Nutritional Yeast: What Is It & How To Use It?

Everything You Need To Know About Nutritional Yeast

by | Sep 10, 2019

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 trendy 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.

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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. A serving is around 45 calories. 

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? 

Wondering how to use nutritional yeast? 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.

Where to buy nutritional yeast

Nutritional yeast can be found at a majority of health food stores, plus stores like Coles and Woolworths. In Australia, head to spots like The Source Bulk Foods or buy online via or

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