A love letter to nutritional yeast and the best ways to use it

Nutritional yeast
Fleurette Modica/Staff

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Hey there, sexy. Are you nutritional yeast? Because you make my mouth water. 

I’m going to be honest — at first, I wasn’t sure what to make of you. To me, you were just a flaky, yellowish substance that didn’t look inherently appetizing. I judged you by your looks, but my vegetarian friends who had already delighted in your wonders urged me to forge ahead. Baby, I’m so glad I did.

The first moment I tasted you, I knew you were something special. Packed full of protein and essential B vitamins, you’re a great source of nutrients and you boast a cheesy, nutty flavor — all while completely free from animal products. Savory flavor and essential nutrients? No wonder you’re so popular with the ladies.

You’re just too good for me to keep you all to myself. So I’ve decided that we should have an open relationship; it’s only fair that others get to experience you as well. 

To my fellow vegetarians, vegans and everyone who loves flavor, here are some ways you can use this deliciously versatile nutritional yeast to spice up your plant-based meals!

Sprinkle it on salad

An easy way to add protein and vitamins to your diet is to sprinkle nutritional yeast on your salad. I personally think it goes well with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Alternatively, you can make your own salad dressing that incorporates nutritional yeast. 

Make vegan mac and cheese

Being lactose intolerant or vegan doesn’t mean you have to miss out on this cheesy American classic! There are tons of recipes online for vegan mac and cheese, and nutritional yeast is the star of most because of its cheesy flavor and color. Most use cashews plus a bunch of spices as well. This is definitely one of my go-to vegan comfort foods.

Season your popcorn

It’s movie night! Grab your microwave popcorn — but wait! Before you start the movie, reach for that bag of nutritional yeast and sprinkle it over your popcorn to add some complementary salty flavor. 

Use it where you would use cheese

Instead of grating parmesan on your roasted veggies or mashed potatoes, season them with nutritional yeast. Depending on how much of the rich, nutty flavor you want, you can easily add more during different stages of cooking, as nutritional yeast does not need to be cooked before being consumed.

The recipes are endless. Don’t be shy! It’s time to let nutritional yeast into your heart — and stomach.

Contact Fleurette Modica at [email protected].