In Mandy’s Pantry: Nutritional Yeast

If you looked at my Stuffed Mushrooms Appetizer Recipe, you might have seen a little something called nutritional yeast in the ingredients.  Nutritional what you might ask?? I swear it tastes better than it sounds!

What is it?

Nutritional yeast is an ingredient that is most typically used to give dishes without cheese a cheesy, creamy twist.  It also has a bit of a nutty flavour too!  It is a ‘deactivated’ form of yeast (which is actually a fungus) that is grown on a form of sugar, usually molasses.  Unlike Brewer’s yeast that you would put in bread to make it rise, this form of yeast has been pasteurized, and so has no ability to make foods rise (so don’t put it in bread!).  You can buy it either as flakes or a powder – but I have always bought it as flakes.

Why use it?

Nutritional yeast is a complete protein, meaning it contains all the essential amino acids your body needs.  Depending on the brand, it varies slightly but a serving of Bob’s Red Mill contains 6g of protein.

Protein isn’t the best part of nutritional yeast though.  In my opinion, it’s the B vitamins that are so great.  B vitamins are critical for energy, as they help convert food energy into ATP – the energy type your cells need.  It’s important to realize that the B vitamins themselves don’t provide energy; instead, they act as ‘facilitators’ for your body to convert the food you eat into ATP.

Bob’s Red Mill, the brand I usually buy, didn’t have all the nutritional content posted, so here is a picture of a different brand that is similar.  Check out the B Vitamin content!

Where Can I Buy it?

This isn’t available at all grocery stores, but it is always available at health food stores.  That being said, I am starting to see it in the health food sections of major grocery stores more and more.  I usually buy Bob’s Red Mill.  It looks expensive as it’s anywhere from $5-10 for a package, but it will last a really long time, as recipes only call for small amounts.

Other ways to use it…

  • Sprinkle it on popcorn
  • Add to mashed potatoes
  • Add to a sauce for a creamier texture
  • Sprinkle it on top of roasted veggies
  • Sprinkle on pasta as you would with parmesan

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