Nooch, there it is!

Nooch!

{Nutritional Yeast}

Ah, yes. The wonderful amazing-ness that is called, nutritional yeast. Also may be known as Brewer’s Yeast. Or known to some vegetarian and vegans, as nooch. It’s sort of like this hidden gem that we like to keep all to ourselves. Mysterious. Smelly to those who don’t know what it is. But versatile to those of us who know it oh so well. It can be a bit intimidating if you’ve never cooked with or tasted it before. And after looking through the recipes I’ve posted thus far, I realized it’s used a few times.

In an effort to not leave you hanging high and dry, I wanted to write an informational post about it. You’re welcome.

So, what is Nutritional Yeast??

Not to be confused with regular yeast (no baking with this stuff!), nutritional yeast is a deactivated yeast that provides an abundance of vitamins, is a good source of protein, and tastes like CHEESE. Yes, cheese. If you’ve never had a good vegan mac ‘n cheeze, you’re missing out. Oh, and gravy. Both use nooch as a primary ingredient. Pure heaven.

I have to admit, when I first tried it alone I wasn’t too keen on the taste. It was a bit strong for me. But now I sprinkle it on pretty much any savory dish I make. I’ve also heard it’s great with popcorn!

The supply of vitamins and protein in nutritional yeast alone make this a definite must in my diet. Because vegetarians and vegans don’t eat meat (duh), we need to find a B-12* vitamin source elsewhere, and nooch provides over 100% of our daily recommendation in just 2 tablespoons. While also providing 8g of protein and 4g of dietary fiber. These, and other nutritional facts can be found here.

Currently, I buy mine at either Whole Foods or our local health food store called MOM’s Organic Market (my favorite!) in the bulk section. You can also buy it in bulk online at Bulk Foods.

Some things I have heard about nooch is that if you have a sensitivity to any type of yeast then eating this in large quantities might not be the best idea (i.e. eating a giant bowl of the delicious vegan mac ‘n cheeze). My advice is to see what amount your body can tolerate and stick with that.

Apparently my body can tolerate a lot. Like a cup a day**.

*Not all brands of nutritional yeast are fortified with B-12. So be sure to check your bulk grocer or package to make sure.
**Ok, I don’t really eat a cup a day. More like a couple of tablespoons a day 🙂

p.s. I have read recently that there is concern about harmful monosodium glutamate (MSG) being added or naturally derived from nutritional yeast. I can’t find any research or evidence to dispel or support this concern. Only that all yeast has naturally occurring glutamate (a non-essential amino acid produced in your body) that is released during the process. Again, see how it makes you feel and go from there. Some people are more tolerant than others.

What do you think of nutritional yeast? Yay or nay?

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