Nutritional yeast flakes may be one of the best additions to your diet in terms of nutrition and taste. It provides a wealth of vitamins, minerals and protein that almost anyone can enjoy. Don’t confuse nutritional yeast with baker’s yeast, which is still active and could grow inside your stomach.
What Are Nutritional Yeast Flakes?
Nutritional yeast is sourced from whey, blackstrap molasses or wood pulp. Nutritional yeast is yeast that is grown on molasses or a similar habitat, much like brewer’s yeast, a byproduct from producing beer. When the yeast is harvested, it is washed and then dried with heat so that it stops growing.
How to Add Nutritional Yeast to Your Diet
On of the best places to start using nutritional yeast flakes is as a replacement for Parmesan cheese. Nutritional yeast is known for its tangy, cheesy flavor It comes in flakes or power, both which blend nicely into hot foods.
Nutritional yeast can be found at any health-food store, often in the bulk section. There are multiple brands of nutritional yeast, so try a few first to find the one that you like best.
You can also add nutritional yeast to smoothies or salads, or sprinkle it over popcorn, stir into soup or toss into pasta. Because of its flavor, nutritional yeast is often used as a replacement for butter or cheese to create vegan dishes such as nacho dip and mac ‘n’ cheese. Add it to your baking – most times you can’t tell it’s there or, if anything, it’ll will add a buttery flavour.
Health Benefits of Nutritional Yeast
Nutritional yeast is a complete protein, meaning that among the 18 amino acids it contains, nine are essential ones that your body cannot produce. Nutritional yeast also provides the compounds beta-1,3 glucan, trehalose, mannan and glutathione, which are associated with enhanced immunity, reduced cholesterol levels and cancer prevention. You get a significant dose of the minerals iron, selenium and zinc when you consume nutritional yeast as well and one serving of nutritional yeast provides about four grams of fiber.
Nutritional yeast is a source of B vitamins, including thiamine, folate, B-6 and niacin. Just a half tablespoon of some brands will provide you with a day’s worth of B vitamins, while other brands offer between 30 and 100 percent of B vitamins. These vitamins help you extract the energy from food and produce red blood cells. Many types of nutritional yeast are also fortified with vitamin B-12, which is usually found exclusively in animal products.
Try It Yourself with this easy recipe:
1 small head of cauliflower
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup diced onion
1/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon dried parsley
1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
Rinse cauliflower and “rice” it by by grating it with a large cheese shredder or pulsing it in a food processor. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add diced onion and sauté for five minutes. Add riced cauliflower to the pan and stir to coat with olive oil. Sauté for another five minutes. Add broth, garlic powder, salt and parsley and cook an additional five minutes. Add nutritional yeast flakes, stir and enjoy!