Glossary

Nutritional yeast

Nutritional yeast

Pronounce it: new-trish-in-al yeest

Dried nutritional yeast flakes differ from active and beer yeasts because, after being grown commercially, the yeast is heat-treated to deactivate it, so it cannot ferment. Its special appeal is a relatively high flavour profile that is distinctly cheese-like and thus it can give a parmesan-style kick to vegan and vegetarian dishes.

Although containing the complete protein profile of meat, eggs, cheese and other milk products, it is eaten in such small amounts it should not be seen as a protein contributor of any importance to the diet.

Nutritional yeast is a very good source of B vitamins, except for B12, although this is often added to help combat deficiency in vegetarian and vegan diets. It also contains glutamates, but not monosodium glutamate (MSG).

Availability

Mainly sold in health food shops and online.

Choose the best

If you're vegetarian or vegan, choose a brand that is fortified with vitamin B12 to support your health.

Prepare it

No preparation is required. Sprinkle over soups, roast vegetables, salads or pasta, as you would parmesan. 

Store it

In a cool, dry, dark place. Make sure it is well sealed – if stored correctly, it has a very long shelf-life.

Cook it

Think of it like grated parmesan and use it accordingly, mainly to sprinkle over dishes for a savoury hit. But be careful not to overpower other flavours with it. Nutritional yeast can also be added as an ingredient during the cooking of vegetarian and vegan stews, or soups.

Try nutritional yeast in 'cheesy' vegan scones or our 'cheesy' leek crumble

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