Power Food: Nutritional Yeast

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Although its’s been around for awhile, I have been asked about it twice this week so I thought I better write  some facts about this power food. Nutritional yeast is a deactivated yeast which is sold commercially as a food product. It’s sold in the form of flakes or as a yellow powder similar in texture to cornmeal, and can be found in the bulk aisle of most natural food stores. Here at Cooking Lessons from Home, we now offer From the Garden (vegetarian meal plan) I know its time to introduce it to those of you you haven’t tried it, and you don’t have to be a vegetarian to try it. It is popular with vegans and vegetarians and may be used as an ingredient in recipes or as a condiment.

Nutritional yeast flakes

Its a source of protein and vitamins, especially the B-complex vitamins, and is a complete protein. It is also naturally low in fat and sodium and is free of sugar, dairy, and gluten. Sometimes nutritional yeast is fortified with Vitamin B12.

Nutritional yeast has a strong flavor that is described as nutty, cheesy, or creamy, which makes it popular as an ingredient in cheese substitutes. We use it in some of our recipes instead of cheese, such as potato dishes, eggs, bread as in garlic bread, (don’t use it to make your own bread), or add a generous spoonful to a stir fry or pasta sauce and it makes a great topping for  popcorn!

You probably won’t be able to find nutritional yeast in a typical grocery store. I buy it from the bulk bins at the local natural food store, where it is labeled “Vegetarian Support Formula.” Larger grocery stores might have Bob’s Red Mill brand in the natural food section.

I use the flaked version of nutritional yeast, but it’s also available in a powder. If you’re using the powder, you will need only about half as much as the flakes.

 

 

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