Learn how to make some amazing dinners featuring Nutritional Yeast Recipes. Nutritional Yeast may seem like a puzzling ingredient, but this post will explain what it is, why to use, 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 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?
Walk 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! Nutritional yeast is 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, nutritional yeast 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 nutritional yeast flakes 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 bakery’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 great nutritional benefits too. In fact, some nutritional yeast 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.
Nutritional yeast may grow 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 has 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 nutritional yeast flakes’ natural cheesy, savory flavor, you can use them as additions in a variety of recipes. For some tasty nutritional yeast uses, 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, nutritional yeast 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 best nutritional yeast flakes brand, although I oftentimes will buy Braggs Nutritional Yeast. That’s usually all I can find out my local grocery store and it’s great! However, I prefer buying it in bulk at places like Sprouts so I can reduce the amount 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
Make this simple vegan popcorn recipe with a cheesy seasoned topping made from nutritional yeast combined with other spices. It’s perfect for movie nights!
This simple Brazil Nut Parmesan is easy to make and results in a delicious cheesy flavored topping for your favorite dishes, like pastas, lasagna, popcorn, and more!
Vegan Green Bean Casserole
I love sprinkling a homemade parmesan mixture (made with nutritional yeast) on top of my Vegan Green Bean Casserole. It’s just another example of how it makes everything delicious!
Vegan Mac and Cheese Casserole
Nutritional yeast is responsible or the cheesy flavor in this Vegan Mac and Cheese Casserole recipe. Use whole wheat macaroni noodles for a wholesome, plant-based meal.
Vegan Broccoli Soup
Even this vegan broccoli soup benefits from a smidge of the nooch! This soup is healthy and wholesome and plant-based comfort food at its finest!
Yes, vegans do not eat eggs, but that doesn’t mean they miss out on the tasty, high protein scrambled breakfast. This Tofu Scramble comes to the rescue with a cheesy, umami flavor that’s high in protein too.
Vegan Scalloped Potatoes
Make these vegan scalloped potatoes with added nutritional yeast flakes for flavor. You’ll love the creamy, cheesy sauce the potatoes are cooked in!
Make this easy vegan gravy, flavored with, you guest it, nutritional yeast flakes.
Vegan Jalapeño Poppers
You can make vegan jalapeño poppers even better with a bit of the nooch! This is a delicious treat for parties or even a weeknight comfort food kind of treat.
Vegan Creme Brûlée
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 a little bit of nutritional yeast flakes to mine.
Vegan Lemon Bars
The lemon curd in these vegan lemon bars benefit with the addition of nutritional yeast. It adds both flavor and even a little bit of color as well.
That’s it! Hope you loved learning more about nutritional yeast and seeing some of my favorite nutritional yeast recipes!