What Is Nutritional Yeast?
Yeast; it’s one of those words that makes us cringe and, whether it deserves it or not, yeast has developed an ever so unpleasant reputation.
Yet, nutritional yeast is taking yeast to a level it has never been before; from off-limits to online dietary sensation; from “eww” to “ahh!”Neither the word “nutritional” nor “yeast” conjure mouth-watering images. However, it’s quite becoming a rage not only for its nutritional value but for its flavour as well! So what exactly is nutritional yeast and how good is it for you? Let’s find out.
What is nutritional yeast?
Nutritional yeast is a food additive made from a single-celled organism, saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast; try asking for that in your local restaurant. And if you did, even the most creative Michelin Star chef would struggle to make it look appetising. Why? Because saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast has all the appeal of fish food flakes; yellow fish food flakes. To be honest, while you’re unlikely to find saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast gracing the chalkboard ‘Dishes of the Day’ in any restaurant, you will find it on the shelves of health food stores.
Nutritional yeast, in appearance, is yellow in colour and is available to buy from supermarkets too, in the form of granules, flakes or powders.
Nutritional yeast benefits
As you can guess from its name, nutritional yeast is packed with nutrition, particularly B-vitamins, riboflavin, niacin, folic acid and thiamine, zinc and selenium. One tablespoon of nutritional yeast has your entire daily dose.
How about protein? How about all nine essential amino acids? It’s got the lot. Also, it’s low in fat, is gluten-free and contains no added sugars or preservatives. Nutritional yeast, although packed with nutrition benefits, is quite popular for its flavour in vegan cooking.
Looking to include foods that boost metabolism in your diet? Read about 10 simple metabolism boosting foods to stay fit.
How does nutritional yeast taste?
Close your eyes and think of parmesan cheese. No joke, saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast or, nutritional yeast if you prefer, tastes a lot like parmesan cheese and is described as cheesy, nutty with an umami flavour. A tablespoon of nutritional yeast can add richness to your dish.
Add it to stews, soups, casseroles much like you would parmesan. Also, this yeast is completely dairy-free, making it a great substitute for cheese.
It’s recommended to use just a little nutritional yeast to your dishes until you develop a taste for it. Here are some ways you can include it in your dishes:
- Sprinkle it on popcorn
- Add it to mashed potatoes
- Top it on any pasta dish
- Add it to bean dishes to enhance flavour.
Get past the yeast thing
It’s up to you how you banish the currently entrenched yeast image portfolio you carry around as not all yeast is created equal. Right? Good. Move on.