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6 Zesty, Creamy, Cheesy Benefits of Nutritional Yeast

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Nutritional yeast might not sound very appetizing as it rolls off your tongue, but trust me; a few sprinkles over a freshly popped bowl of stove-popped corn will convince you to add these flakes to pretty much every dish or snack. I’m not quite sure when I discovered nutritional yeast flakes, but they certainly add a delicious, zesty flavor (like Parmesan cheese) to veggies, popcorn, pasta, soups, stir fries and plenty more dishes for the casien allergic (to cow dairy protein), vegans and vegetarians, and the milk-intolerant. Plus, nutritional yeast flakes add plenty of vitamins, minerals, and protein—not to mention a pretty impressive line-up of health benefits to any diet…

1. Nutritional Yeast Isn’t Like Other Yeasts

While you may have noticed both nutritional yeast flakes and brewer’s and baking yeasts all at your local market, it would be wrong to let you confuse nutritional yeast with other yeasts, which are all used for very different things.

Nutritional yeast (Saccharomyces Cerevisiae or “nooch”) grows typically on black strap molasses, whey, or wood pulp. This type of yeast is harvested, washed, dried, deactivated using heat (so it won’t make anything rise), and ground into a powder or flakes. Baker’s yeast, on the other hand, is an active yeast used for bread-making while brewer’s yeast is inactive, but distinctly bitter for beer-making.

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