August 26, 2008

A Sprinkle of Health

As regular Small Bites readers know, I'm a huge fan of what I like to call "nutritional sprinkling".

A tablespoon of ground flaxseeds in a smoothie, a tablespoon of wheat germ with yogurt, and a few teaspoons of oat bran in your cereal are wonderful ways of gradually integrating substantial nutrition to your day.

Now I introduce you to another all-star on my sprinkling team -- nutritional yeast.

Many vegans are familiar with it -- for the right reason!

Nutritional yeast is a deactivated yeast naturally loaded with B vitamins and usually fortified with vitamin B12 (the one vegans have the hardest time getting in their food.)

Even better -- two tablespoons of it provide a whopping 5 grams of fiber, 8 grams of protein, a practically non-existent 30 milligrams of sodium, and 375 milligrams of potassium (as much as a small banana)!

As if that weren't enough, it's also a great source of zinc and selenium.

If you have never tried nutritional yeast, I can best describe it as a delectable nutty/parmesan cheese-like flavor.

As far as initial experiences go, I recommend sprinkling it over popcorn, in soups and stir-fries, or over your favorite pasta dish.

Although most conventional supermarkets don't carry nutritional yeast, you can find it at Whole Foods, or your local health store.

It is by no means a wallet buster -- a 5 ounce (that's plenty!) container of Red Star Nutritional Yeast, for instance, retails for $5.19.


Meredith (in Toronto) said...

Andy, do you know anything about Salba? It seems to be getting quite popular (I accidentally ordered a raspberry salba square at my local coffee shop the other day), and I'm not sure whether it's a fad or not. Is it actually a whole food or is it processed? Where does it come from? Is it as good as the makers of it claim?

christine said...

i'm a vegan, and i know that many people think what vegans eat (tofu, edamame, ground flax meal, wheat germ, nutritional yeast, etc.) are strange or weird! thanks for doing this post and making these untraditional foods less foreign to the public :D

Lizzy said...

I never would've known nutritional yeast had that much fibre in it!

I've had fabulous vegan dips/spreads using that as the secret ingredient. Mmm...