Nutritional yeast is used in many of the recipes you will find on this site, and on your plant-based journey. So what exactly is this strange sounding ingredient? Is it good for you? What does it taste like? Read on!
What is nutritional yeast?
Nutritional yeast is a food/ingredient frequently found in vegan and vegetarian recipes. It is a strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and is a yeast that is deactivated (dead).
What does nutritional yeast look like? What does it taste like?
This is a savory, dry food product that is typically flaky or powdery in nature. It looks like small, light yellow colored flakes (you can see them depicted below). Nutritional yeast has a strong flavor and is often used in sauces and as a seasoning. You will find it in vegan versions of cheese sauce, pesto, risotto, and as a flavoring for kale chips and popcorn. There are thousands of uses for this versatile (and healthy) product.
Nutritional yeast is an excellent source of B-complex vitamins. B1 and B2 are naturally found in the product, however only fortified versions of nutritional yeast contain B12. B12 is not found in most vegan sources of food, so can be a good addition for a complete diet. However, typical consumption will not necessarily be sufficient B12 replacement, so make sure you still take a quality supplement of B12 (such as this vegan B12 spray). Make sure you consult the label or manufacturer to determine how much B12 you will find in a serving of nutritional yeast.
This food is also a source of protein that contains all amino acids, and iron. The amount of iron depends on whether the individual product you purchase has been fortified or not.
Why use nutritional yeast and what does it taste like?
Nutritional yeast can help you make many recipes cheesy in taste. It has a nutty flavor that helps you replicate the flavor of certain animal-based products which is why you typically find it in vegan recipes that are creamy or cheesy in nature.
Where can I find nutritional yeast?
You can find this ingredient in most grocery stores (especially natural grocery stores), or online such as on Amazon. You can find a link below.
Nutritional yeast is also known as "yeast flakes", "yeshi", "nooch" or "Brufax".
Store your nutritional yeast in a cool, dark cupboard.
What are your thoughts on this ingredient?
Do you like using nutritional yeast? What are some of your favorite recipes that include it? Let us know in the comments.
Last updated: December 20, 2016. Originally published: October 21, 2016.