It’s yellow, it’s flaky, it’s cheese-y and flavorful, it’s a vegan’s dream version of cheese. But nutritional yeast is something everyone can benefit from because with just a few sprinkles, it adds stress-reducing B vitamins and nutty goodness to so many dishes.
Chock full of the B-complex vitamins (some brands including B12), nutritional yeast boasts trace minerals and, being a complete, bioavailable source of protein, contains all 18 amino acids. It is naturally free of dairy, soy, gluten and sugar, and contains no animal products. B vitamins help balance the myriad systems of the body, they help convert food to energy, minimize depression, insomnia, nervousness, fatigue, trembling, loss of appetite, PMS, mood changes and irritability. B vitamins can also improve skin, nails and hair and improve memory.
Nutritional yeast is not the same as baking yeast, active dry yeast, compressed yeast, torula yeast or brewer’s yeast. It doesn’t contain alcohol, won’t cause or exacerbate an overgrowth of Candida, and will not leaven your baked goods. So what is it exactly?
Good quality nutritional yeast is made from a single-celled organism of fungi called Saccharomyces Cerevisiae. In a controlled environment it is cultured and grown on molasses and then deactivated, harvested, washed and dried. Deactivation prevents it from being used as a leavening agent.