Move over, cheese. Nutritional yeast is the flavor-packed seasoning that will transform your diet and please your taste buds all at the same time.
It’s naturally occurring
Nutritional yeast has been increasingly popping up in conversations about cooking and healthy recipes, but what even is it? Contrary to initial assumptions, it’s not just yeast that’s been modified to improve your diet. In fact, it’s completely naturally occurring, and comes in the form of flakes or yellow powder. “Nutritional yeast is an inactive yeast made from sugarcane and beet molasses,” says Lisa Moskovitz, RD, CDN, at the NY Nutrition Group. Does that mean it’s kind of like sugar? Not at all.
It’s full of protein
“Nutritional yeast is a powerhouse, especially for vegans, as it’s a complete source of protein that those who don’t eat meat may be lacking,” says Moskovitz. Just two tablespoons of nutritional yeast contains 9 grams of protein. That’s more than a large egg (6g) or one ounce of beef (7g). With such highly concentrated amounts of protein, nutritional yeast can help non-meat eaters rack up enough body-boosting protein. Here are other top plant-based protein sources.
You can use it as a cheese substitute
Thanks to its texture and umami flavor, nutritional yeast can stand in for cheese in cooking. “You can sprinkle it on popcorn or veggies, or stir it into brown rice or whole wheat pasta,” Moskovitz says. Believe us when we say that just about any recipe that calls for cheese will work with nutritional yeast instead—even the cheesiest foods like lasagna, pizza, or macaroni and cheese!