What is Nutritional Yeast? Nutritional yeast is a species of yeast known as Saccharomyces cerevisiae. It gets its name from the protein, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants it contains. Studies have shown it has a wide range of potential health benefits, ranging from lowering cholesterol to protecting the body from free radical damage.
Nutritional yeast is the same type of yeast that’s used to bake bread and brew beer.
While brewer’s, baker’s and nutritional yeasts are technically made from the same species of yeast, they are very different products:
- Baker’s yeast: is purchased alive and used to leaven bread. The yeast is killed during cooking but adds an earthy, yeasty flavour to bread.
- Brewer’s yeast: can be purchased alive and is used to brew beer. The dead yeast cells leftover from the brewing process can be consumed as a nutritional supplement but have a very bitter taste.
- Nutritional yeast: This yeast is grown specifically to be used as a food product. The yeast cells are killed during manufacturing and not alive in the final product. It is used in cooking and has a cheesy, nutty or savoury flavour.
To produce nutritional yeast, S. cerevisiae cells are grown for several days on a sugar-rich medium like molasses.
The yeast is then deactivated with heat, harvested, washed, dried, crumbled and packaged for distribution.
There are two types of nutritional yeast — unfortified and fortified.
- Unfortified: This type does not contain any added vitamins or minerals. It only contains the vitamins and minerals that are naturally produced by the yeast cells as they grow.
- Fortified: This type contains synthetic vitamins added during the manufacturing process to boost nutrient content. If vitamins have been added to the yeast, they will be included in the ingredients list.
Fortified nutritional yeast is the most common type available for purchase.
Nutritional yeast is sold as flakes, granules or powder and can be found in the spice section or bulk bins of health food stores.
Nutritional yeast is a versatile food that works with nearly any type of diet or eating style. It is naturally low in sodium and calories, as well as fat-free, sugar-free, gluten-free and vegan.
Popularity of using this wonderful protein has exploded amongst vegans who use if to add flavour to their foods, snacks & smoothies as well as for its nutritional value.
I love to sprinkle these savoury flakes onto my popcorn for that truly salt, earthy & savoury flavour. I also add these flakes when I am making a sauce for my mac’n’cheese, making pesto as well as anything that really needs a cheesy flavour. Have you tried this?
How do you enjoy yours?
Content credit to: https://www.healthline.com