Nutritional Yeast and Its Many Benefits

Bowl of Nutritional Yeast

Finding delicious vegan recipes is getting easier and easier, and with great dairy substitutes like Nutritional Yeast, there’s so many possibilities to create your own. With a tangy taste and no animal products, Nutritional Yeast is used widely as an alternative to seasonings or cheeses (like Parmesan) for enhancing dishes when cooking. Since it’s free of dairy it is used widely amongst vegan menus, but there are other benefits to this yeast besides being a good cheese and seasoning substitute. But what is Nutritional Yeast in the first place?

Yeast is a eukaryotic microorganism much like mushrooms. This yeast is inactive- meaning it’s non-leavening- and is made from a single-celled organism grown on molasses. Because it’s non-leavening you shouldn’t use it as a substitute for active dry yeast or brewer’s yeast; it’s not the same thing. It does however have beneficial nutrients including the spectrum of B vitamins, Thiamin, Niacin, Riboflavin, Folate and Pyridoxine HCL. These vitamins and nutrients help boost your immune system and energy levels, among many other benefits. A tablespoon of Nutritional Yeast adds up to about 20 calories, so use sparingly, but keep in mind the great nutritional value you’re getting in return.

Nutritional Yeast usually comes in the form of flakes or a powder, and often is found in a shaker bottle like those used for seasonings. This makes it easy to add to meals, as you’re cooking, or dishes that have already been prepared. Its flavor has been described as cheesy, creamy, or nutty, and is a delicious additive to foods like eggs, pastas, popcorns, hummus, potatoes, and much more. Besides it’s vegan uses, many people also love that it’s gluten free. Also known by the nickname “Nooch” you probably won't find it in a traditional grocery store, but it can usually be found it in health foods stores, as well as online. Toss those unhealthy and fattening seasonings and reap the benefits of one that is nutrient-packed and animal friendly.


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