Vegan | Low-FODMAP | OMS-Friendly | Gluten-Free
Nutritional yeast is also called savoury yeast in some areas (namely Australia), and is a bag of dead dried yeast flakes that make vege food heaps more delicious, while also being full of B vitamins. It sounds gross, but any home cook should have this on their shelf, especially a vegan or vegetarian.
It is the umami flavour – the fifth flavour.
Use nutritional yeast in place of:
- Parmesan – it has a cheesy flavour
- Thickeners – it acts as a mild thickener, almost like flour might work
- Flavour enhancers
Ideas for nutritional yeast:
- On pasta
- With potatoes
- With egg
- On popcorn
- To make things a bit cheesy and eggy without cheese or egg
The yeast is dead and dried, so will NOT cause yeast overgrowth or contribute to candida. It is merely a flavour and nutritional additive to food that you will not regret investigating.
How is nutritional yeast made?
It is the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae grown on molasses, then harvested, washed, dried, then heated to a high temperature to kill it, leaving just the flavour. It will not grow! It’s dead. It is also known as ‘nooch’ in some areas of the web since yeast is a poor name for such a delicious product.
Some yeasts taste disgusting, so keep in mind you can’t just switch over your yeasts, kill them in the oven, and then use them for flavouring – S. cerevisiae is a special strain.
Is it vegan?
Some brands use whey, from milk, in their nutritional yeast, so check the label or with the manufacturer. If it says ‘vegan’ on it, then it is. If not, it pays to check.
Who sells it?
Your local health food store will definitely stock it, but grocery stores often have it too. It shouldn’t be expensive, and is available online from a variety of retailers. It is wise to sample several brands, because as you know, the same item can taste very different depending on who prepared it.
It comes in powder and flakes.
Nutritional yeast as a nutritional supplement
If you are using nutritional yeast as a dietary supplement, tread carefully – it has unknown amounts of specific vitamins in it, and is unlikely to be in sufficient doses except as an adjunct to a healthy diet. It usually contains B12, but check the label.