What is Nutritional Yeast?
Recently I received an inquiry from a client around nutrition yeast. What the heck is this stuff? I usually only talk about this with my vegan clients because it is a naturally high source of vitamin B12 and vegans have a very limited food selection that provide enough of this vitamin. Can non-vegans eat nutritional yeast? Sure, why not! Let’s break down what this stuff actually is.
Nutritional yeast can be grown on many sources including, barley, blackstrap molasses, whey and sugar beets. The yeast is deactivated in its final heating and processing steps, so it is not a yeast you would use to make bake goods rise with. What is left is a yellow flaky substance.
Nutritional yeast has many benefits! Each manufacturer will have a slightly different serving size, so check the label to get the full benefit. Serving sizes range from 2tbsp – ¼ cup. Each serving will provide anywhere from 8-10gms protein, 6gms of carbohydrate and 4gms of that being all fiber! It also has all nine essential amino acids, which is necessary if you are a vegan! In addition, it does provide a full week’s worth of the necessary B12 vitamin! Yes, a week’s worth for each serving!
People often say it has a nutty and cheesy flavor! Here’s a list of what you can do with it:
- Sprinkle on your salad to add a fun texture and flavor
- Add it to a tofu scrambled or scrambled eggs for a surprisingly “cheesy” flavor
- Make a tofu based “cheese” sauce. Check out the Tofu Cheese Sauce recipe below
- Replace Parmesan Cheese in a risotto for a vegan version of a cheesy risotto
- Stir into creamy soups to add more nutrition
- Mix it into a stuffing or casserole
- Sprinkle it on popcorn instead of salt
Tofu cheese sauce
1/2 pound firm tofu
1/3 cup of nutritional yeast
1/3 cup of lemon juice
1/3 cup of tahini
3 tbsp of tamari
3 tbsp of water
1/4 tbsp of pepper
Put everything in a blender and blend. Use it on higher protein noodles, on a homemade pizza, casseroles or anything else you’d use shredded cheese. 🙂
Nutrition Facts: 5 servings – roughly ¼ cup:
6gms carbs – 4 gms fiber
10% of calcium
There are many manufacturers of nutrition yeast. You can find it at Trader Joes, buy in bulk at Whole Foods or your local coop, or purchase any other brand online.
Have more questions about other nutrition items and topics or what it takes to be a well-balanced vegan? Let’s connect! Click on any of my links below to get yourself started today!
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Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
Nicole is recognized state-wide and nationally as a Registered Dietitian and is also a Certified dietitian through the state of Wisconsin. She is also a Board Certified Sports Dietitian and a Certified Personal Trainer and Physical Fitness Instructor.
Nicole’s areas of expertise include: Wellness and lifestyle coaching, weight management, behavior modification, eating disorders, vegetarian lifestyles, gluten-free living, sports nutrition, recipe and menu design and development.