What Is Nutritional Yeast?

Have you found yourself wandering the grocery aisles wondering about nutritional yeast? You don't have to be a health nut to start loving these flakes today!

If you have read a food blog lately, it’s impossible not to notice the growing obsession with nutritional yeast. Nutritional yeast is even branching out from co-ops and health food stores and claiming its spot in just about every grocery store imaginable. It might be time for you to toss a jar of those flakes into your own grocery cart! Read on for everything you need to know about nutritional yeast.

What Is Nutritional Yeast?

Nutritional yeast is a deactivated yeast known as Saccharomyces cerevisiae. It is designed to be a food product, so is different than active forms like baker’s or brewer’s yeast. It can be grown in a sugary environment like molasses.

What Does It Taste Like?

Nutritional yeast is an answer to vegan prayers everywhere. It has a naturally nutty, cheesy taste while being completely dairy-free.

Is Nutritional Yeast Good for You?

Nutritional yeast gets its name for a reason. This little flake is packed with vitamins and minerals to support your healthy diet. It is a complete protein, making it a smart choice for vegans and anyone looking to add more plant-based protein to their diets. Don’t miss these vegan recipes even meat eaters will love!

It is also rich in B vitamins, helping you grow stronger and shinier hair and nails. Nutritional yeast may even keep you healthier as it supports your immune system. And if you’re thinking of starting a family soon, nutritional yeast is a great source of folic acid for expectant moms.

How to Use Nutritional Yeast

Nutritional yeast can be used in place of grated cheese on just about any dish. Sprinkle it over your vegan pizza to add some of that cheesy goodness or on homemade popcorn for a satisfying, nutty snack. You can also pair nutritional yeast with cashews to make a rich, creamy vegan Alfredo sauce.

So next time you’re about to reach for the cheese, try topping your pasta or salad with nutritional yeast for a nutrient-packed treat.

Carrie Madormo, RN
Carrie is a health writer and nurse who specializes in healthy eating and wellness through food. With a master’s degree in public health from the Medical College of Wisconsin, she strives to translate the latest health and nutrition research into interesting, actionable articles. During her six years at Taste of Home, Carrie has answered hundreds of reader questions about health and nutrition, such as if pomegranate seeds are safe to eat, why pregnant women crave pickles and how much caffeine is in a shot of espresso. Carrie is also a former health coach and food blogger.