Want to add a cheesy, nutty flavor (think Parmesan!) to your favorite snacks without actually adding a bunch of cheese? Grab some nutritional yeast, called “nature’s Cheeto dust“. Nutritional yeast is an inactive strain of fungi (like mushrooms) that’s grown specifically for it’s nutritional value.
In the case of Braggs, which is our brand of choice, the fungi are grown on beet and cane molasses to provide the optimal flavor and nutrients. It’s similar to bread yeast, however the product has been dried out and pasturized to make it shelf-stable, resulting in the flaky yellow product that’s commonly sold at health food stores.
It’s vegan, gluten-free, fat-free, and sodium free – not bad for a seasoning with 2 grams of carbs and 3 grams of protein per tablespoon. Talk about an easy way to get in some extra protein!
We use about 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast to season popcorn popped on the stove (so we know it’s low sodium and not full of excessive flavoring additives). It’s as versatile as parmesan though – a little on top of zoodles will add a cheesy kick, which a few tablespoons in soup adds a nutty depth. My vegan friends often use it in larger quantities in the place of cheese for mac and cheese, risotto, and other cheesy casserole dishes. A quick Google search will bring up hundreds of recipe ideas!