What the Heck Is Nooch and Why Is Everyone Talking About It?
Meet the nutrient-packed ingredient you need to try.
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, whichâ€”along with bone broth and ancient grainsâ€”is enjoying an everything-old-is-new-again moment.
What is it, exactly?
If youâ€™ve spent any time in your supermarketâ€™s baking aisle, youâ€™ve no doubt seen active dry yeast. (This is the stuff usedÂ as a leavener in breads.) Nutritional yeast is deactivated. After itâ€™s cultivated (often from beets or sugar cane), itâ€™s 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 donâ€™t 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).