Nutritional Yeast

Nutritional Yeast is something very new to me, but since I've found it, I absolutely love it. It is a deactivated yeast, meaning, it doesn't grow or froth like baking yeast and it is completely different than brewer's yeast or baking yeast. It is a complete protein (having all essential amino acids), gluten free, and low in sodium and fat. Nutritional yeast is also the key ingredient in making dairy free cheese sauces.

Some Nutritional Yeasts are fortified with Vitamin B12 - a vitamin not found in plants. Vitamin B12 deficiency causes tiredness, weakness, constipation, loss of appetite, weight loss, and anemia so its important that we make sure we get it in our diet.

Bob's Red Mill makes a great Nutritional Yeast and its fortified with Vitamin B12:

You can sprinkle Nutritional Yeast on anything:  popcorn, potatoes, pastas, etc. or you can make a cheese sauce with it.  It doesn't have a exact cheesy flavor, but it is more complex and has cheesy and nutty flavors.

Here's a basic cheese sauce recipe that I've used in making enchiladas, lasagne, and pesto:

Cashew Cheese Sauce

Cashew Cheese Sauce Ingredients
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups raw, unsalted cashews

  • Directions

    Combine all the ingredients except for the water together in a food processor or Vitamix, as you start processing the ingredients, stream in the water to get the consistency you'd like.  Feel free to add more water if you'd like.

    You can also add herbs to the processor to flavor the cheese more:  basil, cilantro, chives, parsley.