What are Nutritional Yeast Flakes?
Nutritional Yeast Flakes are made from cultures of sugar cane and beet molasses. It is totally different from brewer's yeast or baker's yeast. If you are buying Nutritional Yeast for the first time, you should be careful not to buy brewer’s yeast or yeast extract by mistake. All the examples on this page, of course, are proper Nutritional Yeast.
Buy Nutritional Yeast Flakes
Nutritional Yeast is very high in protein and B vitamins and low in fat. It has a strong, cheesy-nutty flavour. It can be eaten on its own, sprinkled on foods, or used in vegan recipes (to make a melty vegan “cheese” sauce, for example). Nutritional Yeast comes in a light, powder/flake form. It is a complete protein, is rich in B-complex vitamins, naturally low in fat and sodium, and therefore great for vegan cuisine and healthy vegan weight loss. (Vegan cheese substitutes have about the same calorie count as mozzarella cheese, so for weight loss it doesn't make a difference.)
Nutritional Yeast on Vegan Pizza
Many vegans use the super-nutritious nutritional yeast for a cheesy topping on their vegan pizza.
You mix it with flour, garlic, margarine (or oil), mustard, and water to make a sauce like nacho cheese sauce consistency and bake it on top of your pizza. But you have to use a stick of margarine, or 1/2 to 1/3 cup of oil in most recipes.
A variation which uses no oil at all, and is geared toward weight loss goes like this:
- 1 oz nutritional yeast
- 12 oz tomato paste
- 1 oz fresh lemon juice
- 16 oz water
- 1 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
and use that as your pizza topping.
This has 76 calories per 5 oz serving, as opposed to mozzarella which has about 80 calories per ounce! You are basically mixing the cheesy flavour in the tomato sauce, rather than adding something else on top. So if you want to lose weight, that would be a great vegan pizza recipe.
My favourite recipe (from The New Farm Vegetarian Cookbook ), however, goes like this:
- Mix 1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes, 1/4 cornstarch, 2 tbsp. of flour, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. garlic powder.
- Put it in a saucepan and and whisk in 2 cups of water.
- Cook it for 30 seconds, remove it from heat, and whip in 1/2 cup of oil (up to 1 cup if you wish to make it bubblier and stretchier), and 1 tsp. wet mustard.
- Add up to 1 cup of water, as needed to make a thick, smooth sauce that pours easily.
- Pour it on your vegan pizza and for the last few mintues of baking, put the vegan pizza under the broiler for a few minutes to form a stretchy, golden brown speckled skin.