Nooch may sound like the nickname of the dude who brings the beer pong ball to a frat party. But actually, nooch is short forÂ nutritional yeast, whichâalong with bone broth and ancient grainsâis enjoying an everything-old-is-new-again moment.
What is it, exactly?
If youâve spent any time in your supermarketâs baking aisle, youâve no doubt seen active dry yeast. (This is the stuff usedÂ as a leavener in breads.) Nutritional yeast is deactivated. After itâs cultivated (often from beets or sugar cane), itâs heated and dried. So it doesn't workÂ as a leavener, but its savory, cheesy, umamiÂ flavor makes it a tasty ingredient. Plus, it's true to its name and packed with nutrients, including fiber, B vitamins, minerals, and protein. Yes, protein! A tablespoonÂ delivers 3Â grams.
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How do you use it?
Vegans have long prized nutritional yeast as a cheese substitute, with its Parmesan-like texture and flavor. But you donât have to be veggie to enjoy it. Sprinkle it on popcorn or kale chips, pasta or vegetables, whisk it into soups, sauces and dressings, or use it to top pizza and baked potatoes. (Check outÂ GoDairyFree for recipes.)
Where can you get it?
You should be able to find nutritional yeast in the bulk foods section of your grocery or health food store, or buy it online. I like an organic brand calledÂ From The Fields ($10, amazon.com).