If you have been reading The VeganAsana for any period of time, you have probably noticed that my recipes often contain nutritional yeast. I use it in so many things that I buy it in large containers and keep a shaker on the table.
So, if you are not a “nooch” (a little nickname it has developed) user, here’s the scoop.
Nutritional yeast is a fungi (Saccharomyces Cervisiae) that grows on molasses and then is processed and dried and sold in flake or powder form. Because it is a fungi, like mushrooms, it is a vegan food.
Nooch is not like baking yeast or brewer’s yeast. It won’t help your cinnamon buns rise or give you a great start on that home-brewed pale ale.
I mostly use nooch because it tastes so good. It has an umami flavor, sort of like something between nuts and cheese. It pairs well with many foods and imparts a bit of a creamy taste in recipes, as well as being a credible substitute for parmesan cheese.
While I like it mostly because it’s delicious, it’s also nutritious (though the amounts you’ll likely consume at one time are pretty small). Nooch naturally contains most of the B-complex vitamins, except B-12, selenium, and potassium. It is a complete protein. Most brands of nutritional yeast are also fortified with B-12, making it a full compliment of the Bs.
So, what do I use it in? It might be easier to say what I don’t use it in! You can find nooch in my Tunaught Salad, Vegan Lasagna, Cheesy Marinara, Tofu Loaf, Tofu Scramble, Fried Green Tomatoes, Breaded Vegan Eggplant, Cheesy Mashed Potato Soup, on Chickpea Nuggets, Fauxrito Kale Chips, and on Vegan Cheesy Move Popcorn. That’s not all, but I’m trying not to get carried away with this list.
You should try it. Really.