Without this magic powder, vegan dishes just wouldn’t be the same. This seasoning is a must in numerous recipes. Nutritional yeast has a surprisingly nutty flavour and adds that extra dose of zest to sauces, salads, vegan cheeses, crackers, and much more. If you haven’t tried it yet, I’m willing to bet that once you do, you’ll want to put it on everything!
What is it, exactly?
Nutritional yeast is not the same thing as active yeast—the kind you use to make bread. Nutritional yeast is an inactive yeast, made with microscopic mushrooms. Active yeast is cultivated on sugary sub-products (such as molasses), which are then subjected to high temperatures in order to render them inactive. Depending on the sub-product they are cultivated on, they will have different flavours and nutritional values. The most common yeast types are Torula, Engevita, and Red Star. Typically beige or yellow, these small yeast flakes are rich in vitamin B, including B6 and the famous B12, which is essential for anyone who follows a vegan diet. Nutritional yeast is also a great source of fibre and amino acids. Gluten-, cholesterol-, and saturated fat-free, it’s a guilty pleasure you can enjoy without moderation! In addition to the many health benefits this superfood boasts, it’s also good for your nails, hair, and skin! Pregnant women can consume nutritional yeast all throughout their pregnancy, seeing as the nutrients it contains (notably folic acid, or B9) are indispensable to the proper development of baby. Nutritional yeast can be stored at room temperature for several months. I recommend sprinkling some on your popcorn or quinoa pasta, adding some to your vinaigrettes, or simply tossing some into your salads.
My first time
No one ever forgets the first time they tried nutritional yeast. My first time was about 8 years ago, at a vegan restaurant in Montreal called Aux vivres. If you’re a fan of this restaurant, then you probably know I’m talking about their famous Dragon sauce (served with a bowl of brown rice, beets, lettuce, daikon radishes, carrots, and micro-greens). Because I can’t go to Aux vivres every day, I’ve come up with my version of homemade Dragon sauce . . . which I’m going to share with you today!
Homemade Dragon sauce
Yields: Approximately ¾ cup
Preparation: 5 minutes
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 45 mL (3 tbsp.) maple syrup
- 45 mL (3 tbsp.) Tamari sauce
- 45 mL (3 tbsp.) water
- 90 mL (6 tbsp.) grape seed oil
- 60 mL (1/4 cup) nutritional yeast
Place all the ingredients in a blender and purée until smooth. Serve over quinoa, rice, vegetables, salad . . . basically anything! Keep for up to a week in the fridge.