Can we talk about nutritional yeast, please? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 02-13-2016, 09:27 PM
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Question Can we talk about nutritional yeast, please?

Hello vegan friends,

It appears that nutritional yeast is a vegan necessity for making "cheesy" flavors. How I missed this memo my first vegan ride (10 years ago, I lasted 1 year) I am not sure.

I just ate Amy's gluten free and vegan mac n cheeze, (containing Daiya brand cheese) and it was so-so. This is coming from someone for whom real cheese is a very recent memory, but it had a weird after taste, almost like cardboard? Is this standard for nutritional yeast? If so I'm not sure I should invest in it.

Do you have a particular brand that you recommend? Favorite nutritional yeast recipe?

thanks, all.
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#2 Old 02-14-2016, 05:48 AM
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Hi tofukitty,

I use Bob's Red Mill nutritional yeast, and sometimes get it from the bulk section at my local Whole Foods Coop (I believe their brand is Frontier). I use it maybe once per week or every few weeks, not a ton. It tastes nothing like cheese per say so if you try it expecting it to satisfy those cravings, you might be disappointed. However, it is very good in it's own way. It has a nutty kind of flavor to it and works great for making sauces, dips, "parmesan" etc.

I make a "parmesan" by blending (I have a high speed blender but a food processor would work) 1/4 cup of nutritional yeast, a few tablespoons of polenta or cornmeal, and a 1/2 cup of nut (usually blanched almonds or cashews or brazil nuts, but sometimes use raw sunflower seeds). I add spices like marjoram and garlic powder to mine. I like to sprinkle this course mix over potatoes, or vegetable casseroles or spaghetti.

I make a "cheese" sauce by steaming a large sweet potato, then adding it to a blender along with a 1/3 to 1/2 cup of nutritional yeast, about a cup or so of almond milk, firm silken tofu (optional), and spices like marjoram, nutmeg, salt/pepper etc. adding a touch of cornstarch if not using tofu also helps thicken it. I like the sauce very thick, almost spreadable, so I use less liquid. I like to pour this sauce over a plain baked potato and steamed broccoli, or mix it in with macaroni for a mac and "cheese". It has a slightly sweet taste like cheese would. You can also use a plain potato in place of sweet potato to make it more salty and less sweet. I based my recipe off this one that uses pumpkin in place of sweet potato: http://ohsheglows.com/2011/10/13/veg...-cheeze-sauce/

I have also made a recipe very similar to this one for homemade sliceable vegan "cheese" with nutritional yeast, agar, and almonds or cashews: http://vegangela.com/2011/10/15/homemade-vegan-cheese/

Sometimes I simply sprinkle in some nutritional yeast to homemade batches of soup as it adds flavor and saltiness.

Years ago when I first went vegan I made this dish and my omni partner loved it! I have since made it a few more times. I love butternut squash/nutritional yeast/tofu ricotta! http://vegweb.com/recipes/butternut-...s-tofu-ricotta

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#3 Old 02-14-2016, 07:07 AM
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Best nutritional yeast and vegan mac recipe I've tried: http://www.theppk.com/2013/10/roaste...-cheese-video/

The Amy's mac and cheese does have some nutritional yeast, but it's low on the ingredient list. Most of the flavor is coming from the Daiya, which doesn't have any nutritional yeast.

That said, I did not think nutritional yeast was very good when I first tried it. The smell can be off-putting at first. The longer it had been since I'd had dairy cheese, the more attractive vegan cheese became.
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#4 Old 02-14-2016, 08:14 AM
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My favorite nutritional yeast is Frontier's mini flakes, which I buy by the pound from Amazon.

I use quite a bit, although not necessarily to add a "cheesy" flavor. For example, I use it in most soups and stews I make. If I'm making a soup that is mostly broth, I add just a little - it deepens and smooths the flavor, without the taste of the nutritional yeast itself being discernible. If I'm making creamy cauliflower or broccoli soup, I add a lot. I use quite a bit in every type of seitan I make.
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#5 Old 02-14-2016, 09:35 AM
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Nutritional yeast has come a long way--it was truly nasty in the 1970s, as in I would mix it with orange juice and hold my nose while I drank it as fast as i could because it was good for me.

Now I lick the spoon after I measure it out unless the kid or the cat beat me to it.

It's a great source of B12. The B12 thing is a bit of a culture shock for me, I'll admit, since when we went vegan in 1992, dd's pediatrician told me it wasn't a huge issue because we don't need very much of it anyway and we get it from the impurities in grains and legumes, even though it isn't fun to think about weevils and rat hairs in our food. But whatevs. I've already had WAPF fans who "tried to be vegan for a whole week and almost died!" flame me for saying that and tell the whole board that the proof of how dangerous vegan diets are is the poster who has such a horrible B12 deficiency that they think they've been vegan for 43 years instead of 43 hours so whatevs. I'll sing with the choir. Nutritional yeast is a wonderful vegan source of B12.

