Yeast is something we have been consuming for years in many different food and beverages from bread to beer. But now all of a sudden there’s this hot new food item called “nutritional yeast” that’s got us wondering what it is and how to use it. I mean, it’s got “nutritional” in the name, so it must be healthy, right? Sure! Although its name, “nutritional yeast”, lacks some marketing appeal, it can actually add health benefits to your food beyond just texture and flavor. So hop on this nutritional bandwagon and sprinkle some “nooch”, as the avid users would say, in your favorite dishes.
Nutritional Yeast – What is it?
Much like it’s more well-known cousins, active dry yeast and brewer’s yeast, nutritional yeast also comes from the same yeast species: Saccharomyces cerevisiae. This yeast, which is grown on a variety of foods including sugar beets, molasses, whey, or grains, is allowed to ferment before being processed. Nutritional yeast differs in that its processing involves heating and drying the yeast, thus deactivating it for consumption – brewer’s and active dry yeast remain alive when used. Nooch is then flaked and packaged, producing a final product with a nutty, cheesy flavor.