Pass the Parmesan! Why nutritional yeast is a great cheese alternative for vegans

You may have spotted nutritional yeast on the shelf at the health food store or seen it referred to in a healthy recipe. But have you ever wondered what it is and how to use?

Whether you’re lactose intolerant, vegan, paleo or just trying to minimise the amount of cheese you eat, nutritional yeast can be a good alternative to Parmesan. I’ve personally used it a lot in my cooking since discovering cheese wasn’t really an option for me. It’s a great replacement for a cheese sprinkle and can also add a cheesy flavour to dishes such as Shepherd’s pie, vegetable bakes or a healthy burrito.

So what exactly is nutritional yeast?

nutritional yeastSometimes called savoury yeast flakes, nutritional yeast looks like soft yellow flakes and differs to the usual instant yeast or brewer’s yeast in that it has been deactivated. This means it won’t froth up like normal yeast does.

Why should I try using nutritional yeast?

Nutritional yeast is enriched with essential B vitamins. In particular, it’s a rich source of B12, which is essential to maintain a healthy nervous system, for the production of red blood cells, the creation of DNA and to assist proper brain function.

In fact, just one tablespoon of nutritional yeast will provide you with your daily dose of B12! This is especially good news for vegans as B12 is very difficult for them to get in food form, as almost all food sources of B12 come from animal products.

One quarter of a cup of nutritional yeast will also give you six grams of protein (about the same as 30g of chicken breast) and three grams of fibre. Giving your meal an extra nutritional kick not just a delicious cheesy taste!

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