Nutritional yeast is a vegan must-have pantry staple, not only for its cheese-like flavour, but also because it’s rich in nutrients. To be honest, before going vegan I had never heard of it, but then I saw a couple recipes calling for it and thought I should try it out. I ended up buying baker’s yeast, which, spoiler alert, isn’t the same a nutritional yeast. Baker’s yeast is still active and can grow inside your stomach, depriving you of key nutrients…. It’s a good thing I caught myself before dumping ½ a cup into my pasta. So now that we know what nutritional yeast isn’t let’s find out what it is.
WHAT IS NUTRITIONAL YEAST?
Nutritional yeast is made from an organism that grows on molasses, that is then harvested and dried to deactivates the yeast. Although it may be similar to baker’s yeast it is inactive and therefore won’t be rising your bread any time soon. It is a yellowish-brown colour that can be purchased in the form of flakes, granules, or a powder. It also doesn’t need to be refrigerated, so it can just be stored in your pantry or somewhere else cool and dark.
…BUT IS IT GOOD FOR YOU?
Yes, nutritional yeast is a vegans dream. It is a superfood, jam-packed with B vitamins, I’m talking B1, B2, B3, B6, & B12 – like I said, all of the B’s. These B vitamins are important for energy production, also the fact that nutritional yeast has B12 is a bonus. Naturally, B12 is found in animals, so vegans have to take a replacement supplement to ensure they don’t develop a B12 deficiency.
It is also a complete protein, meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids that humans need from food. Just one serving of nutritional yeast has 2g of protein, making it an easy plant-based protein vegan’s can add to any meal.
HOW TO ADD NUTRITIONAL YEAST TO YOUR DIET
The flavour of nutritional yeast is especially useful for vegans or people avoiding dairy. This is because of its cheesy, nutty taste that can be used to mirror the flavour of cheese.
Other uses for this vegan cooking necessity include:
- Thicken sauces
- Thicken salad dressings
- Sprinkle on popcorn
- Mix into mashed potatoes
- Use in dips
- Use instead of parmesan cheese on spaghetti
This product is starting to pop up in more and more stores, making it easier to get. Though, when in doubt, Whole Foods and other natural grocery stores usually have it. Online wise, Amazon and Walmart also sell different variations of it.
I personally use the Bragg one, which comes in a little shaker. It makes it easy to both sprinkle it on various dishes or to dump a whole boatload into a dish. If you’re in the market for some nutritional yeast, grab some HERE.
More cheesy nutrient-packed recipes coming soon. If you have any cheesy meals you’d love to have veganized let us know in the comments below. We are always up for a challenge!!