Nutritional Yeast - A Vegan Cheese Substitute

Nutritional Yeast - A Vegan Cheese Substitute

Bev Dunne

I love the vibe in our shop with our new look wholefood section, and the buzz around our new self serve bulk bins.  Customers are excited about bringing in their own containers, as well as the great prices now available because they are serving themselves.  They also love making their own peanut butter – the kids are in awe, watching the nut butter pump out of the peanut butter machine. And of course, customers are flocking in to dispense our local honey knowing it’s the real thing – not ‘fake’ honey.

One of the popular foods dispensed from our bulk food bins is nutritional yeast flakes. Nutritional yeast has become hugely popular particularly for vegetarians, vegans and people suffering from dairy intolerances as it has quite a cheesy taste to it.  I discovered it some time ago and just love adding it to my food.

The bonus is, not only is it tasty it is also extremely nutritious.  It is high in B vitamins such as Vitamin B12, folic acid B9, pyridoxine B6, niacin (B3), riboflavin (B2) and thiamine (B1) which help our bodies stimulate our energy reserves. It is a complete protein containing approximately 8-10g per 2 tablespoons, plus contains minerals such as magnesium, copper and manganese.

So, what is nutritional yeast otherwise known as savoury yeast flakes? Nutritional yeast is the deactivated form of a strain of yeast known as Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Although it is the same species as brewer’s and baker’s yeast, because it is deactivated it means yeast is unable to ferment.  

Savoury yeast flakes are a lovely yellow colour and are great to sprinkle over pasta, soup, veggies or rice. They have a nutty cheesy flavour and can really lift the flavour of a dish.