Nutritional yeast needs a PR overhaul. The name alone is enough to make even the most practiced vegan run for the hills….however, despite its unfortunate name, nutritional yeast is my all-time favorite ingredient in cooking. It is made mostly from beet sugar (beets, yum!) and is considered inactive, meaning most folks who cannot typically tolerate yeast (or fermented foods) in their diets should be okay with this one. Nutritional yeast, or ‘noosh,’ has off-the-charts health benefits for vegans and non-vegans alike:
1. It rocks as a vegan source of vitamin B-12. This vitamin is essential in a healthy human diet and is mostly (for the omnivores) consumed via animal product. However, this fortified ingredient can work wonders in providing our daily dose of this much needed vitamin.
2. Nutritional yeast is extremely high in dietary fiber. Two tablespoons will provide 7g of fiber towards your daily recommended intake!
3. It is also high in protein, coming in at a whopping 14g per two tablespoon serving!
4. Nutrional yeast is allergen-free (save from yeast allergens of course!) and delicious!
5. It is high in Iron and a two tablespoon daily helping will provide you with 7% of your daily amount (based on a 2,000 calorie diet).
Do not be fooled by its unappealing flaky, yellow appearance. Nutritional yeast has a nutty and cheesy flavor that goes well with almost anything savory.
Our favorite easy “recipe”? (Quotes are necessary: this whopper of a recipe has only three ingredients…) Cheezy Black Pepper Popcorn. Pop up your favorite butter-free popcorn, grind some black pepper into a bowl and mix in some nutritional yeast flakes, shake it all together and enjoy! Happy Friday all!
More allergen-free recipes from Freedom Friday: Mug Pound Cake
Photo: Freepeople; Kate Coffey