Delicious added to recipes and foods! Vegetarian, Gluten & Sugar FREE!
Cheesy, nutty, and the world's most addictive popcorn topping: Here's why nutritional yeast deserves a spot in your pantry.
Provides great-taste and nutrition when added to a wide variety of foods and recipes. Makes a healthy delicious seasoning when sprinkled on most foods, especially salads, vegetables, potatoes, rice, pasta and even popcorn! Add to soups, dips, spreads, cereals, juices and smoothies for added flavor and nutrition. It’s “cheese-like” flavor makes it a great low-sodium, cholesterol-free, delicious, healthy addition to recipes and foods.
In addition to its great health benefits, Nutritional Yeast Seasoning is a versatile culinary ingredient for most recipes. It can be used as a condiment or in recipes, and is classified among the best of B12 Foods.
There's a cheesy and nutty topping we're sprinkling on our salads, roasted veggies, and pastas these days—but it's not cheese. It's nutritional yeast, a dairy-free savory food seasoning especially favored by vegans for its cheese-like flavor. Chances are, you know nutritional yeast as "those weird golden-yellow flakes I pass by in the health foods aisle." And although we'll never give up our Parm, here's why nutritional yeast may become your new favorite health food store find—for when those cheesy urges strike, you know?
Nutritional yeast—sometimes referred to as "nooch"—is an inactive (e.g. dead) form of the yeast strain known as Saccharomyces cerevisiae. It's the same strain of yeast bakers use to leaven bread, except it's been pasteurized to dry out the yeast in order to extract its nutritional benefits. Dr. John Westerdahl of Bragg Live Food Products, a natural foods manufacturer that sells nutritional yeast, explains this yeast is grown in vats of molasses, nutrients, and water. Once the yeast is mature, it gets poured out onto a conveyor belt and goes through a drying process that breaks it down into little flakes. The nutritional yeast you can buy at the store has a bright yellow hue and is most commonly sold powdered or in flakes that resemble fish food. Find it in most health food stores, and in canisters or jars at well-stocked markets like Whole Foods.
How to Eat It
Use nutritional yeast the same way you would a grated cheese. Sprinkle it over anything from salads and roasted veggies to pasta and rice for a subtle, savory flavor boost. Toss a couple of tablespoonfuls with a little bit olive oil, salt, and freshly popped popcorn for a "cheesy" snack that to rival even the most addictive flavored chip or corn puff, minus the dairy or fluorescent-orange food coloring.
Since vegan diets restrict the consumption of dairy products (including cheese), nutritional yeast is commonly called for in vegan versions of recipes that are traditionally made with lots of cheese. Do a quick Google search for vegan mac and cheese, pesto, enchiladas, or risotto, and chances are a good number of those recipes will include nutritional yeast.
A tablespoon-sized serving of nutritional yeast has just 20 calories, yet packs in a surprisingly dense amount of protein. (This varies from brand to brand; the Bragg brand has three grams of protein per serving.) Although the yeast has a naturally savory quality, it has no sodium. Many (but not all) nutritional yeast brands are fortified with vitamin B12, an essential vitamin that promotes a healthy nervous system and prevents against anemia. Vitamin B12 is typically found only in animal products (e.g. dairy), so fortified nutritional yeast is a reliable source of the nutrient for vegans.
Nutritional yeast is naturally free of dairy, eggs, wheat, nuts, and corn. However, different brands have varying manufacturing standards, so always check the package label if you're concerned about a particular allergy. Also check the packaging if you're interested in buying nutritional yeast with vitamin B12, as not all brands are fortified.
How to Store
Store nutritional yeast in a cool, dark place or in the refrigerator and it should keep for about two years.