All About Nutritional Yeast

By: Demelza Champagne


Have you ever seen nutritional yeast at the Co-op and wondered what people use it for? 

Nutritional yeast, also called "nooch" by its aficionados, comes in flakes and is used to add flavor and nutrients to certain foods. Nutritional yeast is invariably used in vegan cooking to create a cheese-like flavor, and it is often the secret ingredient in tofu scramble and vegan mac and cheese. Additionally, many people use it as a healthy topping for popcorn.

Nutritional yeast offers a plethora of nutrients such as: folate, thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin. It is also a complete protein (in other words, it has all nine amino acids). Nutritional yeast is typically fortified with vitamin B12. And while it can be used as a supplement, it is primarily used for its flavor. 

Unlike most yeasts, it is not used to leaven bread, or make alcohol. It is grown on sugar and wood shavings, then dehydrated. The kind we have at the food co-op is in a flake form, and mixes in easily with food. At the co-op we source from the brand Red Star. If you’re curious, you can find nutritional yeast in the bulk food section of the Bushwick Food Co-op.

 Sounds intriguing, doesn’t it? 

If you’d like to try it in a recipe, why not try it in a classic tofu scramble recipe? Or make some fancy popcorn with it? 

What are your favorite ways to use nutritional yeast? Let us know in the comments below!