The Long-Awaited Nutritional Yeast Post

by Courtney Sirotin on February 15, 2012

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I must say, the amount of buzz that has (not) generated from my casual mention of a forthcoming post about nutritional yeast has been staggering. People far and wide have (not) reached out in anticipation, begging me to hurry this post along. My friends, the wait is over. The day has arrived. Hold onto your hats.

Nutrition Yeast at Kroger (640x480)

I’m the last person you should take advice from on, well, anything, but I feel like I’m onto something with nutritional yeast. And before I go even one. step. further., let’s all just acknowledge how uncomfortable we feel when we read or say the words, “nutritional yeast”. There is something off-putting about them, like when I say “gourd” and Jay cringes. That said, knowing that I am uncomfortable with these words somehow makes me want to emphasize them, so if you are squeamish you might want to skip this post.

Everything about this product is unappealing, except the taste. Except for maybe Bragg Liquid Amino, the branding for this food item could not be worse. But the taste! The taste is quite alluring. I would describe it as salty, creamy, malty, nutty and cheesy. Its excellent sprinkled on popcorn, used in place of (or in addition to) cheese on pasta, sprinkled over cooked broccoli, mashed into potatoes or, my favorite, mixed with salsa to create a pseudo queso dip. I’ll show you how I make that in a minute, but first, let’s talk about what nutritional yeast is, exactly.

Here is my bag o’ yeast. I got it from the bulk bins at Whole Foods, which is by far the most economical way to secure it. This gallon-sized Ziploc bag full of yeast (which is missing a third of what I started with) was only nine dollars. At Kroger it’s almost six dollars for under five ounces. It can be stored on a shelf for a long time so it’s a good product to buy in bulk.

What’s inside this bag is a flaky, deactivated yeast that looks a little like fish food. (I can hear my mother gagging all the way in New Hampshire right now.) The yeast is grown on sugarcane and beet molasses then cultivated, washed, dried and packaged. Its packed with vitamins and is a complete protein. It is fortified with vitamin B-12 so its an excellent food choice for vegetarians and vegans. I am not a vegetarian but I don’t eat much meat so I am glad I like the taste of this stuff!

If you find yourself in possession of some nutritional yeast, give the following easy preparation a try:

Nutritional Yeast Fake-O Queso Dip

1) Grab your favorite salsa and the yeast. I love a fruity salsa like this peach one:

2) Put two parts salsa to one part nutritional yeast in a bowl and mix:

3) When it looks like this, you’re done!

I guess it looks kinda gross, but that seems par for the course with this stuff. I’m eating it right now as I type and I still love it (just wanted to confirm my feelings before I publish this post), so I remain confident in my endorsement.

I’m not sure why I felt compelled to tell you about nutritional yeast, but its been hanging over me. Phew! I’m going to go relax now because my work here is done.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

RUSS February 16, 2012 at 4:53 am

MMMmmmmmm. Yummy! Did I read “Washed” in there? I just envision moldy bread slogging around in the old Maytag……. Love you! Russ

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JASON SIROTIN February 18, 2012 at 3:59 am

This post is way less boring then I imagined. You make everything funny!

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MONICA August 18, 2012 at 3:04 am

Great post! I was just at a Kroger here in southeast Michigan and I didn’t spot any nutritional yeast. But it sounds like that is okay, because bulk is the way to go! I liked your description of the taste, too. I haven’t had it yet, but I have heard some great things about it in vegetarian/vegan cookbooks. But I ALSO heard that “Hippie Loaf” was good, and it was tragically bad.

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