What is Nutritional Yeast?

A staple in the plant-based community, this ingredient is perfect for adding cheesy flavor, without adding cheese.

The powdery yellow flakes of nutritional yeast are made by heating yeast to kill it and disable its leavening power. That process transforms the yeast into an umami powerhouse (it contains a lot of glutamic acid) with a unique savory, salty, cheesy flavor that is fantastic in all kinds of foods. Vegans and vegetarians find “nooch” especially valuable because it provides the essential nutrient vitamin B12, which is usually obtained from animal products. I enjoy it sprinkled on popcorn, pasta, or salads or in one of the test kitchen's clever vegan recipes—such as our Vegan Creamy Cashew Mac and Cheese—that employ it with great results. Oh, and one trick I use at home: Dissolve a tablespoon of nutritional yeast in a cup of boiling water to make a quick vegan broth for cooking.

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