There is so much going on about plant-based diets nowadays. Whether you are vegan or not, vegan restaurants have become a popular social hub for people to explore new tastes and expand their palate. While we have already talked about the Mediterranean diet previously, today we will focus on vegans’ favourite go-to ingredient – the ‘nooch’.
Nooch, mainly known as nutritional yeast, is one of the most demanded products at Westpoint. First of all, you shouldn’t confuse nutritional yeasts with active yeasts that are used in baking. Nutritional yeasts are deactivated, meaning they do not act as leavening agents in bread-making. Yet, this product is very popular and widely used by vegans and vegetarians because of its impressive nutrient contents – the most notable one is Vitamin B12.
Nutritional yeasts are among many fortified foods that serve as a great “vegetarian support”. Since our bodies do not make Vitamin B12, and you can only obtain it from either animal-based foods or supplements, being Vitamin B12-deficient is not uncommon. Although a mild deficiency may cause no symptoms, if prolonged and untreated, you might suffer from fatigue, dizziness, shortness of breath, digestive issues, tingling or numbness, and memory loss.
Other than B complex Vitamins, these low-calorie nutritional yeasts are packed with a surprisingly dense amount of complete protein – another nutrient that plant-based consumers need to be aware of. About 2 tablespoons of it can supply up to 9 grams of protein, which is more than a cup of whole milk, a large egg, or an ounce of beef. Impressive, right?
In addition to being a nutrition-booster, nutritional yeasts are also well-known substitutes for cheese because of their natural cheesy and nutty flavour. Vegan eaters love adding them to their salads, cheese-free macaroni, pizzas and pesto sauce. For a healthy snack, you can also sprinkle them onto your freshly-popped popcorn, or use them to make healthy crackers! Check out our recipe below.