It's not every day that I say that I enjoy eating my supplements, but I do really love eating nutritional yeast. It has a very nice savory flavor that is slightly (and I really do mean slightly) reminicient of cheese. It is also high in A LOT of vitamins and minerals, making it an important supplement to many vegan and vegetarian diets (note that not all nutritional yeast products contain vitamin B-12 - if a product does contain it, it has been fortified or added into the product).
What is Nutritional Yeast?
Even I don't completely understand the process, but according Red Star's website their yeast "is primary from pure strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae grown on mixtures of cane and beet molasses. After the fermentation process is completed, 'Cream yeast' is heated by means of a heat exchanger and held at pasteurization temperatures for a period long enough to inactivate the yeast. During this holding period, all necessary vitamins are added to meet the requirements of the specific type of nutritional yeast produced.
The yeast is then drum dried before it is ground and shipped to consumers. The drying process assures that all the cells are inactivated in order for the full nutritional benefits to be available."
To see what each of the different steps mean and to understand the process more, visit the Red Star website.
Red Star is only one manufacturer, so there may be other processes out there that make nutritional yeast a little bit differently.
How Is Nutritional Yeast Used?
A lot of people use it as a condiment, sprinkling a couple of tablespoons on salad, pasta or soup. I most frequently put it on vegan buttered toast, popcorn or on baked potatoes.
If you're looking for a pre-packaged container of nutritional yeast, you'll want to look on the supplements aisle or the organic, specialty foods aisle. If your store also has a bulk foods section, you can usually find it there. You can usually find it as flakes or as a powder (I personally prefer flakes).
Tip: I highly recommend that if you have never had nutritional yeast before to purchase a very small amount in the bulk section. This way, you are not spending a lot of money and/or wasting a lot of nutritional yeast if you do not like it. How Much Does It Cost?
Nutritional yeast is not inexpensive. If you purchase it in a small 5-ounce container it can cost about $5 to $7. A larger 22-ounce container can cost about $16 or $17, and if you buy it in bulk it's usually around $8/pound.
Depending on how you use it, though, even a small container can last you anywhere from weeks to months.
If you're not sure you like nutritional yeast, I also recommend trying out brewer's yeast, a similar supplement.
My name is Samantha andIwrite www.NovelEats.com, a vegan food blog where I post recipes, how-to articles and advice for people who are considering incorporating vegan food into their diets. Ialso pride … more
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