Nutritional yeast is one of those things I used to steer clear of for a while because I was scared of it. Those orange-yellow flakes really freaked me out.
- "What exactly is nutritional yeast?"
- "Yeast? Does it taste like yeast used to make dough? Eww."
- "A vegan cheese substitute? How is that possible?"
All these questions I asked myself — and ones that I now hear from so many. Well, you shouldn't let nutritional yeast scare you, especially since it's so versatile, savory and healthy. Nutritional yeast is one of my favorite additions to all food, be it a vegan, vegetarian or even meat-containing dish. You can make a sauce with it, use it as a seasoning (it's great sprinkled on popcorn or potatoes), or add it as a flavor enhancer.
Take this black bean dip for example. It has a deep cheesy flavor, but is completely dairy-free and vegan — making this dip allergy-friendly as well as acceptable for just about anyone to eat.
It may be dairy-free, gluten-free, nut-free, egg-free soy-free and vegan; but the best part about it is that it is creamy and delicious.
"Cheezy" Black Bean Dip
Recipe by Meme Inge, RD
Makes about 2 cups
1 15-oz. can reduced-sodium black beans, well rinsed and drained
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
3 Tbsp. water
3 Tbsp. fresh lemon or lime juice
1/4 tsp. salt
- Add all ingredients to a food processor or blender and process until smooth.
- Taste and add more water and/or nutritional yeast as desired.
- Serve with sliced vegetables or corn chips.
- Keep covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.