10.05.2011

Vegan MoFo #5: All About Nutritional Yeast






Okay. so what exactly IS that daunting vegan commodity, nutritional yeast?


After all, we hear about it all the time. It's a great source of vitamin B12 (and what is that, exactly?! look to a later MoFo post to find out!) and it gives things a slight cheesy and nutty flavor. Which is why vegans love it. This is commonly thrown in vegan mac&cheese for that more realistic mac&cheese flavor. It can also be used in soups, stews, dips, dressings, pasta, wraps,  lasagna... you name it, you can probably sneak some of this bad boy in there. 
So what is it? Nutritional yeast, aka vegetarian food yeast or "Nooch," is NOT the same kind of yeast used in making beer or bread. Totally different. Nooch is a deactivated form of the microorganism Saccharomyces cerevisiae and is made by culturing the yeast with a mix of sugarcane and beet molasses. It is pasteurized and dried to bring out all the nutritional goodies as well as deactivate the actual yeast. Nooch is gluten free and filled with nutritional wonders like B-vitamins (often fortified with Vitamin B12), amino acids, selenium, zinc, niacin, thiamine, and folic acid. It's a healthy powerhouse! 


Try it sprinkled over pizza or popcorn, mash it into potatoes, mix it into a "cheese" sauce, use it to make a breading for tofu or tempeh...there are really an unlimited number of ways to use nooch!


There is one side effect: vibrant yellow pee. Yep, that's right. It's totally normal for your pee to electric yellow after you eat something with nooch in it. And you know what? It's completely okay and normal.  Why does this happen? Well, because nooch contains so much B12 & riboflavin (vitamin B2), the body cannot fully absorb it all. Thus, the excess B vitamins tint your pee! Just think of it as your body thanking you for all the vitamins you're feeding it. 

What do you like to use nutritional yeast in? How do you incorporate it into your diet? 
Much love,

11 comments:

  1. I remember my first nooch pee. I was terrified. However, I have learned to have pride in my neon pee, for it means that I am taking good care of myself.

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  2. I love Nooch. Great post! I obviously haven't been eating enough nooch lately I think I will change that tonight!

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  3. I looove nutritional yeast, I have it on my morning english muffin :)

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  4. I steam a big batch of veggies and layer those with nooch on a bed of spinach, add some chickpeas and go to town. (The key is sprinkling it while the veggies are hot.) Yum!

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  5. What a great post - I only new half the story before! I love nooch mixed with walnut oil and spread on toast. Wierd, but addicting!

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  6. I love to sprinkle it on popcorn! OMG :)

    www.brooklynnatural.blogspot.com

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  7. To be honest, I totally forget about my nooch! Ha. I need to keep it out in the open so I use it more!

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