What Is It?
Nutritional yeast is a deactivated yeast, not to be confused with Brewer’s Yeast and no, it doesn’t taste like beer or bread. 😉 It is an organism grown on the molasses plant and then harvested and deactivated by heat. It tastes more like a nutty, cheesy flavor and is PACKED full of nutrients. I think it should be called Nutrition Flakes, then maybe more people would want to eat it? Okay, maybe not, but who wants to eat something with yeast in the title? Trust me when I
say type this, you’re gonna’ want to start adding these little power flakes to your diet if you haven’t already.
Fun Nutrition Stuff
1.5 Tablespoons of Nutrition Flakes…er Yeast on Average =
- 8 g of protein
- 4 g of fiber
- 5 g carbs
- 1 g fat
- 9.6 mg Thiamin (B1)
- 9.7 mg Riboflavin (B2)
- 56 mg Niacin (B3)
- 9.6 mg B6
- 240 mcg Folate
- 7.8 mcg B12
- 24 mg Magnesium
- .1 mcg Copper
- .1 Manganese
- 3 mg Zinc
But what does all of this mean? It means nutritional yeast is a great source of protein (8g for 1.5 Tbs!), fiber (4g for 1.5 Tbs!), essential minerals and B-complex Vitamins. It is also low in fat and sodium. B-complex vitamins are necessary for metabolic activity and even our mental state. We need B vitamins to transform food into energy, as well as strengthen our immune system and balance our hormones.
In my Western Nutrition class over the weekend, we specifically talked about the importance of B12. It is needed for red blood cell formation, DNA and a functioning nervous system. Vegans and Vegetarians and nursing babies of Vegans and Vegetarians are particularly vulnerable to deficiency of B12. Why? B12 is not found in plant foods, but largely in animal foods. Those who drink heavily/often are also susceptible to a B12 deficiency because alcohol consumption reduces B12 absorption.
But, they’re not the only ones. New York Time’s: It Could Be Old Age, or It Could Be Low B12
There have also been studies showing a number of Americans are deficient in B6.
Four groups were found to have the highest prevalence of B6 deficiency including “women of reproductive age, especially current and former users of oral contraceptives, male smokers, non-Hispanic African American men, and men and women over age 65.” “…alcoholics are also at a higher risk for vitamin B6 deficiency” (Natural News).
Guess what? Nutritional yeast is a great source of both B12 & B6!
How Do I Eat Nutritional Yeast?
Sprinkle it on everything that you would cheese or food that you want a nutty, cheesy or savory flavor. Popular uses:
- Sprinkle over popcorn
- Use in place of cheese on pizza, sprinkle on top after it comes out of the oven
- In rice
- Use in mashed potatoes instead of cheese
- Over broccoli
- In pasta
- Sprinkle on kale chips
- On salads
- In Soups
What are your favorite uses? Tell us! I am personally looking for more ways to incorporate this fabulous stuff into my diet.
How Should You Store It?
Store in a cool, dry place in an airtight container. Some folks refrigerate it when it is summer or if they live in a humid area. It can even be kept in the freezer. Discard if not used after 1 year.
You can find nutritional yeast in the bulk section of your grocery store or natural food store or in the aisles from brands you prefer or on Amazon if you don’t have access to a variety of natural food sources, (which I know some of you don’t because you have told me this :)). These are all good brands in my opinion, but I am pretty sure the ‘yeast’ I have in my cupboard right now is from the bulk section of New Seasons.
Eat Nutritional Yeast!
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Disclaimer & Such:
In no way, shape, or form should this post or any of my posts be used to treat a medical condition or replace medical advice from your doctor. When in question about anything, always consult a physician and do your own research. There are also affiliate links in this post and I would never recommend anything I wouldn’t take, eat or buy myself. I mean this, I think referring people to products or food items or other businesses is a big deal. And…I like you guys. So, if you ever see anything on this site that looks like it shouldn’t be here or is questionable, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org so I can address it and determine if it needs to be removed or changed. Thanks, Freshly Grown Friends. -Rama