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A Love Letter to Nutritional Yeast


Not since Pee Cola                                                                                                                          and AYDS diet chews


has a less appealing name been chosen for a product.  NUTRITIONAL YEAST?  It sounds like something to look out for when you’re changing clothes in a locker room or using a public toilet.  Nonetheless, I can forgive the unfortunate name, because I DIG THIS STUFF.  I will go so far as to say it’s miraculous.  It gives that unctuous, je ne sais quoi, UMAMI to whatever it touches.  It makes naked, tasteless, air-popped popcorn sing like Nacho Cheese Doritos.  In a word, it’s awesome.

A few facts about Nutritional Yeast:  in two tablespoons, you get 60 calories, 1 gram of fat, trace sodium, 70% of your daily requirement of Vitamin B12 and 353% of your daily requirement of Riboflavin.  While Riboflavin may sound like a D list rapper from the 90’s, it’s actually a key player in energy metabolism and in burning and using all the fats and carbohydrates you ingest.  B12 is one of the hot button topics in most vegetarian nutritional discussions as well, since the most common nutritional sources of it are innards, shellfish and chicken.  Having just used the word “innards” and making myself a bit nauseous, I’ll try to get back on track.

You should buy this stuff and use it like you use salt & pepper or parmesan cheese.  Think sprinkling it over hot pasta, sautéed veggies, scrambled eggs, omelettes, warm salads, rice, literally anything that needs a little extra zing at the end of cooking.  I’ll work on some actual recipes, but until then, pick some up and start experimenting.  I’d love to hear about any new uses for my favorite product-of-the-moment . . . but not if you’re putting it on innards.  You can keep that to yourself.

2 responses »

  1. I think the real question here is what can Nutritional Yeast do for the flavor of Ayds or Pee Cola?

  2. hahaha, Gigi! Seeing that Ayds box just flooded my brain w/memories of my mom constantly trying to lose weight. Back in the 70s, it seems she was always eating them, and of course, this was waay before the AIDS epidemic. Thanks for the NY post – I did not know any of that, and must try. Will also try the veggies/lemon zest/lentil recipe you posted, which sounds divine.


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