other was just regular low. Seeing these lab results, I am assuming that other family members would also benefit by boosting their B vitamin intake.
Vitamin B is important for so many things, and are known as ‘the happy vitamins’. Common symptoms of being deficient in vitamin B include low energy, being tired all the time, and being depressed. Eating sugar, processed foods, caffeine, or experiencing stress all burn through your body’s supply of vitamin B. And though we hardly eat any processed foods or caffeine and not much sugar, moving overseas and integrating into a new culture definitely qualifies as stressful!
A friend who is a psychologist recommended a particular vitamin B food grade supplement; she’s seen many people benefit emotionally by taking it and also said if she gets it to women right after giving birth, that there’s no postpartum depression. I bought a bottle of it, and though her source for it was cheaper than what it would have been otherwise, it still wasn’t cheap. When I looked at the ingredients on the bottle, I thought to myself, “I can make this!” So that’s what I did.
Of course, I don’t know what the proportions are, but here are the ingredients as listed on the bottle: brewers yeast (vitamin B complex), molasses (iron), fruit juice concentrates, water, assorted herbs, spices, carob, natural vitamin C or E.
Here were the proportions of the first batch of vitamin B mixture that I made: 250 grams brewers yeast, 200 grams carob syrup (I happened to have this in the house since someone bought some, didn’t like it, and asked if I could use it), 2 T. sodium absorbate (vitamin C), 3 small scoops bioflavanoids (I think each scoop is 1/4 teaspoon – the bioflavanoids balance the sodium ascorbate and should be taken together), cayenne pepper (I tasted this in the supplement I bought), and then I planned to add molasses and water. When I started making my first batch, I didn’t have molasses but thought I’d be able to get it within a day. But life happened and I didn’t get the molasses for a week, and so some of thick pasty mixture that I made got eaten by the spoonful. Though it tasted pretty good, by adding the molasses afterward I can’t with any accuracy tell you how much was needed since I don’t know how much was already eaten.
When I did get the molasses, I made a second batch, being a little more creative. What I did was mix nutritional yeast, molasses, sodium ascorbate and bioflavanoids, and spirulina powder all together. (I was sure I’d remember the proportions to share here but of course, I didn’t. :)) Then I added some water to thin it out until it was an easily pourable syrup. Honestly, this doesn’t taste as good as the first batch – it’s okay but I can’t say I love it – but I think it’s probably much higher in vitamins that the first batch. And it’s way cheaper!
Warning about using spirulina – it’s packed with vitamins but it gives everything its mixed into a dark greenish/black color that is unappealing. The kids think this batch looks disgusting and not one of them was willing to taste it. I don’t mind the color so much but I find the taste of molasses to be overly strong for my tastebuds, so I swallow down my tablespoon of mixture quickly and then take a drink of water. But dh thinks the mixture tastes good, and regardless of taste, I think that this mixture is better absorbed by the body than taking a bunch of vitamins!
(This post is part of Real Food Wednesdays.)