If you spend any time reading about health online, or shopping in health food stores, you have probably come across nutritional yeast or ‘nooch’. This can be one of those health foods which seems intimidating to use, but it’s worth getting to know this powerful powder.
Nutritional yeast is made from fermented strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which is usually grown on sugar beets or molasses. Unlike brewer’s yeast, nutritional yeast is inactive as it is heat-processed, and therefore cannot be substituted in bread or beer recipes. Nevertheless, nutritional yeast has plenty going for it in terms of its nutritional qualities.
For starters, it’s gluten-free, so it can be enjoyed by anyone with celiac disease. It packs an impressive punch in terms of nutritional content also.
Nutritional yeast contains 6g of protein and 2g of fiber in a two-tablespoon serving. The protein in nutritional yeast is a complete protein, meaning it has all of the essential amino acids required by the body. This makes it a good option for cancer patients trying to meet their protein needs.
Not only that, a two tablespoon serving will meet your daily requirements of the B vitamins thiamine, niacin and riboflavin.
Fortified nutritional yeast is an important source of B12 in the vegan diet, as B12 is usually only found in animal foods. B12 is essential for healthy nerve functioning, and for the formation of blood cells.
It adds a wonderful savory flavor to dishes that is similar to Parmesan cheese.
How to use nutritional yeast?
You can substitute nutritional yeast for cheese in many places, however it is best to start off with small amounts, as it can be an acquired taste that takes getting used to. For example, try using it instead or parmesan in this asian pasta recipe or sweet potato fries recipe. You can also sprinkle it into sauces for a flavor kick. For a boost of protein and vitamins, try stirring into mashed potato.