What is nutritional yeast?

What is nutritional yeast?

You may have heard this word before or come across a recipe that includes nutritional yeast. Or maybe you have seen this funky looking yellow flaky powder and wondered what in the world it was. I mean the word itself does not sound appetizing, but it is in fact packed with nutrition. Incorporating nutritional yeast into your food contributes to many health benefits but, what is this mysterious yeast and what are the health benefits of using it? Allow us to explain what nutritional yeast is, its’ health benefits, and ways to incorporate in to your diet.

1. What is Nutritional Yeast and What is it Not?

Nutritional yeast is the deactivated form of saccharomycescerevisiae which is a single-celled organism. Since it has such an odd name, many refer to nutritional yeast as “nooch.” Because nutritional yeast is inactive, it is not the type of yeast to make bread rise. It is also not the same as brewers yeast (a product of beer-making), so do not try to use activated dry yeast in your recipes because it is not the same!

2. What are the Health Benefits of Nutritional Yeast?

There are many health benefits of nutritional yeast, hence the name. Nutritional yeast is gluten-free and low in fat and contains zero amounts of preservatives and added sugars. It is packed with B-vitamins, protein, folic acid, selenium, zinc and many other vitamins and minerals. Nutritional yeast contains a good amount of fiber which is important for a healthy gut. It is a low carb source of high protein which is not very common in the plant world. It is highly encouraged in to clients’ diets who are vegetarian.

3. What are Ways to Use Nutritional Yeast and Where to Find it?

Larger grocery stores may carry nutritional yeast but your typical grocery stores may not. You can find it at your local natural food store, but if you are unable to find it, Amazon sells it.

Adding nutritional yeast to your food provides a cheesy and savory flavor. It is usually added as a topping for salads and soups or used in gravies. The best way to use nutritional yeast is to serve it is a grated cheese such as Parmesan. Here are some of my favorite ways to include nutritional yeast in my diet that I encourage you to try it.

• Sprinkle it on your favorite roasted vegetables 

• Use it in mashed potatoes

• Sprinkle over red potatoes and bake

• Use it to make a cheesy sauce for Mac & Cheese

• Add to kale and make kale chips

• Sprinkle over soup or pasta

• Mix into your rice

• Use it in your salad dressings and sauces

• Put in on bread or rice cakes

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