It doesn't taste like cheese but it definitely makes food taste cheezy. this is my family's go-to mac 'n cheez recipe: http://vegweb.com/recipes/best-vegan...worldseriously which we tweak and mangle into various versions depending on what we have on hand.

We also enjoy the original 1994 edition of this: http://www.amazon.com/Ultimate-Unche...heese+cookbook which helped with the cravings, IIRC.

I sympathize. My daughter had a dairy allergy, but she loved cheese so much that we simply couldn't keep it in the house because she would find it and eat it. I also had fond memories of the stuff, since vegetarian children in the '70s were frequently given the choice between a hamburger or a grilled cheese sandwich so it tasted like choice and a small modicum of respect to me by the '90s.

Just because I don't miss it now doesn't mean I can't remember what you're probably going through right now.

My much younger son has grown up vegan and likes nooch on his popcorn and to flavour okara.
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Last edited by veg1973; 02-14-2016 at 09:40 AM. Reason: formatting; still figuring out java issues here; I'm a n00b
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#6 Old 02-14-2016, 10:45 AM
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I love nutritional yeast and could not live without it! Ok, well, I probably could but I don't want to.

I use Red Star or Bragg's.


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#7 Old 02-15-2016, 08:54 PM
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I defintely posted all of those recipes to my Pinterest and will be trying them all when I get a chance!

Veg1973 - Thank you for commiserating. It seriously helps! I hear vegan people say "its so easy!" and I can't believe how hard it feels sometimes. I was a vegan when I was 17-18 (one year) and I do remember it getting easier, but gosh I miss cheese. And not just cheese, but convenience - being able to hit the drive through or grab Tim Hortons? Lol. I am learning to plan ahead of course. I know it gets better. In the meantime my skin looks AMAZING, so I am holding on to that.

Naturebound - Thanks for your help and two cents. I want to try the vegan ricotta - that seems like it could be very comparable to the real thing. I am looking forward to buying some Bob's Red Mill nutritional yeast. Hopefully the local health food store will have it. I live in Grand Rapids, MI and it seems like vegan diets are NOT too popular around here. What is popular is paleo diets, it seems.

dormouse - Yeah, maybe it is sort of like Parmesan cheese, which I think smells terrible but tastes delightful? I seem to enjoy the Daiya cheese in recipes and on sandwiches, but eating it alone (or in mac n cheese, where its the main ingredient) is a little less appealing.

BeautifulJoe - Maybe I'll try those flakes from Amazon. I always worry about ordering food products online, knowing they will be exposed to various temperatures. Especially something as nutrient packed as nooch - I wonder if the sub freezing Michigan weather would mess it up.

Karenlowssnow - I hope to someway feel the way you do about nutritional yeast. And no more fantasizing about cheese.
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#8 Old 02-16-2016, 06:54 AM
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I used to hate nooch, but I've developed more of a tolerance for it over the years. My favorite cheesy sauces, however, are made with raw cashews, not nutritional yeast. Sometimes a small amount of nooch goes a long way in making a sauce taste cheesy. Here's a recipe for Fettuccine Alfredo that makes the omnis in my life swoon:

http://www.quietlyvegan.com/fettuccini-alfredo.html

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#9 Old 03-29-2016, 05:20 PM
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Nooch is better for mixing into things for that "cheesiness" quality rather than relying on it to be a cheese sauce, if that makes sense. I tried making a mac n cheese with a nooch sauce, and I hated it, it was so gross. But, when I'm making vegan alfredo sauce, 2-4 tablespoons of nooch just give it the right quality.
For a good mac n cheese, I use Daiya. 2 cups of unsweetened milk of your choice, 3/4 cup Daiya mozzarella, 3/4 cup Daiya cheddar. Heat the milk up, add the cheese, stir until it's all melted, mix into noodles. A touch of Earth Balance butter doesn't hurt either
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#10 Old 03-29-2016, 05:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paralleloparallelepiped View Post
Nooch is better for mixing into things for that "cheesiness" quality rather than relying on it to be a cheese sauce, if that makes sense. I tried making a mac n cheese with a nooch sauce, and I hated it, it was so gross. But, when I'm making vegan alfredo sauce, 2-4 tablespoons of nooch just give it the right quality.
For a good mac n cheese, I use Daiya. 2 cups of unsweetened milk of your choice, 3/4 cup Daiya mozzarella, 3/4 cup Daiya cheddar. Heat the milk up, add the cheese, stir until it's all melted, mix into noodles. A touch of Earth Balance butter doesn't hurt either
Yay! I have mac and cheze in the oven right now!
I've never followed a recipe I like that much, but when i just wing it with a roux, nooch, and this time Daiya cheddar it's amazing! I burn my tongue tasting a bit.
My musts are to carmelize chopped onions in olive oil, garlic, then wheat flour, mustard. lemon juice, black pepper,. I had really thick plain cashew milk this time. I think I used about 1/3 cup noock and maybe a cup Daiya to 4 cups milk and a pound of pasta

I found I like Bobs Red Mill a lot!
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#11 Old 03-29-2016, 05:31 PM
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Seriously, try sprinkling nooch thickly on vegan mayo. So good
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