Teaching Tuesday: Nutritional Yeast (Facts & Uses)

Posted by:Lindsay S. Nixon Category: Cooking101

Today's Teaching Tuesday topic is something I love and can't get enough of: nutritional yeast (aka nooche)!

I always get asked about nutritional yeast (especially what it tastes like), so hopefully you'll find this little "lesson" helpful.

And if you're still not sure about it, give nooche a chance ;)

(Image source)

What IS nutritional yeast?

Nutritional yeast is a deactivated yeast and is dairy & gluten free. It is a complete protein, and has a good source of vitamins. Most brands are also fortified with B-12.

What does it taste like?

It has a cheesy, nutty flavor! It took me several times before I got used to it; I thought it was smelly. Now I can't stay away from it!

What brands do you use?

The only food I’m brand specific about is nutritional yeast (some brands are gross). I’ll only use Braggs or Red Star, even if it means having to order it online (like at bulkfoods.com).

How can I use nutritional yeast?

Nutritional yeast is commonly used in vegan recipes to replace a cheese taste. For example, I use it the Baked Shells & Cheese (The Happy Herbivore Cookbook), Grilled Cheeze (Everyday Happy Herbivore), Asparagus Quiche (Happy Herbivore Abroad), and the "Cheese" Ball (Happy Herbivore Light & Lean). I also use it in my tofu scramble and even like it sprinkled on popcorn!

Can I substitute it for active yeast?

Active yeast and nutritional yeast are completely different products that are used for two different things. When people ask me if they can swap out the two and use them interchangeably, I always have to tell them no because the results in whatever they're making will come out completely different! Active yeast works as a leavening agent in breads and other baked goods. It's primarily used to make your baked goods rise and add fluff to a piece of bread or a cinnamon roll. Active yeast can come in a jar, or it can come in little envelopes found in the baking aisle of your grocery store.

Do you like nutritional yeast?

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