Nutritional Yeast: How to Eat It and Why You Should

Have you ever heard of nutritional yeast? It has been a favorite among vegans for a long time, since it can be used in recipes to create a cheese-like taste. Vegans sprinkle nutritional yeast on their pasta, crackers, kale chips and more to re-create their favorite cheesy recipes.

But if you aren’t a vegan, then why should you care about this yellow powder? While nutritional yeast may be popular in the vegan communities, it is now becoming popular with the mainstream eaters. This is because nutritional yeast has some great health benefits behind its delicious taste.

The Health Benefits of Nutritional Yeast

First, let’s start off by boasting about what nutritional yeast does not have. It is free of gluten and dairy, making it acceptable for many with food allergies and sensitivities. It is also packed with B vitamins like B12, riboflavin, thiamin, and niacin. For a ¼ cup serving, you will also get six grams of a protein and only 45 calories. That is less than half of the calories in a ¼ cup serving of Parmesan cheese. Nutritional yeast is also high in fiber, providing three grams of fiber for a small serving. Most importantly, nutritional yeast is a pregnant women’s best friend due to its high levels of folic acid.

How to Eat Nutritional Yeast

Now that you are convinced to try the delicious, cheese-tasting powder, you may be asking what you should use it for. Here are a few suggestions.

  • On Popcorn: Let’s be honest. No one truly enjoys eating plain popcorn. Sprinkle a little bit of nutritional yeast on it for a cheesier taste and none of the guilt. We bet your kids will love it too.

  • Baked Potato: If you usually love your baked potatoes slathered in butter and sour cream, then you should try this elevated potato taste. Make a paste out of roasted garlic, nutritional yeast, and olive oil and drizzle it on your potato.

  • Make a Cheese Sauce: You can blend together nutritional yeast with cashew butter, onion powder, mustard powder, and some warm vegetable broth to make a delicious and creamy cheese sauce. Pour this over vegetables, meat, or pasta for a healthier alternative to those fake cheese sauces found in the store.

While the name “nutritional yeast” sounds intimidating, it is surprisingly not. It is not the same stuff that you bake bread with, but instead a delicious powder that can be used to create sauces or flavor meats.

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Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Jeff Gunn

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