Before embracing a vegan lifestyle, I used nutritional yeast occasionally in various recipes however, I find myself using it a lot more now. What is nutritional yeast anyway? It is actually deactivated yeast and comes in a flakey, powdered form used in various recipes, particularly vegan recipes. It should not be confused with yeast used in bread recipes to make them rise. Nutritional yeast (nickname “Nooch”) has a cheesy, nutty taste and is often used in non-dairy cheese recipes. Two tablespoons will provide the consumer with 4 grams of protein, some iron and vitamins B1 and B2 so it isn’t just a tasty treat.
One of our favourite applications is on popcorn. In lieu of butter, we use avocado oil on our air popped popcorn along with a little salt and a generous amount of “Nooch”. The popcorn doesn’t get soggy at all and we literally clean the bowl because it is so good. I have added it to mashed potatoes, sprinkled it onto pasta dishes in lieu of parmesan cheese and added it to stews and sauces to subtly add to their overall flavour.
For anyone wanting to make non-dairy cheese, I highly recommend that you purchase the Non-Dairy Evolution Cookbook by Skye Michael Conroy. I have used and/or adapted some of his recipes to make some excellent cheeses that melt just like their dairy-based counterparts. In virtually all of the recipes, nutritional yeast is a key ingredient.
Susan is our resident vegan. She’s been a vegetarian for 20 years, and a vegan for 3. She has researched both lifestyles extensively and is constantly exploring new recipes, add her own twist. She is a long time SPUD customer, and now our very own resident vegan blogger!