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The Buzz: Nutritional Yeast

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What’s the buzz? Nutritional yeast is a savory, high-nutrient add-in that you should be sprinkling on everything from pasta to smoothies. What does the science say?

Sometimes called “nooch,” nutritional yeast is a deactivated yeast that is grown on beet molasses or sugarcane. It boasts a savory, umami flavor that often stands in for cheese in plant-based diets. It is naturally gluten-free and depending on the brand, a 2 tablespoon serving provides 4 to 5 grams of fiber and  6 to 10 grams of protein, as well as high amounts of many B vitamins and other vitamins and minerals. Many varieties are also fortified with Vitamin B12, which makes nutritional yeast a star ingredient in vegan cooking (as B12 is primarily present in the diet from animal-based foods).

What’s the takeaway?
Available in yellow flakes or powdered form, nooch adds a blast of nutty, cheesy flavor to foods. If you choose an entirely plant-based diet, look for a brand that is fortified with B12. New to nutritional yeast? Sprinkle it on popcorn or pasta for a tasty introduction to this nutrient-rich flavor enhancer.

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