Think of nutritional yeast—or nooch, as fans like to call it—as the Parmesan of the plant-based food world. Made from yeast cultures that have been deactivated and dried into tiny granules or flakes, melt-in-your-mouth nutritional yeast has a rich, fermented, cheesy flavor that’s perfect on everything from popcorn to pasta.
Once billed as a protein and vitamin supplement (hence the name), the savory sprinkle has gone mainstream, with well-known natural food companies such as Bob’s Red Mill and Bragg marketing their own brands alongside the old standard, Red Star. Keep in mind that while nutritional yeast is a good source of vitamin B12, you shouldn’t rely on it to meet your needs of this vital nutrient.
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Bring on the Flavor
In addition to substituting nutritional yeast anywhere you’d use grated cheese, you can use 1 to 2 tablespoons (or more) to:
- Season stews and casseroles
- Turn blended cashews or beans into “cheese” spread
- Flavor homemade kale chips
- Add a creamy element to salad dressings
- Give baked goods a buttery flavor
Or try the following recipes, which harness the power of nooch to delicious effect.