A common question/ concern I get asked when I tell someone I am vegan, after the oh so common “Where do you get your protein?” question is, “Where do you get your B12? isn’t it only in red meat?” to this I tell them how red meat isn’t the only source of B12, there are actually plant sources of this vitamin, my favourite being nutritional yeast.
But what exactly is it? and where does it come from?
Nutritional yeast is a deactivated strand of the Saccharomyes Cerevisiae bacteria. Okay, when I say it like that it doesn’t sound very appetizing but trust me when I say “it is delicious!” There a a couple ways it is sold, the first and most common being in flakes, second being in a powder. I buy the flakes at bulk barn, since I use it so much I find it to be the most cost effective, however, I have seen it at grocery stores sold by Bob’s Red Mill or you can also buy it online. A container this size (127g) is around $8 online.
A few of my favourite ways to use this seasoning is over beans and rice with a squeeze of lemon, sprinkled on top of some air popped popcorn, or on top of some steamed broccoli. The flavour is often compared to cheese, and it is also a little nutty tasting.
Nutritionally this seasoning is a powerhouse! For a 2 Tablespoon serving (16g) you are looking at only 45 calories, 1g fat, 5 g carbs (4 of which are fiber) and 8g of protein! Not only is there amazing macronutrients but the micronutrients are also unbelievable! 130% DV (Daily value) B12, 640% Thiamin (B1), 570% Riboflavin (B2), 480% B6. As you can see in such a small serving your are easily getting in your B vitamins.
Adding nutritional yeast into your diet in combination with fortified cereals and plant milks you will easily be reaching all your B vitamin requirements.
Give it a try 🙂