Nutritional Yeast (Nooch) is my new love.
Maybe it’s just a Spring Fling, maybe I’ll get over it, but for now, I stay stuck on the nooch.
I think it should be considered a superfood… super-delicious AND super-nutritious! (Pun totally intended.)
I seriously never knew that being healthy & vegan could be so fun, not even after doing it for over a year. I was terrified that I’d be doomed to boring, bland foods or becoming a junk-food vegan… no in-between.
Thank GOD that’s not true.
I’m finding more and more things to get excited about these days, from food to self-care- you’ll hear more about the latter on Sundays and Mondays (so stay tuned).
Eating right and being healthy does NOT have to be a snooze fest. You can enjoy yourself while still practicing healthy habits. That’s the main point of this blog & my journey: to find those sweet spots between fun & health and report them back to you.
Well, my friends, I think I’ve found another one in my recent love affair with nooch. And yes, that’s totally what it is… I am STOKED!
I’m always happy to find new sources of plant-based protein that don’t bore the shit out of me, but this one takes the (vegan) cake. Probably because it’s not a mock meat or a bean. In fact, it’s usually used to make creamy sauce & cheese substitutes.
So before I get too far away from myself here, let me explain why I’m so turned on by nooch… and why you should be, too!
3 Reasons Why I’m OBSESSED With Nooch
Nooch is good for you.
Unlike regular yeast, Nooch is considered “dead”, or deactivated. All this means is that the leavening effects of regular yeast don’t apply. So you won’t have to worry about it exploding in your stomach like uncooked oats :).
But why is it so damn good for you? Well, for one, it happens to be a natural plant-source of vitamin B12…
According to the USDA database, nooch contains 58mcg per serving (which is about ¼ cup or 4 tbsp). (source) If my calculation is correct, that’s 241-242% of your daily requirements as an adult. (source)
Note: Don’t worry. To date, there aren’t too many known side effects of taking in more B12 than is recommended. Since it’s an essential nutrient and your body doesn’t produce it naturally, the danger isn’t as high as it would be for something like iron. So more than 100% is ok.
*Edit: The above note may not apply to you if you’re an adult-male smoker! Due to the amount of cyanide you take in, there is some concern that more than 55mcg of B12, or cyanocobalamin, may INCREASE your chances of lung cancer (source). See Jack Norris, R.D.’s, updated article on Veganhealth.org for more details on this.
That serving ALSO has 8g of protein and a decent amount of your EAA (essential amino acids). You need that.
It’s to the point where I don’t need to supplement more than I already do (I take a once daily multi-vitamin/multi-mineral by Nature’s Way).You have NO idea what a relief that is.
But you will if you stop by the store and get YOU some nooch, too.
It’s a GREAT substitute for parmesan cheese.
2 things I ate this week that blew my frickin’ mind:
- Penne pasta w/ Smoked Apple Sage Field Roast Sausage & Nooch
- Scrambled Tofu w/ Smoked Apple Sage Field Roast Sausage… & Nooch
Toss some salt n’ pepper in that shit and it… is… LIT.
Take it from me… I used to be a major cheese fanatic. Pasta or scrambled eggs with cheese were pretty much what I lived for.
When I went vegan, they were probably the hardest things to give up. But then I found nooch… and, well, the rest is history.
The best thing about these sans-cheese “cheesy” recipes? They’re actually healthy. Even vegan cheese isn’t that great for you. Sure, it makes staying vegan easier, but vegan & healthy aren’t necessarily synonymous.
Vegan cheese substitutes are basically just oil and salt mixed with some kind of starch. You know how much I love my Daiya vegan cheese, and after looking at the ingredients it’s better than other cheese subs out there… but it still contains coconut oil (see my blog post about coconut oil here) and not nearly the same amount of protein per serving as nutritional yeast.
So when you’re looking for something that tastes the most like cheese, choose the Daiya… I still do on occasion myself. But if you’re trying to cut out less-than-healthy oils, pack in the protein, and still enjoy your food, go with the nooch.
It’s tasty as HELL.
Beyond all the other stuff, nooch just tastes damn good.
It really has its own unique flavor that’s similar to cheese, and yet different. It’s so damn good that it can be used as a dietary supplement and a condiment.
Who here used to love cheesy popcorn? I know I can’t be alone in this. It’s one helluva snack.
Well, now you don’t have to give it up when you go vegan. Nutritional yeast is just as enjoyable on popcorn as those little flavor packs you can sometimes get at the movies.
Here’s what I use for mine:
- 2 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast flakes
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼-½ tsp garlic powder
Mix the 3 ingredients together and sprinkle over a bowl of freshly-popped, plain popcorn. You may or may not like it, but to me, it’s the bomb-diggity.
So try it out for yourself and see what you think. If you don’t love it, you can always tweak it until you do.
Enjoy whatever movie you choose to watch while you eat it! (Unless it’s Avengers: Infinity War… I don’t think there’s any way to make that less painful, not even comfort food. #StillHurt.)
Get you some nooch and become a fan, too!
There are so many different ways to fit nutritional yeast into your diet… you don’t have to settle for putting it on top of things.
You can mix it into cream sauces, cashew cheese, salad dressings… the possibilities really are endless.
And either way, you’ll be getting some really helpful nutrients in your diet.
So if you made it all the way through this post- first of all, thanks :), and second… get up off your bum and go get you some nooch!
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