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What's New in Your Pantry? Nutritional yeast!

Nutritional yeast

From Ken, in Hawaii:

I am trying to duplicate “Jane’s Healthy Kitchen Recipe for Vegan/Paleo Dairy Free Parmesan Cheese" which you freeze into a block and you can then shave or grate like regular Parmesan cheese and have the same taste and texture. The trick is making your own coconut butter as the base from the shredded coconut and the lemon juice, nutritional yeast and vitamin-C gives it the color and that sharp aged taste. I have friends that are Lactose Intolerant, Vegetarians and Vegans so I as a Carnivore am trying to expand my recipe repertoire to be inclusive of my friends' special needs when I cook.  

[Lydia's notes] I've never cooked with nutritional yeast, so this one's completely new to me. My friends who are lactose intolerant talk about "nut cheese" all the time. I've never made it; have you? What else do you make with nutritional yeast? Here are some recipe ideas. I haven't tried them, but they look interesting:

The best butter-free popcorn, from Gimme Some Oven
Vegan Cheddar jalapeño biscuits, from Minimalist Baker
Massaged kale salad, from Shared Appetite
Vegan French toast, from Love and Lemons

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  1. Find something in your pantry, fridge or freezer, cupboards, or kitchen that wasn't there 10 years ago. Maybe it's a spice or condiment you use now that you didn't know existed back then. Maybe it's a new version of something you've always had (a different brand of soy sauce or olive oil?). Or, maybe it's a tool or utensil that's essential to the way you cook today. Maybe it's something you discovered here on The Perfect Pantry! If you haven't had your own kitchen for 10 years, find something you have now that you didn't have a year ago.
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not familiar with the seasoning in the picture; not sure if can get it--have never noticed it on shelves of specialty stores. What kinds os things would it be included in? (recipes that use nutritional yeast of course, but can you expand my knowledge?, please)

I have this and keep it in the freezer and it seems to last indefinitely that way. I am a fan of the flavor but I only have one recipe that uses it, a savory nutrient-dense low-carb breakfast muffin. I did hear from someone recently who uses it to season cauliflower rice, which I am definitely going to try. And this reader Ken sounds like a peach of a guy to try to make it for his friends!

Shirley, I have listed some recipe ideas in the post, above, and that will give you an idea of how to use nutritional yeast. Because I don't use it myself, I don't have any great wisdom to add, so we'll both have to head for Wikipedia to tell us more!

I have used nutritional yeast since the 1970's, and sold it as a natural food retailer from 1981 to 2010. For a while I used lots of it, inspired by the recipe 'Tiger's milk' in Adelle Davis's book (proto-smoothie) and The Farm Cookbook - especially the soup that became Mock Chicken Soup that was a favorite in our in-store deli, and a Mac and 'Cheez' that my kids loved. Late 70's, I came up with a breading mix that I first used for fish, which became the foundation of another deli favorite, Fired Tofu Sandwich. Here's my recipe: https://food52.com/recipes/18552-fried-tofu-sandwich-cornmeal-breading
The breading is a staple in my house, which I keep in the freezer and use for anything that gets that kind of breading.
Nutritional yeast, however, does not have to be frozen or refrigerated - pantry shelf is fine. The best kind is from Red Star (the same company that makes baking yeast), yellow colored and flaky. It has a cheesy taste that makes it good on popcorn, and it's not strong like it's older brother brewers yeast. Look for it in natural food stores, either bulk or packaged.
It also has a terrific reputation as a food additive for pets - helps skin and coat and discourages fleas. Start with a small amount sprinkled on food (or look for chewable tablets). They usually love it!

I keep thinking about trying nutritional yeast again. When I first tried it I was not a fan of the taste. Maybe I'll like it better now?!


If you click on “Jane’s Healthy Kitchen Recipe for Vegan/Paleo Dairy Free Parmesan Cheese" above it will take you to the actual recipe. Jane has a link in the recipe “nutritional yeast” that will take you to a full description to what it is and how to use it in recipes. I purchased Bragg’s brand in a regular grocery store but you can also purchase in a health food specialty store or try Wholefoods. By the way it came out great and looks and tastes like the real thing!

I use nutritional yeast almost every day...sprinkle over salads and a favorite is sprinkled over lentils for a yeasty/cheesy taste. Keep bulk in the freezer and immediate use in the fridge.

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