Superfood Series Part 6- Nooch! aka Nutritional Yeast

Start adding some nooch to your food. Great on sweet potato fries!
Start adding some nooch to your food. Great on sweet potato fries!

A couple of years ago when I wasn’t into healthy eating and certainly didn’t know about any “superfoods” or anything of the like, my wife would always come home from the organic shop here in Red Deer with weird powders and strange sounding things. One time she came home with nutritional yeast and I thought there was no way I would ever eat that, along with most things that she came home with. Wow, have times ever changed! Nutritional yeast, or nooch as we like to call it, is definitely not something that a lot of people know about.

So what the heck is nooch anyways? I won’t bore you with all the details but basically nooch is a deactivated yeast that is grown on molasses. Like its name nutritional yeast is very nutritious for you. Let’s break down the benefits of nooch for you.

  1. Vitamin B-12- A very important vitamin, especially if you’re vegan (and a reason why a lot of vegans use nooch). Vitamin B-12 is usually only found in animal products is not something we want to become deficient in.
  2. Complete Protein- Nooch has the 9 essential amino acids that your body can’t produce. One tablespoon of nooch contains 4 grams of protein. That’s a lot when you consider nooch is essentially a condiment.
  3. Folic Acid- I have a sister that is a few months pregnant and as many of you probably know, it’s important to take folic acid when pregnant to help prevent birth defects. One tablespoon of nooch has more than 100% of the daily folic requirements during pregnancy.

As well as having a few other benefits such as minerals like zinc, iron, and selenium, I think nutrtional yeast is a superfood, even more so if you are a vegan.

What does it taste like and how do you use it? Nooch has a cheesy flavor and is mostly used as either a cheese substitute or simply sprinkled on top of things to make them taste better! Over the past few months, my wife and I have mostly only used nooch exclusively for two recipes. We have sweet potato fries at least 2 times a week and my wife discovered one day that sprinkling a few tablespoons on the fries before baking them made them so much better. The second recipe is one of my favorite meals from Meghan Telpner’s blog. It’s a healthy mac and cheese. There is no mac and there is no cheese in this recipe but it tastes so much better! This recipe calls for spaghetti squash for the mac and the cheese is nooch (as well as some other ingredients and spices). definitely one of my favorite meals and I would say I make this once or twice a month. You can find the link to Meghan’s recipe here. Some other ways you can use nooch is on homemade pizzas, sprinkled on popcorn, and more.

You can find nutritional yeast at pretty much any health food store. Try picking some up and adding it to your favorite sweet potato fries recipe or even better, try out Meghan’s healthy mac and cheese recipe. It’s not expensive and you will have added a highly nutritious and great tasting ingredient into your cooking!

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