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What Is Nutritional Yeast? and Recipes!

 

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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


IMG_8100

Veggie Chili

Nutritional yeast

Cashew Ketchup

Sweet Potato Fries with Cashew Ketchup

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

  1. Leesie said…
    How long is the shelf-life and or where should it be stored? Thanks for all the recipes, can't wait to try them with my son when he comes home from college in a few weeks. Happy Chanukah! Peace.
    • Meghan Telpner said…
      Thank you Leesie- we are having a very sweet one- with my whole family on holidays together in Jamaica. I think it has an indefinite shelf life- assuming that shelf is in a fridge.
  2. Chantal said…
    Great post :) It's not like we don't have enough to worry about already when it comes to the food industry but I just learned fairly recently that a lot of more conventional nutritional yeast has MSG in it. I found this out the hard way, when I'd bought nutritional yeast in bulk and started getting a weird "air/gas pocket" feeling in the back of my mouth. I was told that's what happens to people when they eat MSG. So of course I looked into it, and found out that I wasn't too far from the truth. So just a warning to be conscious of the type you buy! So far, I've had super results for the most part, especially with the Red Star Nutritional Yeast, it hasn't made me reacted at all. Other than that, I loooove my nutritional yeast :)
  3. Alisa Cooks said…
    Now that is great to know. Several times I had people email me looking for an alternative to nutritional yeast in recipes (there isn't one that I know of!) because they are avoiding yeast for Candida. I will keep this knowledge in my back pocket (or email folder :)
  4. kendra said…
    I've been mixing some nutritional yeast and some dill with kefir or yogurt to make a cheesy spread. Sooo tasty! And, of course, awesome on kale chips.
  5. Jen Fuller said…
    I just wanted to add a blurb about nutritional yeast. I sprinkle it over my popcorn. We call it cheesy popcorn at our house. I have found that little kids love it too!
    • Meghan Telpner said…
      I have done that- thought I don't eat popcorn, I'll break rice cakes into little bits, toast those and then sprinkle the noochie goodness.
  6. Hi Megan- thank you so much for all the fantastic recipes! I love your site. I bought some nutritional yeast a few months ago and had no idea what to do with it and then i found your recipes. They are delicious keep up the great work! Kate
  7. Gustoso said…
    Cool I've been wanting to try, ever since going dairy free.
    • Meghan Telpner said…
      Perfect time to start! Nice to hear from you and hope all is well!
  8. Katie said…
    I get my nooch at whole foods in the bulk section, but it is not refrigerated. Considering that you say to store in the refrigerator, is this kind that I am getting bad? Thanks!
    • Dorli said…
      Did u ever get a respond about it not being in the cooler at the store?
  9. [...] 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 [...]
  10. [...] yeast on a daily basis will help with blood production, balance good bacteria and energy levels. Click here for more information and some recipes you can add yeast [...]

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