Welcome to another “Ingredient of the Week” post. This week’s featured kitchen staple is Nutritional Yeast. 

unnamed - Ingredient of the Week: Nutritional YeastI admit it—the name makes me giggle a little too. Nutritional yeast may sound pretty funky, but I was won over by its nutrient-packed versatility.

Like brewer’s yeast, nutritional yeast is a deactivated yeast, usually Saccharomyces cerevisiaeThe yeast is cultured with a mix of sugarcane and beet molasses for about 7 days and then harvested, washed, dried and packaged. By the time you see it in the store, it’s a yellow flakey, powdery substance that closely resembles cornmeal.img science 11 - Ingredient of the Week: Nutritional Yeast(Source)

Nutritional yeast has long been popular with vegetarians and vegans for its protein content and high levels of B-vitamins. Some brands (like the one I buy) also come fortified with vitamin B12, which is produced separately (by bacteria) and then added to the yeast.

I find the mild, cheesy flavor  goes really well with all kinds of things. I love it sprinkled on soup, salad, pasta, and even whisked into sauces and dressings. You can also use it on popcorn. dsc03156 - Ingredient of the Week: Nutritional Yeast

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kale salad with miso-tahini-nutritional yeast dressing

Something I see all over the blogosphere, as they say, is vegan macaroni and cheese with a nutritional yeast-based cream sauce, but I’ve yet to try it. I’ve even seen people use nutritional yeast in smoothies and oatmeal.

Sure, it may sound a little hippie-dippy, but it’s totally worth a try!

Have you ever tried nutritional yeast? What’s your favorite way to use it?

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