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What Is Nutritional Yeast? and Recipes!



Vegan’s treat nutritional yeast like it’s the dehydrated cheese in a mac and cheese box. It’s not, but it does make great, creamy, cheese-like sauces. For a long, long time (think 30 of my 31 years), I stayed far away from it. 27 of those years were spent in ignorance that this food existed, two of those years were spent avoiding it because it was odd, one was spent avoiding it because I have read of contraindications between inflammatory bowel disease and nutritional yeast. Then I gave in, tried it, loved it, and now know just what it is.

Nutritional yeast is the deactivated form of the yeast known as “Saccharomyces cerevisiae”. It is an excellent source of protein and is therefore often used abundantly among the veggie crowd. Considered a complete protein containing 18 amino acids, it also contains a variety of minerals such as chromium, an important nutrient for maintaining balanced blood sugar levels.

But Where Does This Stuff Come From?

Nutritional yeast is grown on cane sugar and molasses. It is then harvested, washed, and dried into flakes. It takes on a yellow-orange-brown colour. After it is harvested, it is washed and pasteurized therefore guaranteeing that it is inert (meaning it won’t keep growing). Therefore, no need to worry that it will lead to yeast infections, and cause Candida. It has no relation to detrimental yeast growth.

And The Nutrition?

Nutritional yeast is particularly rich in B vitamins. These are the important guys for our energy production – they help in the metabolism of protein, fats, and carbs, meaning we can better use the fuel from our food, manage stress and keep our youthful complexion radiant.

Nutritional yeast is a bonus for vegetarians /vegans since many varieties are fortified with vitamin B12 (a nutrient only found on foods with faces).

Nutritional yeast is beneficial for those dealing with diabetes and blood sugar issues in general. This is because it contains chromium, a trace mineral which is important in managing blood sugar levels.

Other benefits:

  • Maintains healthy bacteria balance in the gut which is important for immune health
  • Improves blood production, which is great for peeps who are anemic
  • Helps maintain optimal cholesterol levels
  • Improves liver health and function

Where Can You Get Some?

Usually in bulk, in the fridge section of your local health food store.

What Can You Do With It?

Miso Hummus or Bean Dip?

Miso Hummus

Healthy Mac and Cheese

Healthy Mac and Cheese

Fast Food Fettuccini

Caesar Salad – Hold The Anchovies

Kale Chips


Veggie Chili

Nutritional yeast

Cashew Ketchup

Sweet Potato Fries with Cashew Ketchup

42 Responses to “What Is Nutritional Yeast? and Recipes!”

  1. nutritional yeast - i think i'll have to try this. thanks @meghantelpner for the info!
  2. [...] you can find this healthy Mac and Cheese recipe as well as more mouth watering “cheese” sauces HERE. [...]
  3. [...] vegetarian sources of B12 are nutritional yeast (check out some amazing recipes and more info. here), possibly chlorella, and fortified foods. It is worth getting your levels checked to see if you [...]
  4. Ambri said…
    I love nutritional yeast! As a snack or breakfast, I like sprinkling it on sprouted rye toast either over mashed avocados or coconut oil!!! Yuuuuummmmmy!
  5. Judyb said…
    Love Nut. yeast. Mix it with vegan mayo and it makes a super cheesy sauce. I don't keep refrigerated, so need to check on that. I also use it in Mac and"cheese'. Sprinkled on Spaghetti, on popcorn, and any other excuse I can find to eat it.
  6. Becky said…
    Thanks for these great looking recipes Meghan. And the info about such a strange food - we say it looks like fish food! I recently used it to make Queso Burger Soup -it's out of this world!
  7. Christine said…
    Your comment regarding B12 sources is inaccurate: you state that "B12 is only found on foods with faces". Spirulina is a vegan food that is loaded with B12.

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