What is nutritional yeast?
If you have asked this question, you are not alone. Many people, especially new vegetarians and vegans, wonder what nutritional yeast is, how to use it, and where to get it. Nutritional yeast is often referred to as "nooch" by vegetarians and vegans. Most seem to love it and use it quite a bit in their diet, while there are some others who are not a big fan. Don't feel as though you have to make nutritional yeast, or nooch, a part of your vegetarian or vegan diet. Whether you do or not, it's a good idea to know what it is and a little about it, because it's bound to come up in conversations from time to time.
What is nutritional yeast?
Nutrition yeast is a deactivated yeast. Being deactivated means that the the yeast cells cells were killed during the process of making the product. It comes in yellowish colored flakes. In producing nutritional yeast, the yeast is grown, then deactivated, and prepared for packaging. Yeast is considered to be a fungus, making nutritional yeast a vegan product. The yeast is made with things like cane and beet molasses.
Where do you get nutritional yeast?
Years ago, you would have had to go to a health food store to find nutritional yeast. Today, however, you can find it in many places. You should be able to find it in well stocked mainstream grocery stores, down the baking aisle. You can also purchase it online. And of course, you should be able to find it at health food stores and places like Whole Foods Market. There are quite a few brands of nutritional yeast available, and they all seem to taste the same. Try a few and see if you find a difference in one that makes you want a particular brand. A little nutritional yeast goes a long way.
How do you use nutritional yeast?
Many vegans think that nutritional yeast tastes like cheese, so they use it to make various cheese sauces. You will find it in quite a few vegan recipes. You can use it in sauces, sprinkle on things like a baked potato, popcorn, steamed vegetables, buttered noodles, pasta dishes, etc. It can also be used in dips, sauces, and soups. There are even people who add a little to their smoothie. There is no limit to the ways you can use nutritional yeast.
Is nutritional yeast good for you?
One of the main reasons that vegetarians and vegans consume nutritional yeast is because it offers a lot of nutritional benefits. Nutritional yeast offers protein, B vitamins, selenium, and zinc in each 1 tablespoon serving. Adding a little nutritional yeast to your dishes is a good way to get a vitamin boost. Consuming nutritional yeast after an intense workout is also good for athletes. It's important for vegans and vegetarians to make sure they get obtaining vitamin B12, and if you don't want to take a vitamin or supplement one, using nutritional yeast can be a good way to get it. There is also some evidence that it may help support a strong immunity and fight cancer. Overall, nutritional yeast is healthy for most people, however there are some people who should avoid using it.
Who should avoid nutrition yeast?
While nutritional yeast is fine for most people to consume, there are some people who should steer clear of it. Those who have Crohn's Disease should not consume nutritional yeast. There is ample evidence to point to that fact that it may make Crohn's Disease worse. It is also suspected for triggering Crohn's Disease. To get more information on how those with Crohn's Disease should not consume nutritional yeast, click here. Additionally, those who have a yeast allergy should also avoid it.
Additional Information on Nutritional Yeast
My Personal Experience with Nutritional Yeast
I personally don't understand the craze that so many vegetarians and vegans have with nutritional yeast, or nooch. I have had it in my house for years, but I don't care for the taste it creates with sauces. I don't think it tastes like cheese, so I'm not that big of a fan. The only thing I've really used it for over the years was to sprinkle on popcorn and to sprinkle on buttered noodles for my kids. That's about it. Plus, I have Crohn's Disease and came across the above information while doing the research for this post. Finding that information has made me aware that I should avoid nutritional yeast from now on.