Learn how to make some amazing dinners featuring Nutritional Yeast Recipes. It may seem like a puzzling ingredient, but this post will explain what it is, why to use it, and how to use it in your delicious recipes!
I realize the phrase “nutritional yeast flakes” may sound strange. Simply hearing it can lead to a variety of questions, like...what is it? And how do I use it in a recipe? And WHY?
First, let me clarify, nutritional yeast is a natural ingredient that’s actually been around awhile. Because it has a nice cheesy flavor, vegans have been using it for years to add flavoring to their favorite recipes. It turns out nutritional yeast flakes are a great cheese substitute.
What is Nutritional Yeast?
Take a stroll through any respectable health food store and you’ll find nutritional yeast flakes, lovingly referred to as “Nooch”. You can find it as a product in containers. But it’s also usually found in the bulk section. Nooch is a universally popular ingredient for vegans and vegetarians. Why? Because it has a natural nutty, cheesy flavor.
But what is nutritional yeast! It’s a yeast that’s been cultivated on sugarcane or beet molasses. However, once it’s cultivated, the yeast is heated (deactivated), washed, and dried.
Maybe because it’s grown from things like sugarcane and molasses, it has a very pleasant, nutty, and even cheesy flavor to it. That flavor comes from glutamic acid that develops as it grows. Glutamic acid may sound scary, but it’s actually a naturally-occurring amino acid. You can find it in many fruits and vegetables too.
But don’t try to use this type of yeast to make bread! It’s not that kind of yeast. Because it’s been heated, the growing process stops. Live, growing yeast is what’s required to make bread rise.
Can you use other types of yeast in place of nutritional yeast?
There are lots of types of yeast out there, like baker’s yeast, brewer’s yeast, yeast extract, etc. However, none of these have the same flavor profile and should not be used in place of nutritional yeast flakes in your recipes.
Nutritional Yeast Benefits
Nutritional yeast flakes are more than just pretty, little yellow flakes with a tasty, cheesy flavor. In fact, they offer some benefits, too. In fact, some flakes are even fortified to boost their nutritional value. But even unfortified, it’s a great source of B vitamins, such as B12, thiamin, biotin, and folic acid.
Even though it grows off of sugar sources, but it’s sugar-free, making it a naturally low sugar food. It’s also gluten-free and will add fiber, iron, and protein to your diet.
Are Nutritional Yeast Flakes Keto?
Nutritional yeast flakes are great for a low-carb, keto-focused diet. Here’s why. Two tablespoons of nutritional yeast flakes have 60 calories, 5 grams of carbs, and 4 grams of fiber. That’s a net 1 gram of carbs per two tablespoons.
Where to Buy Nutritional Yeast
You can find these cheesy flakes in the health food sections of most grocery stores. It’s also available at most health food stores in prepackaged containers and in bulk. You can also buy Nutritional Yeast Flakes online.
How to use Nutritional Yeast
Thanks to its natural cheesy, savory flavor, you can use it in a variety of recipes. For some tasty ways to use it, try adding a tablespoon or two of the flakes to these:
- Your favorite soup broths, such as Vegan Chicken Noodle Soup
- Any stew or chili recipe
- Make some cheesy Vegan Cream Cheese by adding some nooch
- I’ve added it to mashed avocados, but adding it to Vegan Guacamole is tasty too!
However, As you will see from the recipes below, it can be used in a variety of recipes, adding rich flavor to everything it touches.
Nutritional Yeast Flakes vs Powder
You can buy nutritional yeast in both flaked and powdered forms. However, I prefer the flakes because they dissolve much more easily into a recipe.
I don’t have a favorite brand, although I oftentimes will buy Braggs. That’s usually all I can find at my local grocery store and it’s great! However, I prefer buying it in bulk at places like Sprouts so I can reduce the number of plastic containers I buy. Besides, it keeps great when stored properly.
Nutritional Yeast Recipes
Looking for recipes with nutritional yeast? You’ll love the variety of recipes that can benefit from a touch of the nooch! Here are some of my favorite recipes using nutritional yeast!
Cheesy Vegan Popcorn
Vegan Green Bean Casserole
Vegan Mac and Cheese Casserole
Vegan Broccoli Soup
Vegan Scalloped Potatoes
Vegan Garlic Bread
Vegan Jalapeño Poppers
Vegan creme brûlée is much easier to make than the traditional recipe because it does not involve eggs. However, it can lack a little richness in flavor. That’s why I love adding some nutritional yeast flakes to mine.
Vegan Crème Brûlée
The lemon curd in these vegan lemon bars is made a bit better with the addition of nutritional yeast. It adds both flavor and even a little bit of color as well.
Vegan Lemon Bars
That’s it! Hope you loved learning more about nutritional yeast and seeing some of my favorite nutritional yeast recipes!