Throw some hippie dust on that!
And with that instruction yelled over an enormous bowl of popcorn, so began my love affair with nutritional yeast one fateful evening about 12 years ago.
Actually, the affair began as many do, in a state of denial with a tug toward something inexplicable. Something about the nuttiness of the unexpected yeast pulled me back. And in no time at all, I was all in.
Nutritional yeast has an enormous benefit to many people over its cousins, brewer’s yeast and baker’s yeast. This yeast, grown mostly on beet sugar is an inactive yeast, which means it can be incorporated into a nutritional arsenal of a system that is often challenged by other active yeasts.
(Of course, ask your doctor or nutritionist their view on this for your health!)
Hippie dust is a nutritional dynamo, packed with benefits. Sprinkle it over foods for a nutty, almost cheesy, flavor. Here are a few more reasons why this adds a magical flourish to your cooking:
1. It's a vegetarian source of Vitamin B-12.
This is a crucial nutrient for the body involved in the production of red blood cells and for producing and maintaining myelin, the protective insulation around your nerves. Most sources of Vitamin B-12 are animal based, so nutritional yeast is a major player in the nutritional wellbeing of vegans and vegetarians. One tablespoon will provide an adult with a full day’s supply of B-12. (Assuming you can keep the tastiness to just that!)
2. It's high in protein.
2 tablespoons of hippie dust contain 9 grams of protein. That’s more than in 1 cup of whole milk (8g), a large egg (6g), or one oz. of beef (7g). It’s a wonderful source of energy for your workout mornings.
3. It's high in fiber.
Fiber is one of my personal favorites in terms of gut health and functional digestion. It also helps our systems regulate blood sugar giving us a more sustainable, even store of energy throughout our days and at higher levels. Nutritional yeast provides 3 grams of fiber per tiny serving.
4. It's gluten free.
Not only a boon for the vegans out there, but this treat is also gluten free providing all of this power with an anti-inflammatory ease.
5. It's a great source of folic acid.
Especially important for women out there trying to get pregnant or carrying future citizens of the planet, folic acid is known to prevent spina bifida and other major birth defects. For those not planning to get pregnant, folic acid is still important for its role in cell maintenance and production.
Here’s one of the easiest recipes in the world and it’ll wow your dinner guests as well.