Nutritional yeast

nutritionslAs a vegan, I gave up animal products and that includes cheese.  There is no room for Parmesan Cheese in my diet.

There is a wonderful food called “Nutritional Yeast” that fills that void for me.  I love it.  I use it daily.

Nutritional Yeast may not sound too appetizing but it truly is a tasty addition to many of my recipes.  Even my popcorn.

As described on the website “Fat Free Vegan”, Nutritional Yeast is made from a single-celled organism, Saccharomyces Cerevisiae, which is grown on molasses and then harvested, washed and dried with heat to kill or deactivate it.  Because it is inactive it doesn’t grow like baking yeast so it does not have leavening ability.  Yeasts are members of the fungi family like mushrooms.

This yeast is nutritionally strong.  It contains vitamins and minerals and is low in fat, gluten free and is free of additives and preservatives.  You will be getting a dose of B vitamins, folic acid, selenium, zinc and protein when you add this to your recipes.

With a cheesy and nutty flavor to Nutritional Yeast I add it to pastas, veggies, rice, casseroles, mashed potatoes, vegan gravy and, as I said earlier, on my popcorn instead of the fattening toppings usually put on popcorn.  If you add the nutritional yeast to a bit of olive oil to make a paste it is good on bread in a sandwich.  You could certainly add it to scrambled tofu or scrambled eggs too.  It is very versatile in that it goes good on so many different foods.  I might add that nutritional yeast is not just a food for vegetarians or vegans.  All of us can benefit from using it in our cooking.

My personal favorite is Bragg Nutritional Yeast.  The one on the left of the above picture.  But they are all good.  Check the labels of other brands to make sure they contain the B vitamins.  Some do not so you want to select Bragg brand if in doubt.

How about this vegan recipe using Nutritional Yeast:

MASHED CAULIFLOWER WITH ROASTED GARLIC AND NUTRITIONAL YEAST (all my ingredients are organic and non-GMO)

1 large head of cauliflower, washed and cut into small florets

2 large cloves of garlic, previously roasted

2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast

2 tablespoons of vegan butter or extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or chives

Pink salt and pepper to taste

Steam cauliflower until tender.  Drain well.  Puree cauliflower with a masher or in a processor.  Add remaining ingredients.  Season to taste.

Yummy and healthy.  I think I’ll add this to my dinner menu tonight.

 

 

 

 

 

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