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‘NOOCH’: The secret weapon for cheesy, savory flavor (that isn’t cheese)

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Nutritional yeast is a great way to add cheese flavor for vegan versions of popular comfort foods, and it also helps thicken sauces. It’s a powerhouse ingredient that transforms vegetables without adding much fat.

VIDYA RAO: One of the most common things you’ll hear from people who are considering going vegan is that they could never live without cheese. And who can argue with that? It’s hard to beat that umami-rich, cheesy flavor that makes everything better, from sauces to casseroles to popcorn. Enter the vegan’s secret weapon: nutritional yeast…

Also called “nooch”… or even “hippy dust,” nutritional yeast used to be a fringe ingredient for people in the know. But, like veganism itself, nutritional yeast has gone mainstream as a must-have ingredient for home chefs trying to cook healthier food…

Nutritional yeast is deactivated yeast that is cultivated for use in food. It is the same Saccharomyces cerevisiae species that is used for baking bread and brewing beer. While the yeast cells are live when you use it at the start of the baking or brewing process, nutritional yeast is not live. The end product can be found as either yellow flakes or powder…

The “nutritional” in the ingredient’s name isn’t just a marketing gimmick: Nutritional yeast is packed with fiber and iron, and one tablespoon serves up almost a day’s worth of B vitamins… Each tablespoon provides about 4 grams of protein at 25 calories and 0.5 grams of fat. It’s gluten-free and dairy-free…

Nutritional yeast is a great way to add cheese flavor for vegan versions of popular comfort foods, and it also helps thicken sauces. It’s a powerhouse ingredient that transforms vegetables without adding much fat… And nutritional yeast subs in for grated Parmesan when sprinkled atop fries, kale chips, pizza, pasta or when added to pesto. SOURCE…

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