The thought of eating something called nutritional yeast sounds pretty gross, right? I promise you, if you can get past the name and introduce it into your cooking, you’ll realise just how amazing it is. You will literally never look back.

My first encounter with nutritional yeast was actually only a few weeks ago when a friend made me the most delicious cheese bake – sans cheese! It was 100 percent vegan and made using nutritional yeast. I was in food flavour heaven! My friend explained to me that the flavour and creaminess of the dish actually came from the nutritional yeast. It has a nutty, sharp, salty taste and makes for the perfect dairy substitute.

nutritional yeast

Where does it come from? Well, it’s a food additive made from a single-celled organism called Saccharomyces Cerevisiae, which is cultured in molasses and harvested, washed and dried with heat to deactivate it. The deactivation process ensures it won’t froth up and grow like baking yeast, therefore has no leavening ability.

Nutritional Yeast can be used in so many ways. Here are just a few:
Substitute for cheese – think Parmesan! Your plant-based Bolognese will be soooo delicious;

  • Use it in scrambled tofu;
  • Use it to create a no-cream’ creamy sauce for vegetarian lasagne and pasta bakes; and
  • Sprinkle it on popcorn, baked or mashed potatoes, bean nachos or corn

Flavour and versatility aside, nutritional yeast also packs a pretty powerful health punch. It is a complete protein providing all nine amino acids the human body cannot produce. It also provides iron and vitamins B1 and B2.

So, get over the name and like me, learn to love this vegan pantry staple!

Images courtesy of Bob’s Red Mill. You can buy here.

Article by Lainie Bracher Towner, The Vegan Company

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