Ingredient Spotlight: Nutritional Yeast

Have you started cooking with nutritional yeast yet? If not, you might be missing out on a helpful ingredient in your plant-based pantry. Nutritional yeast, or “nooch” as it's often called, is a form of deactivated brewer’s or baking yeast. It gets its name from its amazing nutritional properties including as a great source of protein, B vitamins, and fiber. Added to recipes, it brings a savory, umami flavor to your food. Let’s learn more about this kitchen favorite.  

Why Try Nutritional Yeast? 

Nutritional yeast is the whole package, bringing big-time flavor and health benefits to your recipes. It is a low cost, easy-to-use, easy-to-store food that is often found in the spice or condiment aisle. It also works well with most dietary needs as it’s gluten-free, sodium-free, sugar-free, and vegan. 

Health Benefits

There are so many incredible health benefits of nutritional yeast including as a great source of complete protein, heart healthy fiber, and energy boosting B vitamins. 

A Complete Protein 

Nutritional yeast includes all nine essential amino acids, making it a complete protein. These amino acids are required to support functions like building muscle, absorbing nutrients, and regulating immune function. Our bodies are unable to make these essential amino acids on their own, so adding nutritional yeast to your food is a great way to give our body what it needs.    

Heart Healthy Fiber

Another way that nutritional yeast supports our health is by reducing cholesterol. Nutritional yeast is made up of a soluble fiber called beta-glucan. Beta-glucan has been shown to reduce cholesterol levels by lower absorption of cholesterol from foods. Beta-glucan can also support our immune systems by increasing chemicals that fight infections. 

Energy Boosting B Vitamins

Nutritional yeast is a great source of B vitamins, including B12. While all B vitamins play a vital role in energy production, B12 in particular has been shown to boost mood and fight fatigue.

Great Ways to Enjoy Nutritional Yeast

These yellow flakes are a gold mine of flavor and can be used in a lot of different ways. They have a nutty, cheesy taste which brings a lot of umami to foods. You can toss it with popcorn for a savory treat, sprinkled on top of crispy potato skins, or as a replacement for parmesan in your Caesar salad or blended in your pesto. Nutritional yeast is truly a plant-powered pantry staple!

At Plantable, we use nutritional yeast in our recipes all the time. Our favorites include our Wild Mushroom Ragout with Polenta Cake and our crowd-pleaser, the Creamy Mac 'Un' Cheese.

In summary, nutritional yeast is an ingredient that can bring both the flavor and health benefits of your recipes to life. Give it a try the next time you cook at home, or in one of our delicious, chef-prepared meals. Check out our latest seasonal menu, which spotlights our favorite ingredients for you to explore.