When most think of Nutritional Yeast, they probably think of homemade beer brewing, as that’s gotten really popular the past few years, but up until recently I’ve only thought of it as delicious atop popcorn.
It was only learned that Nutritional Yeast is a healthy food a few years ago, when for the first time the nutritional information was glanced at while scooping it out from the bulk bin at the co-op.
The eyes bugged out with happy surprise when the protein per serving was noted-a whopping 9 grams per, (within only 60 calories,) as well as being extremely high in dietary fiber, leucine and lysine. Amazingly Nutritonal Yeast also contains all of the essential amino acids.
I had been eating it all along as one of my favorite “guilty” snacks; put generously atop popcorn, along with a tbs or two of Kerrygold butter, and a generous sprinkling of sea salt.
It has been a favorite snack since being a small child that would sneak into the living room late at night and grab a handful while the parents were watching “Cheers,” often eating a bowl of popcorn with nutritional yeast.
There had always been an assumption (since it tasted so good) that it wasn’t healthy. When the habit of nutrition label reading started to get practiced though, and the numerable benefits were realized, it was a very happy surprise!
Besides the really high protein and dietary fiber content of Nutritional Yeast, it actually has a ton of other benefits.
In fact it’s one of the higher sources of leucine and lysine found in food, both of which have great benefits regarding muscle growth stimulation, and prevention of oral herpes outbreaks, respectively.
So in other words, it stimulates growth where you want it to, but stifles growth where you don’t!
Though it’s always been put atop popcorn, I recently started putting it on broccoli with a little butter, and that’s super good too! It’s been seen in more recipes lately, but haven’t tried it in anything else. If anyone has a favorite use for it, definitely share it!
There is the brewers yeast found in the supplement section, and there is the nutritional yeast found in the bulk bin at most co-op’s, where you usually have to go to get it, (though I’ve seen it at Trader Joe’s the past few months now).
For food recipes, make sure to get the form of nutritional yeast that’s found in the food section. Make sure you get the flakey kind, rather than the powdered kind if you can as well.
Also, word of warning; once you’ve made popcorn in a stovetop with a little bit of coconut oil, it’s hard to go back to the microwaved variety. I only tried it a few years ago, and it’s easier than imagined. Plus with stovetop popcorn you’ve got a few more options wth the varieties of corn (yellow, white, rainbow, etc.) that all lend a slightly different flavor.
To recap, Nutritonal Yeast is super good for you, and also extremely delicious-a rare combo! It’s a hard taste to describe but it’s a unique cheesy flavor. It’s hard to imagine there being a better cheese alternative for someone who’s lactose intolerant individual (as quite a few of those cheese “alternatives” have been quite disappointing).