I recently (not sure what took me so long) have become very intrigued by nutritional yeast, or as it’s known on the street, “nooch“. Working with clients who make conscious choices to lean toward a more plant-based diet, led me play around with this vegan-diet staple. I have sprinkled it on a dish here and there, but I cannot say I truly ever loved the texture or taste.
BUT, with more research and a new found appreciation for such a light, little flake, I have discovered some important points about nutritional yeast that have permanently changed my ways. Sourced from black strap molasses, here are some things we know about nooch…
- 2 tablespoons of “nooch” equals approximately 9g of plant-based protein!
- it is low in sodium and cholesterol-free, making it a great addition to heart-healthy dishes
- it is high in many B vitamins, and often fortified with B12, the vitamin that many vegetarians and vegans are deficient in as it is obtained by animal sources
- it is high in fibre, again great for heart health, but also to keep the digestive tract healthy and is needed to eliminate cholesterol and excess hormones – which means a cleaner body and glowing skin!
- being high in protein and fibre, nooch will keep you full longer as it helps to balance blood sugar
A snack I always recommend to clients who love nibbling on salty chips late at night, is roasted chick peas. Naturally high in fibre and big on crunch, these babies can replace chips, and can be added to salads for extra protein.
Rinse a can of chick peas, and pat dry with paper towel. As you roll them around in the paper towel, the skin will remove itself and you can discard it. Toss chick peas in 1/4 C olive oil, 1/2 tsp sea salt, cracked pepper, a shake of thyme and rosemary, and 1/4 cup nutritional yeast. Bake on a baking sheet at 400F for about 40 minutes, or until crunchy. Allow to completely cool, then store in a sealed jar.
If you are a popcorn lover, I always recommend popping it in coconut oil, then you can sprinkle on sea salt, cracked pepper and nooch for a cheesy flavour.
Try turning nutritional yeast into salad dressing! Mix together 2Tblsp of tahini, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, 1 Tblsp olive oil, 1 clove freshly chopped garlic, pinch of sea salt, and 1-2 Tblsp nooch. Drizzle dressing on wraps, on salads, or roasted veggies.
My comfort food go-to is mac n’ cheese. I ate it religiously as a kid, teen, and I still make it (from scratch) for my kids. Swapping out dairy for nutritional yeast truly makes a tasty, creamy alternative. Vegangela shares her Best Ever Vegan Mac n’ Cheese recipe on her blog and you should definitely add it to your #meatlessmonday menu.
Lastly, you can turn these little flakes into “parmesan cheese” with 4 ingredients, to sprinkle on pasta, pizza, veggies, you name it. One of my fave food bloggers, Minimalist Baker, adapted her recipe from a few others and made it amazing.
How do you nooch? Share your ideas with us here or on Insta. I’m sure there are a million different ways to nooch up your favourite dishes.