Food

Nutritional Yeast – What is it and How to Use

Nutritional yeast is a a savory vegan food with a cheesy nutty taste and is alost known as brewers yeast. It’s very popular in the healthy / raw / vegan world to add the cheesy taste that is difficult to achieve without dairy. It doesn’t sound like the most appetising food especially not as its best described as looking like fish food. However it is a staple in my kitchen and a delicious versatile ingredient.

As you would expect from the name nutritional yeast it is loaded with nutrients. It’s rich in B vitamins, folic acid, zinc and some brands had added B12. A vegan diet can be very lacking in B vitamins without supplementation so nutritional yeast is a great food to use and reduce the need for supplements. It should however only be consumed in small amounts of about 5 grams at a time.

You can buy nutritional yeast in just about any health food shop. popular brands are engevita and braggs. It is heat sensitive so should not be used for baking or added before cooking, heating above 100°C will damage the nutritional content. I often sprinkle it on savory dishes after they have been cooked to use it as a seasoning.

Nutritional yeast is made by growing yeast of the genus Saccharomyces cerevisiae on natural molasses. This is the same yeast that has been in use for hundreds of years and is also used for bread, beer and yeast spreads such as marmite. The yeast is then harvested and dried to make flakes of inactive yeast. It is free from the Candida albicans yeast however some candida sufferers can’t tolerate nutritional yeast.

Uses

  • In place of Parmesan such as in vegan pesto
  • Sprinkled on popcorn to make cheesy popcorn
  • In raw vegan nut and seed cheeses
  • Sprinkled on stews or pasta in place of a hard grated cheese
  • On salads where you want a cheesy nutty taste

Recipes

About the author

Eloise

I'm a former GP that left medicine to become a nutritionist and yoga teacher. I enjoy helping clients change their life through diet and exercise. I'm interested in the prevention of illness using natural methods.

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