Spotlight on Nutritional Yeast + My Creamy Kale Salad
Nutritional Yeast also known as “hippie dust” is in my opinion a true “Superfood”. I absolutely love Nutritional Yeast!! It’s such a fantastic way to get B vitamins and Iron into my diet. It also tastes and smells like cheese (in a good way) and it is my favourite way to cover the bitterness of kale and therefore get the nutrient rich green into my diet. If you haven’t tried it, go out now and buy some. I warn you though, it’s addictive and soon you’ll be adding it to all your meals.
What is Nutritional Yeast?
If you haven’t heard of Nutritional Yeast before, your probably wondering what it is? It’s an organism, which has been deactivated through the process of harvesting, washing and drying. Basically this means that it won’t grow like activated yeast does.
Why use Nutritional Yeast?
Nutritional Yeast is a very nutrient rich food. Its full of B vitamins, especially B12, which makes it a favourite of mine as B12 is not found in plant foods. Check out my article on Being Vegan for more information on B12 levels and how to get it into your diet.
Nutritional Yeast also contains high levels of minerals, including selenium and zinc, which makes it a great addition to any diet. Its a complete protein, is low in sugar and salt and is a great source of iron. It also has this delicious cheesy flavour which helps make your dishes really creamy. It’s a great product and I recommend you start adding it to your diet immediately.
How to use Nutritional Yeast?
Ok, so you want to start adding this nutrient rich product into your diet, good job, your going to love it. There are just a few things you need to know about Nutritional Yeast.
- Since it’s a dry and flaky product you need to add some form of liquid to the recipe your adding it to. I generally add 1-2tbsp of olive oil to help soften it and blend it into my recipe.
- It has a strong flavour, which will over power most other ingredients so use it lightly.
- There are two options; flaked or powder. I always buy the flaked version since I like the texture, but have a try of both and see which you prefer. There are normally a few brands of Nutritional Yeast to choose from so once again its up to you and if you don’t like one just try another.
Where can I find Nutritional Yeast?
Nutritional Yeast is a specialty food you will only find it in Health Food stores and not in your typical supermarket. It’s worth the trip and as it generally comes in a large container it will last for quiet a while. I get mine from I.E Produce on Barrys Point Road, Takapuna.
Best ways to add Nutritional Yeast to your diet
- Add a few teaspoons to your salad dressing and shake well.
- Mix it into your pasta sauce especially if it’s a white creamy sauce. Or if you make your sauce out of soaked cashews, lemon, water and salt, add 1-2 teaspoons and you’ve got an amazing Vegan pasta sauce.
- Add a spoonful to soups to thicken.
- Sprinkle Nutritional Yeast on top of popcorn for a cheesy flavor.
- Stir into mashed potatoes.
- Mix into any bean dishes to enhance the flavour or sprinkle on top of vegan nachos for a cheese alternative.
- Add a few teaspoons to steamed cauliflower in a blender to make a creamy topping for a vegetable bake.
My Creamy Kale Salad
You may think it sounds sort of weird to add Nutritional Yeast to a salad …but trust me it’s amazing and adds an essential ingredient to the salad. Just remember when Green Smoothies were new and the thought of adding big bunches of spinach to your blender and drinking it raw sounded awful? Then remember when you had a sip and realised it was actually delicious. Well this is similar, so take a leap of faith and give it a go.
My Creamy Kale Salad is also my way of getting the nutrient rich, leafy green, kale into my diet without having to force-feed myself. Yes you heard me right; I’m not a big kale lover. I know its amazing for you and I should be eating multiple bags each week, but as most of you are aware, kale is quite bitter and has a strong flavour which isn’t to everyone’s liking. So, I decided that since its so good for me, I should at least try and come up with a salad that I enjoy and that will encourage me to eat more of it.
The dressing for this salad is super creamy and nourishing and makes this salad seem naughty, but in fact its rich in B vitamins, healthy fats, is high in protein and also minerals, so eat up. If you’re new to the nut & seed-soaking world, check out my article on this and learn how to soak and also all the benefits that this process brings.
This Creamy Kale Salad will keep really well in your fridge for a few days. It is my favourite when eaten as a side dish or when added to my Abundance Bowl Salad. Make sure when you break up the kale that you really get in there and massage it to help soften it. Doing this also reduces the volume to about half. I enjoy this process, plus its fun to get your hands dirty.
My Creamy Kale Recipe:
- 1 big bunch of kale
- 1 cup of chickpeas
- 1 tsp of cumin
- 1 tsp of paprika
- 1 tsp of olive oil
- 1 large ripe avocado
- 2-3 fresh tomatoes diced (optional)
- 2 tbsp of pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds
- 1/4 cup of soaked cashews (3 hours)
- 1 large lemon
- 2 tbsp of Nutritional Yeast
- 1 garlic clove (crushed)
- 1/4 cup of water
- 1 tbsp of olive oil
- Pinch of sea salt
- In a small bowl or jar mix the dressing and then add to the salad. Make sure its fully dressed and then taste and adjust seasoning to your liking. Place in the fridge until you are ready to dress the salad.
- Remove the leaves from the stalk and place in a large bowl. Gently start massaging the kale leaves. They will start to soften and the amount will start reducing in size
- Add to the salad scoops of avocado, the diced tomatoes and then sprinkle in the seeds.
- In a small bowl add the drained chickpeas and mix together with the olive oil and spices. Make sure you have completely mixed these together.
- Scoop large spoonful’s of the salad into a bowl and top with the chickpea mix
Note: this salad will store in an airtight container for 2-3 days.
I hope you enjoy my Creamy Kale Salad. Please let me know how you find the Nutritional Yeast and if you have any other recipes that you have tried Nutritional Yeast with.
Thanks for reading. Head over to my Blog for more articles on leading a healthy and happy life or check out my recipe section for lots of delicious recipes that utilise whole plant foods and nutrient rich ingredients.
You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest to see what I get up to as a Vegan, Nutritionist, Health Coach, Model and all round Foodie. If you give the recipe a go and want to share, please hashtag #reneesextonwellness .
Thanks, Renee xx