As a vegetarian and self-proclaimed foodie, it has taken me forever to start buying and using nutritional yeast on the regular. Have you tried it yet? You can see it hiding in the corner of the photo above. It’s light yellow in color with the consistency of fish food flakes… but I promise that it tastes so much better! Nutritional yeast is de-activated yeast (similar to that used in bread) and often used in vegan recipes in place of cheese due to it’s unique nutty/cheesy flavor.
You can usually find it in the bulk bins at the grocery store. One serving (two tablespoons) provides up to 8 grams of protein, and >100% of the daily value for most B-vitamins. Many vegans use it as a non-animal source of the vitamin B12. Just make sure to check that your nutrition yeast has been fortified with vitamin B12 since it isn’t naturally a good source of the vitamin. (Many of the major brands are fortified!)
One of my favorite ways to incorporate a little nutritional yeast into my diet is by sprinkling it on popcorn. It adds just a bit of cheesy flavor without actually having to use a processed cheese powder. This smoky cheddar popcorn is my best imitation of the baconesque white cheddar popcorn from Trader Joe’s that is oh-so-addicting.
Nutritional yeast and buttermilk powder combine to add cheesiness with a few dashes of liquid smoke for extra flavor. I’m looking forward to munching on the batch in the photographs as I try not to binge watch all of Orange is the New Black in one sitting.
Smoky Cheddar Popcorn
- 1 bag plain popcorn kernels
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon liquid smoke ie. a few shakes
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon buttermilk powder
- Pop the popcorn in the microwave according to package directions.
- Pour popped corn into a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and liquid smoke and toss.
- Sprinkle with the nutritional yeast and buttermilk powder and toss well to coat.