Nutritional yeast, it’s that mysterious golden, flaky, sometimes powdery ingredient vegans and health-nuts have been withholding from you for far too long. Well, now the secret is out. Why, you may ask, should you care about this unappetizing-sounding health food? Well, the short answer is that it tastes pretty much just like cheese (and has been nicknamed “nooch” for those who can’t stomach its given name). Yup, vegan, gluten-free and cheesy, but wait there’s more!
Nutritional yeast doesn’t just taste great it also has endless health benefits, so you can savor all that cheesy goodness without feeling guilty. It’s similar to various yeast strands that you would typically find in bread, but it’s inactive and thus has no leavening ability (can’t be used in bread recipes).
With just over a teaspoon of the stuff packing 8 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber, “nooch” is a vegan’s best-kept secret. Not to mention it’s full of complex B vitamins that will help keep your body and mind in balance. Consider nutritional yeast your new best friend and start sprinkling it over anything and everything. If you need some extra guidance initiating yourself into your new “nooch”-centric lifestyle, here are some of our favorite ways to put it to work:
1. Shake it over your popcorn and toss with some olive oil for a low sodium, high flavor treat. Or you can really just shake it over any savory snack to add some pizzazz.
2. Blend it into your pesto recipe in place of any cheeses you would normally add for this upgraded healthier vegan version. You can also substitute for cheese in practically any sauce recipe you have.
3. Scramble it with tofu and spice it up with some garlic, turmeric and veggies. You’ll barely be able to tell it apart from the real-deal scrambled eggs.
4. Sprinkle it over pasta or soups to kick up the nutrition. Really just go crazy with the stuff, think of these little golden flakes as the magical cheese dust you’ve been dreaming of.
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