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Nutritional Yeast – What’s the hype and how do I use it?

You’ve probably heard of nutritional yeast before and wondered how to use it. Nutritional yeast is a popular food product that is used in many vegan dishes. It gets its popularity from its antioxidant, vitamin, mineral and protein content and there are studies that have shown its wide range of health benefits. Keep reading for some recipes to incorporate this health food into your diet!


What is nutritional yeast?

Nutritional yeast is derived from the same species of yeast used to bake bread and brew beer. It is cultivated specifically to be used in food products and has a nutty, cheesy flavour. There are two types of nutritional yeast – fortified and unfortified.

Fortified nutritional yeast (most common form) – synthetic vitamins are added to boost nutrient content.

Unfortified nutritional yeast – no added vitamins or minerals and only contains the vitamins and minerals that are naturally produced by the yeast cells themselves.

Nutritional yeast is rich in protein, B vitamins and trace minerals such as selenium, manganese and zinc.

When looking for this product at the grocery store, look for the flakes, granules or powder in the spice section or health food section.


Recipes to incorporate nutritional yeast into your diet

“Cheesy” Popcorn

Recipe makes about 8 cups of popcorn

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt (or to taste)
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup popcorn kernels

Instructions:

  1. Add the nutritional yeast and salt to a small bowl and mix to combine. Set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan, heat coconut oil over medium-high heat. Put 3 kernels in the pot and when the kernels start to pop, add in the rest of the kernels. Cover the saucepan with a lid and shake to coat all the kernels in the oil.
  3. Give the pan a shake every 20 seconds so the unpeopled kernels fall to the bottom. Once popping slows down, transfer popcorn to a large bowl. Sprinkle the nutritional yeast mixture overtop and mix until all kernels are coated. Enjoy!

“Cheesy” Oven Roasted Broccoli

Ingredients:

  • 5 cups of broccoli florets
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 2-3 tbsp nutritional yeast

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Toss the broccoli florets with the oil, salt and pepper and spread out on the baking sheet.
  3. Roast for 20-25 minutes or until broccoli is slightly charred (flip the broccoli halfway).
  4. Remove from oven and sprinkle with 2-3 tbsp nutritional yeast before serving. Enjoy!

“Cheesy” Kale Chips

Recipe makes 5 servings

Ingredients:

  • 10 ounces washed and chopped kale leaves (stems removed)
  • 2 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1/4 cup raw cashews
  • 2 tbsp roasted sunflower seeds (unsalted)
  • 5 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • Pinch salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 300 F.
  2. Add kale to a large bowl, add oil and use hands to massage until it softens.
  3. To a food processor, add cashews, sunflower seeds, 4 tbsp of the nutritional yeast, salt, pepper and garlic powder and pulse into a meal. Scrape down sides to incorporate.
  4. Pour the spice mixture into the bowl of kale and toss well to coat.
  5. Divide kale onto baking sheets and spread into an even layer.
  6. Sprinkle with remaining tablespoon of nutritional yeast and bake for 25 minutes (flipping halfway) or until chips are golden brown. Watch carefully so they don’t burn.
  7. Remove from oven and let cool before eating.
  8. To store the kale chips, let them completely cool and store in a large container for 2-3 days. Enjoy!

There are many recipes online with more inspiration on how to incorporate nutritional yeast into your recipes and diet. Let me know what you think of the above recipes in the comments below.

Like what you’ve read? Check out some avocado toast recipes here.

  1. Lisa says:

    We use nutritional yeast all the time on all kinds of things. Love it on roasted veg! Also, We use olive oil from a specialty oil sop that’s “ butter flavour “ on our popcorn with the nutritional yeast. Only a tablespoon of oil goes a long way on the popcorn. It’s fantastic with nutritional yeast!

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