Aug 182015

nutritional yeastBy now we all have at least one friend that’s a vegan, right? Do you ever wonder what goes on behind those secret conversations on vegan pizza and mac and cheese? Well, one of them, my friends, is Nutritional Yeast.

I first discovered nutritional yeast years ago after having been diagnosed with some neurological problems for it’s high B 12 content. I can tell you the name alone was enough to have me running for the hills! However, this is one health food that deserves a second look. Nutritional yeast contains so much nutritional value, making it a great addition to any healthy diet and lifestyle. Read more about this super-food …

Nutritional yeast, affectionately called “nooch” by those who are in the know, is a powerful substance found in the form of flakes, in the bulk or supplement section of most health food stores. The name doesn’t exactly get your taste buds going, but nutritional yeast is just an inactive yeast made from sugar cane and beet molasses. It’s very similar to the active yeasts found in breads, but has no leavening ability. And it instantly allows for some amazing variety in a vegan diet — specifically for its cheesy, umami-like flavor

What is the Nutrition in Nutritional Yeast?

One ounce (2 Tablespoons) of nutritional yeast has a low 79 calories, 1g fat, 0 cholesterol, 9 g of sodium, 9 g of carbs and a whopping 14 grams of protein. If that’s not enough it also has 7 grams of fiber to keep you feeling full longer.

What are the Health Benefits of Nutritional Yeast?

Nutrtitional yeast is commonly used by vegetarians because it is such a good source of the vitamins and minerals usually found in animal, meat and dairy products like cheese and milk. But even if you are a meat eater I encourage you to try this and your body will thank you.

In fact, it’s one of the best non-animal sources of folic acid and vitamin B-12.  The yellow color of the flakes is a result of their large amount of vitamin B – ½ tbsp. fulfills your entire daily vitamin B needs. In addition to B-12, nutritional yeast is high in 15 different minerals and 18 amino acids, with high daily values of all the other B Vitamins, zinc, magnesium and copper. Talk about a super food!

Nutitional yeast popcornHow can I use Nutritional Yeast?

On anything and everything! Nutritional yeast actually doesn’t have a really strong flavor, but it is slightly salty and reminiscent of Parmesan cheese. It packs a great punch with a pretty mild flavor.

  • Roll your corn on the cob in it for a cheesy buttery flavor.
  • Sprinkled on roasted vegetables or added to a veggie saute.
  • Added to anything Italian, any pasta dish, rice or your favorite grain.
  • Added to any kind of burger, especially veggie, to help them bind.
  • My personal favorite—over popcorn. So yummy.
  • As a substitute for parmesan on garlic bread.
  • A sauce over veggies. See this week’s recipe for Vegan Cheese below.
  • Use in combination with Panko crumbs for breading.
  • As you can see this could be an endless list–just don’t forget to use it. A few teaspoons will add 5 grams of protein to any meal. You’ll be a nooch fan in no time!

Vegan cheese sauceRecipe for a Vegan Cheese Sauce

Click here to try this weeks recipe for a Vegan Cheese Sauce, made with nutritional yeast. It is great over broccoli, eggs, pasta, you name it.

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