- Nutritional yeast is found in grocery stores’ natural food or health food section. You typically want to look through bulk bins, the spice aisle, baking and dry goods, and the supplements aisle.
- Sometimes, you can also find it on the shelf in tin shakers or prepackaged bags alongside other healthy toppings.
What is Nutritional Yeast, and What is it used for?
Nutritional yeast (sometimes called “Nooch”) is a species of yeast called Saccharomyces cerevisiae; essentially, the yeast to make bread or beer. The only difference is that nutritional yeast is in its inactive state; as such, you can’t exactly use it for making bread or beer. Being inactive means, they’re killed during the production process.
Nutritional yeast is mostly used by vegans who want to substitute dairy products like cheese and cream. It’s common to see it mixed in or put on foods like rice, on bread or rice cakes, garbanzo beans, yellow and green beans, steamed kale, scrambled tofu, and even in soups. Given that it’s dry and flaky and comes with a lot of nutrients (especially fortified nutritional yeast), it can pretty much go with any moist food or a delicacy containing oil.
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What are the Types of Nutritional Yeast
Nutritional yeast is divided into two types:
Fortified nutritional yeast is often used as part of ingredients or spreads in a dish. However, unfortified nutritional yeast is only used by people who want its cheesy, nutty, and savory in their foods.
The only difference between both types is the added vitamins and minerals in fortified nutritional yeast. It’s also right to refer to them as miracle flakes, given that they contain folic acid, selenium, zinc, and vitamin B (vitamin B12 included), while also being free of sugar and gluten.
Where is Nutritional Yeast in the Grocery Store?
You’d find nutritional yeast in pretty much any grocery store. You want to look at the natural foods or health food section – that’s your best bet. In special cases where the store has bulk bins, there’s where you should focus your attention.
Before entering a grocery store, you need to understand that sorting of goods depends on the type of grocery store and their policy. While that’s the case, it’s hard to visit a grocery store and not see nutritional yeast among the following aisles:
- Baking and dry goods
How to Store Nutritional Yeast
As said earlier, nutritional yeast is an inactive form of yeast; as such, it doesn’t need much storage effort to maintain its quality. While that’s the case, storing nutritional yeast in a freezer or refrigerator extends its shell life – or at least ensures it reaches what’s written on the label. Whether stored or not, there’s an expiry date written on the label, but If stored properly (in a freezer), nutritional yeast can last up to four months beyond its expiration date.
How to Make Homemade Nutritional Yeast
Nutritional yeast has a particular flavor and texture that doesn’t have popular substitutes; it’s wise you learn how to make it if the nearby grocery store runs out of stalks. While homemade nutritional yeast won’t get you exactly what you’d expect from a jar in the grocery store, it’s a great option especially if you have limited options.
While that’s the case, we should emphasize that this process involves using dry instant yeast. You can’t determine to what extent the deactivation occurs, and eating activated yeast can cause bloating and other gastrointestinal issues; be cautious when consuming homemade nutritional yeast.
- Get a medium or large skillet and heat it. You want the skillet to be large enough to heat all the added instant yeast evenly. Also, make sure the heat is set to medium or high.
- Place the instant yeast evenly into the heated skillet (while still on the fire) and continue to heat. Again, ensure the quantity of instant yeast relative to the pan isn’t too much; you want a quantity where everything will be evenly heated. Typically 32 grams of instant yeast would do.
- Heat and stir the yeast granules till they become evenly browned. Make sure you stir properly – this stage often leads to some of the yeast not being deactivated.
- Let your deactivated yeast cool down, then transfer it to a jar or airtight container.
If you’re going to be using homemade nutritional yeast, you want to make sure you follow these processes carefully. If it seems challenging, it’s best you stick to commercially produced nutritional yeast.
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