If you are interested in a new ingredient to make your food vibrant and new, consider dabbling with nutritional yeast. It is a wonderful product that has been popping up in recipes fairly recently. Often used as a substitute for cheese, it is quite common with those who follow a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle. Consumers of nutritional yeast refer to it as “Nooch.” Nutritional yeast is packed with an assortment of vitamins and proteins, hence the nickname coming from the word “nutritional.” Adding this yellow powdered condiment, that is just shy of 20 calories, to your food can offer your body great health benefits.
Nutritional yeast is a species of inactivated yeast called Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Inactivated means that the yeast is not alive. Bread yeast is an activated yeast, which is what causes the bread to rise. The result is an umami taste that many people cannot get enough of.
Nutritional yeast comes in two types. The first, fortified, is packed with added vitamins and minerals. The second type, called unfortified, contains only the vitamins found naturally within the yeast. Fortified is more commonly found in grocery stores compared to unfortified nutritional yeast.
Nutritional yeast is beneficial to vegetarians and vegans who might be lacking in their vitamin B12 intake. It is also very rich in antioxidants, which decreases the risk for heart disease and cancer. However, just because it is an inactive yeast culture, you still can benefit the bacterial colonies that support the immune system. However, not much is actually known about nutritional yeast, so it may have even more properties than we know about.
Like everything, nutritional yeast should be used in moderation. A safe amount for individuals to consume is around 10-30 tablespoons of nutritional yeast per day.
If stored properly, nutritional yeast can last up to two years. Some of the things you can do with nutritional yeast is to use it as a sprinkled topping on popcorn or mashed potatoes. Nutritional yeast’s umami flavor is often incorporated into soups or sauces for an easy vegan alternative. It can also be incorporated into smoothies. As a suggestion, play around with the amount of nutritional yeast that you put into smoothies because you don’t want the strong flavor to overpower your sweet fruit. Finally, a very popular option is using nutritional yeast to create vegan macaroni and cheese.
There are some great recipes that use nutritional yeast in their delicious vegan macaroni and cheese. Yet, not everyone is vegan. Some people love a good bowl of dairy-rich macaroni and cheese. If macaroni and cheese is something that you enjoy in its dairy form, consider adding a dash of some nutritional yeast. It will heighten the savory flavor profile of the creamy dish and might alter the way you eat your macaroni and cheese.
With the dense-packed nutrients and undeniable taste, nutritional yeast can spruce up a recipe with just a tablespoon. In that tablespoon, the nutritional yeast can nourish your body with antioxidants and hidden health benefits. It is incredibly versatile and pairs great with something savory you wish to give more flavor. Consider looking up some of the recipes that call for the product and give “Nooch” a try.