Monday, July 11, 2011

A (Vegan) Food Must Have: Nutritional Yeast

A staple of any vegan pantry, nutritional yeast is one of my favorite food discoveries since becoming vegan. This flaky, yellowish seasoning has a nutty (dare I type it, almost cheesy) flavor that I swear I could just eat with a spoon (ok, so I have before, you try it and see if you don't get the urge). I love how it's full of B vitamins (something a lot of us vegheads miss out on without supplements) and is super yummy added to almost any dish. I love to put it on salads (especially pasta salads) and add it to soups. It's also a great thing to add in with any dish involving a vegan "cheese" to give it more of that "cheesy" flavor and add stuff our bodies need.
I usually get my nutritional yeast (ok, the name isn't the best, but the product is so it's ok) in the bulk section of my favorite local health food grocery store (Earth Fare for us) but this time bought the prepackaged stuff in a nifty container at a "regular" grocery store I will frequent (Krogers, actually, for us has some great organic/vegan/health food options at some of their locations here). They only had one option, though... but luckily it was one of my favorite brands: Bragg. Their religious messages on their packaging can be a little off-putting, but don't let it deter you. They are all for the cruelty free and healthy lifestyle. One item of their's I always make sure I have is their apple cider vinegar (so many uses, but sometimes I like to just drink it plain) and now I am adding their nutritional yeast to that list.
So, what do you think of nutritional yeast? Any recipe ideas to share? What do you put it on?