You've seen it on the menu at your favourite healthy cafe and it's a regular addition in plant-based recipes – but what exactly is nutritional yeast?
From its health stats to its flavour profile – we break down everything you need to know about this très-trend ingredient.
What is nutritional yeast?
Nutritional yeast is a deactivated strain of yeast called saccharomyces cerevisiae. It differs from the stuff you use to make bread as the deactivation process means it can no longer ferment.
What does nutritional yeast look like?
Nutritional yeast is yellow in colour and often comes in the form of flakes, granules or powder.
What does nutritional yeast taste like?
It’s usually described as having a nutty, cheesy, umami flavour.
Is nutritional yeast healthy?
Nutritional yeast has a complete protein profile, which means it contains all nine essential amino acids that humans require from food. Depending on the brand, a two tablespoon serving offers around eight grams of protein or 16 per cent of the average daily requirement.
Nutritional yeast is a good source of B vitamins like thiamine, riboflavin, folate, pyridoxine and niacin, and it’s often fortified with vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 is only found in foods of animal origin, so nutritional yeast is a great dietary addition for vegans.
It also contains important trace minerals such as zinc, selenium, manganese and molybdenum.
Is nutritional yeast gluten free?
Yep, nutritional yeast is generally gluten free but always check the label.
What is nutritional yeast a good substitute for?
Nutritional yeast is a great dairy-free alternative for cheese, making it the perfect savoury substitute in pastas, soups, sauces, salads and snacks like popcorn. Check out some recipes here.