Nutritional Yeast Flakes, also known as Savoury Yeast Flakes or ‘Nooch’, is a healthy superfood long loved by vegans for its B12 and protein content and its ability to create cheese alternatives. Although made from yeast, an ingredient typically used to make bread rise, Nutritional Yeast actually tastes much better than it sounds! These flavourful flakes can pump up everything from popcorn to roasted vegetables.
Here's what you need to know about Nutritional Yeast Flakes:
HOW ARE NUTRITIONAL YEAST FLAKES MADE?
Nutritional Yeast is an inactive, dry form of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a species of yeast. Manufacturers can grow this yeast on a variety of sources, including blackstrap molasses, whey, and sugar beets. Whilst brewer's and baker's yeasts are technically made from the same species, it is essential to note that Nutritional Yeast is a very different product.
What makes Nutritional Yeast Flakes different are the additional nutrients (including folic acid) that are added to the live yeast during a second fermentation step. The yeast is then harvested, dried and rolled into flakes. The drying process inactivates the yeast; therefore it doesn’t froth and won’t make your bread rise or turn water and hops into beer.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF NUTRITIONAL YEAST?
As you can guess from its name, Nutritional Yeast is packed with nutrition, particularly B-vitamins, folic acid, selenium, zinc, and protein.
Because vitamin B12 does not naturally occur in plant-based foods unless it’s added as a supplement, nutritional yeast can be a great addition to a vegan/vegetarian diet. Just one tablespoon delivers six times the B12 you need to meet your day’s recommended amount.
- Nutritional Yeast is a complete protein as it contains all 9 essential amino acids that our bodies can only get from food.
- It is rich in B vitamins (especially rich in thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, B6 and B12).
- Nutritional Yeast is naturally free from gluten, dairy, and artificial colours and flavours.
- One tablespoon contains 2 grams of protein, making it an easy way for vegans to add high-quality protein to meals.
HOW TO USE NUTRITIONAL YEAST FLAKES
Nutritional Yeast Flakes have a natural flavour that has been described as cheesy, nutty, savoury, and 'umami'. If you’re new to Nutritional Yeast, the best introduction might be with popcorn. Sprinkle a tablespoon or two of yeast flakes and a pinch of salt onto freshly-popped popcorn for a quick and easy savoury snack. The heat and oil will help the flakes coat the kernels.
Nutritional yeast can also be used in place of Parmesan cheese on pasta, risotto, or soup. It’s a delicious sprinkle on top of savoury porridge, baked beans or roasted veggies.
If you’d like something more adventurous or are looking for new ways to use this naturally cheesy ingredient, try these tasty recipes:
Cranberry, Nut & Rosemary Vegan Cheese Log
Vegan Cashew Pesto Pasta
Vegan Beetroot, Kale, Cashew Cheese & Hazelnut Tarts
Penne Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes & Vegan Chickpea Crumble
Baked Polenta Chips
Savoury Breakfast Loaf
Mushroom & Oregano Brown Rice Risotto