Nutritional yeast, also known as nooch, is a healthy superfood full of protein and nutrients. It tastes cheesy and nutty, but it’s completely dairy free and vegan! Nutritional yeast can be used in hundreds ways to add fantastic flavor to dishes.
What is nutritional yeast?
Nutritional yeast is a species of yeast called Saccharomyces cerevisiae. This is the same species of yeast as Brewer’s yeast, which is used to make beer and other alcoholic drinks, and to make bread rise. While they are technically from the same species, the two types of yeast are very different.
Nooch is grown on a variety of sources including blackstrap molasses and sugar beets. Once the yeast is harvested, it is dried and rolled into flakes, or ground into a powder. Yeast is sensitive to heat, so during the drying process, the yeast is heated and inactivated, therefore it will not make bread rise.
Types of nutritional yeast
Nutritional yeast is sold either fortified with added vitamins, or unfortified which contains only the minerals and vitamins that are naturally produced by the yeast as it ferments.
Unfortified nooch is full of fiber, protein, iron, zinc, magnesium, and vitamins B1, B3, B5, and B6. It also contains 18 out of the 20 amino acids (the building blocks of protein), that our bodies need to function properly.
Fortified nutritional yeast has extra vitamins added in to make it even more nutritious. These include folic acid (B9), potassium, and vitamin B12.
Nooch is also high in antioxidants and protein. It contains all nine essential amino acids, making it a complete protein.
How to use nooch
Nutritional yeast adds a savory, cheesy and nutty flavor to any food it’s added to. It can be sprinkled on anything that you would add cheese to. Below are some fantastic ways to use nutritional yeast.
- as a pasta topping
- sprinkled in tofu scrambles or chickpea omelettes
- in nacho cheese sauce
- mixed into mac and cheese
- stirred into risotto
- on top of pizza
- as a popcorn topping
- on avocado toast
- in soups