Are you wondering what is nutritional yeast used for? Or what does nutritional yeast taste like and how do I use it? Is it worth buying?
In this article we are talking about all of those things as well as the health benefits of eating nutritional yeast. As well as a few of the possible side effects.
It is a very popular vegan food additive, but anyone can use it and enjoy it! It may sound weird, but it tastes amazing and I would recommend it to anyone. Vegan or not!
In this article we will also be discussing how you can use nutritional yeast in your diet or nooch as it is nicknamed. And what meals it goes best with.
So, keep reading to find out why you should start eating this special form of yeast with your meals!
What is Nutritional Yeast
Nutritional yeast is an inactive form of the yeast that you would commonly use in baking. Unlike the live yeast used to leaven and rise baked good this type of yeast is inactive or dead.
It doesn’t froth or react like live yeast and lacks the usual slightly bitter and yeasty flavor profile. It is also, often referred to as “nooch” for short among vegans.
Nooch is also different in appearance from other forms of yeast as it is bright yellow and comes in the form of flakes. Closely resembling parmesan cheese or even flake fish food.
Because of these differences nutritional yeast and other forms of yeast cannot be used interchangeably. It is also the only kind of yeast that you can enjoy on its own.
It is completely different from normal baking yeast in color taste, and appearance.
What Does Nutritional Yeast Taste Like?
Nooch is distinctively known for its slightly cheesy and nutty flavor profile. Which is why it is so commonly found in the vegan diet.
It doesn’t exactly replace cheese, but it yields a very similar flavor that can be very handy when making certain dishes.
Because it gives a cheese like flavor it can also be used to replace cheese products in your diet if you are trying to be more health conscious. Or if you are unable to eat dairy.
It provides cheesy flavor without the fat or sodium, making it an excellent cheese alternative in cooking!
It is very easy to incorporate into soups and sauces and can be sprinkled over anything that could use a cheesy note.
I highly recommend this brand of these nutritional yeast flakes as they are very affordable while still tasting amazing and providing excellent quality!
What is Nutritional Yeast Used For
Nutritional yeast is most commonly used by people following a vegan diet, as it has a taste that can imitate cheese products. But anyone can enjoy it and use it in several different ways.
Though it does not yield the consistency of real cheese which is gooey and stringy. Nooch can help to add cheesy flavor to your cooking if you are avoiding cheese or cheese products.
It can add creaminess to sauces and soups, imitating the richness and flavor of cheesy soup recipes. It also adds a bright yellow color that we most often would recognize as cheese!
It can be sprinkled over just about everything, which is how it is more commonly used. But it is a great cooking additive and very easy to add into recipes in order to achieve a cheesy flavor.
Best Recipes for Nutritional Yeast
When you are deciding how to use nutritional yeast in your cooking you need to figure out what does nutritional yeast taste like.
Because it is so similar in flavor to cheese you can add it to anything that you would normally add cheese to.
Such as in garlic bread or sprinkled over pizza. It also adds a great deal of flavor to pasta or casseroles and lasagnas.
Basically, anything that you would normally add cheese to can be substituted with this food additive. It may not yield the same texture as real cheese, but it provides an amazingly similar flavor, as well as color.
I also like to sprinkle it over cooked vegetables such as baked potatoes and corn to add a bit of heartiness.
Here are a few things you can add nooch to when you are making your meals:
- Potatoes and vegetables
- Macaroni and cheese
- Garlic bread
- Savory oats
- Mashed potatoes
- Creamed corn
These are just a few recipes that you can start adding nooch to. But there is a variety of ways that you can use it in the kitchen!
Where to Buy Nutritional Yeast
Once you know what is nutritional yeast used for you will want to find out where the best place to buy it is.
I have been regularly buying nutritional yeast for years now and discovered early on that buying it in grocery stores was just not a good option.
Most grocery stores sell it as a health item in their health food section. Which means that it is often outrageously over priced for a very small amount.
I was buying about 5 ounces of nooch at a time for over ten dollars when I realized how much cheaper it is online.
I now buy at least a pound of it at a time and spend only a little more than I was originally.
This is one of those food items that you should definitely buy online as the best options available are there.
These nutritional yeast flakes are from a brand that I have found to be the most affordable option. This is a brand that I frequently buy from for all kinds of foods related items.
How to Store It
Most brands of nutritional yeast will either be packaged in a plastic container that is much like a seasoning’s shaker. Or in a bag that can be closed at the top.
You should always store it in a dark place that is either cold or room temperature.
You can keep it in the original container a long as it is sealable and airtight. Or you could transfer it to a zip lock bag or airtight jar.
It has a long shelf life as a dry good and should last several years as long as it is kept dry. The more dry and airtight, the longer the shelf life will be and the better the quality.
Nooch has a lot to boast nutritionally as it is naturally vegan friendly and gluten free with almost no sodium content.
Nutrition might vary from one brand to another but generally 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast flakes contains:
- 50-60 calories
- 8 grams of protein
- 5 grams of carbohydrates
- 1 gram of fat
- 4 grams of fiber
You can get either the fortified or non-fortified option, but I always buy the first option. As it is enriched with several amazing vitamins and minerals. And I know that my diet could use those extra vitamins and minerals, not to mention all of that protein!
Non-fortified nutritional yeast is naturally abundant in vitamin B vitamins while the fortified option also contains folic acid and B12.
This makes nooch a great way of getting in some of those healthy vitamins that our body needs to function.
As a vegan, it is very important to consume enough B12 which is why fortified nutritional yeast is a good option. It is easy to include in your day to day diet, much easier than having to take a supplement.
Another amazing health benefit of nutritional yeast is that it contains all nine amino acids making it a complete protein source! Which is a bit of a rarity when it comes to vegan foods.
Like anything that you might consume nutritional yeast also has a few possible side effects.
Just keep in mind that these only occur rarely, so you should try it out before you worry too much over side effects.
Nooch almost never causes negative reactions in those who eat it. So, it isn’t something I would suggest worrying about until you have gotten a chance to try it out for yourself.
Nutritional yeast contains an amino acid that helps to regulate your blood pressure.
In rare instances this can trigger migraine headaches in those who are already prone to getting migraines.
If you have a tendency to get migraines, just watch to see if they get any worse when you are eating nooch.
Because nooch is such a good source of fiber it can actually cause some digestive issues. This only happens if you are not used to these amounts of fiber or if you start eating a large amount of this food additive.
If you think it might upset your stomach try eating only 1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast a day in order to get used to the added fiber. Slowly adding more to your diet until your body has grown used to the fiber content.
If you have a sensitivity to yeast products you should certainly avoid nutritional yeast!
Because this is a yeast product it can trigger yeast related allergies. It may also worsen inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease.
Because of tyramine the blood pressure regulating amino acid, notch might interfere with some medications.
Some of these medications include medications for depression and narcotics used to treat pain. It is also not recommended that people taking drugs to treat diabetes eat nutritional yeast.
I hope that this article has helped to answer all of your nooch related questions. Such as what is nutritional yeast used for or what does nutritional yeast taste like!
As you can see, there are so many reasons why you should try this food additive out for yourself to see what you think. Especially if you are vegan or don’t eat dairy products like cheese!
I personally use it almost every day and have found it to improve so many of my vegan meals! Once you find such an easy and nutritious cheese substitute it is pretty hard to go back!
It is a great way of spicing up your cheeseless food, as well as getting in some extra vitamins, minerals, and protein throughout the day.
Do you use nooch in your meals? If you do, how do you use it? How did you even find out about it?