What is Nutritional Yeast & How to Use It
Nutritional yeast was one of the best things I discovered when I first went vegan. I’d seen it on a handful of blogs and I’d considered buying it when I saw it at Trader Joe’s, but I wasn’t sure exactly what it was or how to use it. Once I started playing around with it I realized that it’s not just healthy but it’s also really delicious and easy to use! So I thought I’d share a little bit more about nutritional yeast and why I like it!
What is Nutritional Yeast?
Let’s start with the basics: Nutritional yeast is made from a specially selected strain of yeast, so it’s not the same as the kind of yeast you use to make bread. It’s naturally gluten-free, paleo, kosher, and vegan, so it’s suitable for most types of diets.
What Does Nutritional Yeast Taste Like?
Nutritional yeast has a cheesy, nutty flavor. You know the powdery cheese that sticks to your fingers when you eat “cheese” popcorn? It’s sort of like that… except that it’s natural and good for you! To enhance the cheesy flavor, you usually need to add a little salt, unless the food you’re adding it to is naturally salty.
Is Nutritional Yeast Good for You?
Nutritional yeast is so good for you, especially if you’re a vegetarian or vegan. It contains vitamin B12 which is typically hard to find outside of animal sources. It also has tons of protein. 1/4 cup serving of nutritional yeast has only 60 calories but 8g of protein and 3g of fiber! It’s basically like a healthy, savory protein powder!
What Can You Do with Nutritional Yeast?
What can’t you do with it?! Obviously, it’s delicious sprinkled on things like popcorn but it’s also amazing in soups, stews, or sauces. Many people use it in vegan versions of “queso” with soaked and blended cashews. I love it on these vegan “cheesy” kale chips or in this creamy farro and tomato dish. Sometimes I’ll add it to my vegan macaroni and cheese recipe for an even cheesier flavor!
Does Trader Joe’s Sell Nutritional Yeast?
I hear this question a lot and many people are surprised that Trader Joe’s sells nutritional yeast! It’s true. You can usually find it near the baking products at Trader Joe’s. I really like their brand because it’s high quality but also affordable. Plus, the bag is resealable, so bonus points to Trader Joe’s!
Where Else Can I Buy Nutritional Yeast?
You can usually find it in the natural food section of most major grocery stores. Bob’s Red Mill sells it in bags and Bragg sells it in a parmesan-cheese-style shaker container. If you want to save a few bucks, natural food stores like Whole Foods often sell it in bulk and it’s extremely affordable if you can find it in a bulk bin! It doesn’t weigh very much so a quarter of a pound will last a long time!
How Much Does it Cost?
Nutritional yeast is usually cheapest if you buy it in the bulk bins. But a typical 4 oz container will typically cost around $4-$5 and since you typically only need a small amount in a recipe, it will last a while! Trader Joe’s Nutritional Yeast usually costs $3 for a 4oz bag.
How Long Does Nutritional Yeast Last?
You’ll want to store it in a dark glass or ceramic container in order to keep it protected from the light. You also want to make sure it’s tightly sealed to keep moisture out. I usually keep mine in an airtight container the fridge where it can last up to a year!
Have you tried nutritional yeast?
This post was originally published in March 2017. Updated July 2019.
I have still not tried nutritional yeast but was curious to know more so thank you for this insight. I will buy some next time I see it.
I’ve read all about nooch for years, but I’ve never actually bought it and used it myself. I need to, though, simply because it’s such a great source of B12. Plus, I love anything cheesy 🙂
For as often as my husband and I use nutritional yeast I should buy stock. It’s a staple in our pantry.
I’ve heard about nutritional yeast but never tired it. I know it’s good for you but never really read much about it. So this post was great for me. Just the information I needed to know in a nutshell. Thanks. Will have to look for at it at the pharmacy here soon.
Ok…I will admit I have never tried nutritional yeast. I have used regular and quick rise yeast for baking. We love popcorn…so the fact you say use it as a topping has me totally intrigued. I wish I read this post before I went to the health food store today. I will add it to my shopping list for the next time. Thanks so much for enlightening me on this wonderful and healthy product.
Beautiful new heart!!
I have avoided nutritional yeast in the past but now that you shared this awesome information I need to get over it and get some ASAP!
I love sprinkling it on a creamy rose or tomato pasta!! Or on top of avocado toast 🙂
Thank you for the information. I may have tried nutritional yeast years ago when I was on a big health kick. I probably should get back to the health kick. I’ll check out our stores if they have it and how I can use it to improve the nutritional quality of what I eat.
You had me wanting to try it once you said it tasted like cheese! I’m in!
Great post! I’ve just recently got into using nutritional yeast in my cooking. It’s so versatile!