Today I’m going to take a look at one of the most highly contested debates in our community. You can probably already tell by the title what that is. It is, which gluten free alternative spread is closest to our beloved Vegemite? Before we start, everyone is going to have a different answer. Everyone is going to like one spread more than the others. However, the comparison below was done by a good gluten-eating friend. He tasted all the spreads listed as well as the glutenous Vegemite for an accurate comparison.
I think it is important, to begin with, my friends’ first sentiments. He mentioned that none of our gluten free alternatives is exactly the same as Vegemite. This is due to the use of barley malt extract, which I have never found a replacement for. Furthermore, the yeast extract in Vegemite is sourced from both barley and wheat. These two ingredients are the base for flavour and while some of our alternatives come close, you’ll notice they are not identical.
I obtained as many spreads as I could that were black in colour or had in some way implemented ‘mite’ in their name. I found the six listed below, however, if you know of another gluten free spread please leave it in the comments below so I can add it to the article.
6. EveryMite – The Allergy-Friendly Super-spread
The Spread: EveryMite is the brainchild of Queensland mum Cinnamon Morrissey. The self-proclaimed super-spread contains no gluten, soy, yeast, grains, nuts, eggs or dairy. It is organic, unprocessed and contains nothing artificial. There is a shared kitchen with nuts, warning on the side and the product does contain sesame seeds. I have a friend with a chilli allergy so I will mention that this contains chilli and is not Fodmap Friendly. The spread uses onion, garlic and coconut. EveryMite isn’t an easy spread to get a hold of, it can mostly be found in Health Food Stores. Thankfully, their stockist list has been updated and this spread can be purchased from Allergy Train. I paid $13.50 for the 240g jar.
My Comments: Even though I haven’t had the glutenous spread in 20 years I knew this was nothing like it. It has a very savoury smell thanks to the onion and garlic with a subtle spice aroma. The other scent that hits you is the coconut and vinegar. For me, the smell was quite off-putting. The texture is a bit chunky and thick. The taste isn’t something that I personally enjoyed, although we do know that I’m not a fan of coconut.
Comparison: My gluten-eating friend agreed with me that this was the least like Vegemite. However, unlike me, he didn’t mind the taste and actually mentioned that it tasted better than some of the other spreads he tried. While it isn’t anything like our old glutenous favourite, it could be an enjoyable spread.
The Spread: OmegaMite from Nature’s Blend is a more traditional yeast spread. Their website mentions that the Omega Nutrients help promote heart health, eye health and brain health and development in children. A few of the online reviews like the fact that it is low in salt and I can confirm out of the six I purchased it has the second lowest salt content. The ingredients include refined tuna oil so this is not safe if you have a fish allergy. I picked this up from Coles, however, it isn’t one I found in all stores. Online you can pick it up for $7.98 for 290g.
My Comments: The OmegaMite has a light brown colour with a subtle caramel aroma. Almost ingredient for ingredient, it is the same as the Three Threes Mightmite. The only difference is the refined tuna oil and you can taste it. For me, this is passable as a spread but I’m not a fan of the fishy aftertaste.
Comparison: This was my friends least favourite spread. He really didn’t like the flavour at all and even picked that it tasted fishy before reading the ingredients. He said, “I don’t know what that is but it is not Vegemite.”
4. Vege Spread
The Spread: Vege Spread is from Freedom Foods and is a gluten and yeast free alternative. It is also vegan, nut and GMO-free. The Vege Spread has the lowest amount of salt per 100g serving. The Vege spread also contains no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives. It has a similar ingredient list to the OmegaMite but without the yeast which makes it perfect for those who have a yeast intolerance. It does contain a lot of derivatives from corn in case you have any issues with it. The 285g jar will cost you around $5.39.
My Comments: The Vege Spread has a stronger caramel flavour but to my nose, it seems to smell a bit sweet. The consistency is a bit sticky like molasses with a deep brown colour. It is closer to the old favourite, however, the lack of any yeast definitely results in a different taste.
Comparison: My friend enjoyed this one more than Mightymite. He believes it is because he prefers the flavour of corn maltodextrin over potato. He agreed that this was closer than the others since it didn’t have additional flavours added. Though, it lacked the depth that the yeast brings to the spread.
The Spread: MightyMite was the spread I grew up with. I think it may have been the first Vegemite alternative. Created by Three Threes it will cost you $3.25 for the 290g jar. As mentioned the ingredients are very similar to the OmegaMite. There are no major allergens used in the spread and they use potato and tapioca derivatives.
My Comments: Since I grew up with this spread I am a little bias. However, after tasting the others even I admit it isn’t the closest to Vegemite. I’ll still buy it though because I find it more appealing. It isn’t as sharp and salty with a lighter flavour profile. It is a light brown colour with a smooth consistency. This is my favourite for making the ‘cornwedges’ that I featured in my 4 no bread sandwich options.
Comparison: While this was closer to the original flavour, it definitely isn’t ‘there’. It is too light in the vinegar and yeast flavour for my friend. Additionally, although it did have a closer flavour to Vegemite, this wasn’t something he’d choose as he didn’t enjoy it.
The Spread: OzEMite is part of the Dick Smith brand. The spread is gluten free with no artificial colours or flavours. The jar proudly states that all profits go to charity. It was developed over 13 years and is easy to find in stores. Their yeast is grown on corn to make it safe and the mix of yeast, natural caramel colour and vegetable extracts creates a lovely flavour. The 175g jar will cost you $4.70.
My Comments: As soon as you open the jar the aroma hits you. It is a dark brown almost black colour with a thick consistency. Although, it is thick, unlike the Vege Spread it is not syrupy. The flavour is potent and rich with a strong tang. A little of this spread goes a long way. One jar lasts me almost twice as long as my MightyMite. From what I remember this is close to Vegemite due to that potency.
Comparison: This is one of my friends’ favourites and if he hadn’t have tried the last option he would have called this the winner. He says it is very close to Vegemite due to the strong flavour and saltiness. For good measure, he compared the ingredients on this and the first place option and they are almost identical. The OzEMite is lower in sodium which he thinks may contribute to this being in second place.
The Spread: Probably most known due to the lawsuit between them and the Dick Smith Brand, the final spread is AussieMite. This is the only spread that bears the Coeliac Society endorsement. It is gluten, dairy, GM and 99% fat-free, and vegan-friendly with no artificial colours or flavours. The little jar I bought from Coles is only 115g. However, on their website, they have the 175g for $3.85 and a 290g jar for $4.85.
My Comments: This is another spread where a little goes a long way. It has an initial salty flavour followed by a slight tang. It is again a dark brown to black colour with a thick but not syrupy consistency. This spread is the highest in salt content per 100g. This little, limited edition jar will again last me twice as long as my mightymite.
Comparison: My friend picked this one to taste the closest to Vegemite. Since he does enjoy his Vegemite it’s a good sign that maybe here is where you should start? Of course, as I mentioned at the beginning, he admits that even this AussieMite is not a perfect match. However, the salty, yeasty spread with a bit of a tang is his pick. It is a close margin between it and the OzEMite though so let your taste buds enjoy their favourite.
In regards to value in terms of price; per 100g the mightymite is the best value. However, the AussieMite comes in a close second in both sized jars. This may not be accurate for everyone as you’ll all use different amounts.
I hope you enjoyed reading about the gluten free yeast spreads available.
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Until Next Time;
Ashlee; The Aussie Coeliac.