Nutritional Yeast: Fortified Cheese Alternative

By November 21, 2017Green Food


Nutritional Yeast Vegan Cheese alternative

Have you tried Nutritional Yeast?

Nutritional yeast, otherwise known as savoury yeast flakes or ‘nooch’ is an inactive yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) grown in nutrient rich soils. Nutritional yeast looks like yellow flakes or powder, similar to a herb or spice. It has a strong cheesy flavour, making it a great alternative to cheese in a vegan diet or just a yummy nutrition packed seasoning in place of salt or pepper. Nutritional yeast is a good source of B vitamins (sometimes including B12) for energy  as well as iron and potassium.

If eaten on a daily basis, good quality (properly fortified) nutritional yeast can be a good source of B12 for vegans and easy way to fortify your diet with extra goodness

How is it made?

As the name suggests, nutritional yeast is a strain of yeast grown on molasses and then dried. Once dried it resembles yellow flakes or powder which look a little like parmesan cheese. The resulting “nooch” is a rich source of B vitamins and is available with added vitamin B12. It also contains some minerals such as iron, zinc, phosphorus and magnesium. In fact, adding a couple of spoonfuls to your savoury meals is an easy way to further enrich a plant based diet with these immune and energy boosting nutrients as well as supporting healthy brain function and muscle growth.

What can I use it for?

Since nutritional yeast has a mild, savoury flavour. it can be used in soups and sauces and is often used to substitute dairy/cheesy flavour in vegan dishes such as napolitana or alfredo pasta, Mac N Cheese or Mexian foods to name a few. It can usefully be added to most savoury dishes as an additional source of nutrients including breads, grains and tofu/legumes.

Good brands

Overseas the best brand is Red Star (Vegetarian Support Formula). But here in Australia good brands include:

  1. Braggs
  2. Lotus
  3. Bobs Red Mill



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Nutritional Information:

This stuff is pretty power packed. In fact just 1 Tablespoon of Braggs Nutritional Yeast Seasoning contains approximately (% Recommended Daily Intake):

  • B1: 2.7mg (225%)
  • B2: 2.7mg (208%)
  • B3: 14mg (88%)
  • B6: 2.8mg (215%)
  • Folate: 160mg (40%)
  • B12: 2.4mcg (100%)
  • Iron: 1mg (13%)
  • Selenium 7mcg (10%)
  • Zinc 2mg (14%)**
  • Potassium:  144mg (4%)*
  • Fibre 1g (3%)
  • Protein 2g (3%)

RDI (recommended daily intake) based on needs for males aged 18-50 years to account for higher needs.

Braggs Nutritional Yeast Seasoning does not list potassium on the Nutritional Panel so the listed Potassium is based on Bob’s Red Mill Nutritional Yeast. **Other brands such as Lotus typically have 2-3 times more zinc than Bragg’s or 25-50% of recommended daily needs for iron.

However, nutritional yeast is NOT a good source of calcium. So ensure you are eating other good plant sources of calcium throughout the day or book a consult if you are unsure how to do this.


Use it as a healthy cheese alternative for a:

.🌞 cheesy spice over beans/lentils/veggies/grains

.🌞 vegan parmesan

.🌞 nut cheeses (firm/soft) such as almond feta or cashew cheese

.🌞 vegan white (alfredo) sauce

.🌞 in veggie patties/loaves

.🌞 on pizza

.🌞cheesy dough-breads/rolls

.🌞cheesy tofu scramble

.🌞cheesy popcorn or kale chips

.🌞 breakfast burrito

🌞  nacho cheese sauce


Where can I find it?

Due to increased popularity, certain brands of fortified nutritional yeast are now readily available in big chain supermarkets such as Coles and Woolworths, usually in the macro or health food aisle. Yay for supply and demand!!!

However if you can’t find it there, most health food stores will also sell it. Or if you’re like me and want to reduce costs and single use plastic then you can also find it at many bulk food stores such as Naked Foods or Scoop Wholefoods-available in most suburbs Australia wide. Woop Woop!


Stay happy and nourished x

Nutrition post written by vegan plant-based Accredited Practicing Dietitian (APD) Amber Sewell-Green

Amber Sewell-Green

Author Amber Sewell-Green

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