Yeast has been an important part of our diets for years, mostly used in bread and beer, but recently nutritional yeast has come to the forefront of people’s culinary minds. Including ours. An essential ingredient in any plant-based kitchen, nutritional yeast is yellow in colour and comes as flakes or powder; it looks similar to breadcrumbs.
Not to be confused with baker’s yeast or brewer’s yeast, nutritional yeast is inactive and a good source of vitamin B1, B2 and B3. Gluten, soy, dairy, salt and sugar free, nutritional yeast has a savoury, umami flavour and is an excellent alternative to Parmesan cheese.
With a nutty, cheesy taste nutritional yeast is ideal for vegetarian and vegan dishes where the flavour of cheese is required without dairy. A plant-based source of protein, although usually eaten in small amounts, nutritional yeast is used to pack a punch with those B vitamins and is enjoyed for its cheesy flavour.
Being ready to eat, the yeast can be sprinkled onto all sorts of salads and other dishes and stirred into a plethora of other meals. We’ve seen recipes calling for nutritional yeast from popcorn, pizza and pasta to soups and sauces, nut roasts and gratin potatoes.
We’ve had a tub open in our kitchen and have been cooking up all sorts of different dishes. A herb flecked vegan gravy was particularly good with vegetable sausages. Adding the yeast to a cashew based sauce made a delicious vegan cheese sauce; which was then used for macaroni cheese and as a cheese dip for nachos. The office favourite was a lemon, smoked paprika and nutritional yeast dressing poured over grilled broccoli and green beans. On our list to try in future is a vegan pesto and vegan carbonara; using soy sauce fried mushrooms instead of bacon.
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