A Godsend For Vegans (And All Healthy Eaters): 7 Delicious Ways to Eat Nutritional Yeast

One of the perks of exploring a vegan lifestyle with my home-cooking is that I am always learning about new ingredients and recipes that take me to local natural health food stores that I otherwise would have never checked out in the first place.

My favorite vegan fix of the moment is nutritional yeast. Finding this ingredient gave me a weekend adventure to a funky little health food store I found after perusing many Yelp reviews of the best natural food stores in Los Angeles.

Nutritional yeast, as far as I know, is not sold in the majority of mainstream supermarket chains. Usually available in bins in natural health food stores, nutritional yeast is a yellow-orange inactive yeast that has a slightly cheesy-nutty flavor and its flakey consistency makes it the perfect vegan substitute for parmesan cheese. The flakes can also be used to make vegan nachos, a vegan mac ‘n’ “cheese,” or as a savory sprinkle to your microwave popcorn.

Nutritional yeast is also chock full of protein and Vitamin B, which makes for the perfect stock item to help you guiltlessly enjoy a semi-cheesy flavor in your dishes without the animal products or chemicals.

So how can you start incorporating nutritional yeast into your daily meals?

- Sprinkle onto popcorn. Rather than microwaving butter popcorn, enjoy plain popcorn sprinkled with nutritional yeast for a much healthier alternative.

- Make a mac ‘n’ “cheese.” Check out this popular recipe for a mac ‘n’ “cheese” casserole from VegWeb.com. While it doesn’t exactly taste like the real thing, it is delicious in its own healthy way.

- Sprinkle onto your savory dishes as a Parmesan cheese alternative. Pizzas, spaghetti, pasta dishes, rice, savory soups, baked potatoes–you can sprinkle this stuff on pretty much anything.

- Make your own creamy “cheese” sauce. Follow this recipe, and then use as vegan nacho cheese, or make pizza or lasagna.

- Top your plain rice with some nutritional yeast mixed with a little bit of soy sauce and olive oil or butter. Um, this sounds amazing. I think I am actually going to do this right now.

- Add a new depth of flavor to your homemade gravy, sauces, salad dressings, and other liquid-based dishes. Just add a hint of nutritional yeast to all of the above.

- Mix it in with the bread crumbs you use for breading meat, fish and vegetables.

 Originally published in 2010

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About Yumi Sakugawa

I am a comic book artist and illustrator based in the greater Los Angeles area. My website can be found at: www.yumisakugawa.com. Every so often, I make illustrated guides to mindfulness and meditation. You can buy a booklet of them here: (http://yumisakugawa.bigcartel.com/product/there-is-no-right-way-to-meditate )     In a previous life, I was the online editorial producer of Intent.com. When I am not drawing and thinking of new stories, I am drinking ridiculous amounts of tea, craving Indian sweets and dreaming of the day when I will have my own King Charles Cavalier Spaniel.

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  1. Deirdre Boyd Foster says:

    loved this…being vegan is easy if you decide it will be easy, and there is so much out there to support fun dining…

  2. yumi says:

    totally agree! vegan eating suddenly got 10x easier when i stopped buying eggs and cheese recently. who would have thought!!! :)

  3. Deirdre Boyd Foster says:

    Here is a good book of recipes: ISBN: 978-0-7624-3106-9 the title is funny, but isn't idicative of the content…just a catchy name…you may have already checked it out!

  4. yumi says:

    so funny, i just read the original 'skinny bitch," but haven't gotten around to the rest of the series including this one. am intrigued to check it out!

  5. Deirdre Boyd Foster says:

    love synchronicity! it is a great book…very very funny and very very serious…I love the balance. I always recommend them for anyone considering vegetarianism or veganism~even guys! Happy eating!

  6. [...] How to use nutritional yeast, a miracle for any vegan diet (Intent) jQuery('#what-were-reading').load('/ajax/fetch.php?section=hybrid_box'); Share This [...]

  7. jenny says:

    I love this stuff. My favorite is to use it in a tofu scramble- http://vegetarian.about.com/od/tofurecipes/r/Easy….