What’s That? – A Guide to Nutritional Yeast

Categories Food

Have you ever a conversation with a foodie who is going on and on about some term that completely goes over your head? Whether it is a medicinal mushroom or just a different name for a food that you already know of, playing the “what’s that?” game can be both confusing and exciting. To help you overcome the fear of the foodie and understand some of the super and other foods out there, I’ve created another new series. Let’s get started!

Nutrition Yeast

What is it?

Nutritional yeast is a deactivated yeast. Similar to brewer’s yeast, which is used in beer, it is not active therefore it cannot be used to ferment or to leaven like you would with bread.

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What does it look like?

Most often, you’ll see nutritional yeast in plastic containers filled with yellow flakes.

What does it do?

Most often used to create/replace a cheesy flavor in vegan/vegetarian cooking, it is a great vitamin packed substitute. Often you’ll find recipes with it to make something taste like cheese, thrown on popcorn or used as a topper on pasta.

Is it gluten free?

Yes, however, you should always check the label to confirm.

Why do I need?

Firstly, it’s just plain awesome. But it can also be a great source of Vitamin B, which many plant-based diets struggle to get enough of.

Where can I buy it?

Whole Foods, local farmers markets and online (amazon) will probably be your best chances of snagging some nutritional yeast. However, I have occasionally seen it in a Publix or Kroger in a shaker.

How do I use it?

I love it on popcorn and pasta. It’s flaky so the texture is not creamy enough to substitute cheese on it’s own. But here are a few recipes to try it out.

Cashew-Less Vegan Queso

30-Minute Cheesy Kale Chips

Butternut Squash Mac N’Cheeze

What are some of your favorite ways? Do you have a super food or just general food you want to know more about? Drop a comment below and let me know!

* Resources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nutritional_yeast;

http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/blog/get-know-nutritional-yeast

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