Last week Kara sent me an e-mail inquiring about nutritional yeast and I’ve decided that it is a perfect question for a ‘Readers Request’. Here is her question:
When I became vegan I was clueless as to what nutritional yeast was and what to do with it. Now I am a nutritional yeast addict and my husband and I constantly joke that I should go into therapy because of it.
So what exactly is nutritional yeast?
- Nutritional Yeast is an inactive yeast that has a nutty cheesy flavor and is frequently used to make vegan cheeze sauces.
- Nutritional Yeast is low in sodium and fat and is a great source of Vitamin B-12 which can otherwise only be found in animal products.
Where can you find nutritional yeast?
- Check out your local natural food store or co-op in the bulk section. You can find it in large flakes and small; also try to find Red Star- it is my favorite brand.
- If you can’t find it in store you can go online and there are a number of vegan sites that sell it as well as online bulk shops.
How do I use it?
- It is great as a topping for popcorn or sprinkled on edamame.
- Mix a little in with your Earth Balance and garlic to make a great garlic bread spread.
- Sprinkle into a stir fry, in/on pasta dishes or in soups/stews.
- Make a great mock parmesan by pulsing 1/2 cup nutritional yeast, 1/4 cup sesame seeds and 1 teaspoon salt in your food processor and sprinkle on soups, salads and over pasta.
- Then of course there are cheeze sauces such as the one I made tonight:
- 1/2T olive oil
- 3 large cloves of garlic minced
- 10 cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 1T arrowroot (or cornstarch or potato starch)
- 1/2t Italian Seasoning
- 1/2t chili flakes
- 1/2T garlic powder
- 1/2T salt
- 1/2T black pepper
- 1 heaping tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (or your favorite non-dairy milk)
Place garlic and oil in a cold pan and heat on low for 5 minutes; this will infuse the oil. Add in the tomatoes and turn the heat up to medium and saute for 5 minutes until the tomatoes start to soften. Stir in the spices and arrowroot until everything is mixed together. Stir in the almond milk and the nutritional yeast; bring to a boil to thicken and then turn off. If the sauce gets too thick add a little more almond milk. Serve this over pasta or your favorite veggies. I served mine over vegan ravioli and steamed broccoli.
Q: What is your favorite way to use nutritional yeast?