Have you heard of it? Have you used it? If you happen to be vegan, chances are much higher that you’re familiar with it for a few reasons.
First of all, nutritional yeast is actually considered a complete protein. (Foods are considered to be “complete proteins” when they contain the nine essential amino acids that the body cannot make on its own: histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan and valine).
Secondly, fortified versions of nutritional yeast also contain a number of B vitamins including B12 (cobalamin). This is a vitamin that can only be obtained from animals, seafood, supplements* or B12 shots.
Finally, nutritional yeast has quite a unique flavor profile: cheesy and nutty! Because of this, nutritional yeast is often used in vegan cooking for things such as “creamy” sauces and dairy-free cheeses. It can also be sprinkled on top of dishes like pasta, or on top of popcorn.
However, you don’t have to be vegan to enjoy nutritional yeast in regular recipes! In fact, I just used it this past week when I made Real Food Whole Life’s great recipe for meatball veggie soup. (It was added to the turkey meatballs, and it provided some great flavor)!
Couple of Fun Facts about Nutritional Yeast:
· It’s also referred to as “nooch” (have no idea why but it sounds funny)
· It’s grown on molasses and sugar cane
· It is an inactive/deactivated form of yeast
· Taste can vary brand to brand
· Claims to have health benefits related to it’s antiviral and antibacterial properties
· It is naturally gluten free
Want to #nutritionnerd out on some more nutritional yeast facts, including the steps to manufacturing it? Check out this website: http://redstarnutritionalyeast.com/the-5-steps-in-manufacturing-nutritional-yeast/
Let me know: have any of you cooked with nutritional yeast before??
*Mushrooms may provide some B12 – but the amount is so small. (Most healthcare providers—including most nutritionists—currently recommend that persons who exclusively consume plant foods take steps to ensure their B12 nourishment by adding foods fortified with B12 or B12-containing supplements to their daily routine. As a general rule, we support this approach, although we realize that there can be exceptions. (http://www.whfoods.org/genpage.php?tname=nutrient&dbid=107)