Saturday, August 8, 2009

What are some practical ways to use Red Star Yeast?

Question: Monique, I am a vegan with diagnosed Anemia and prescribes b-12 injections monthly. I also had diagnosis of major depression and Borderline personality disorder. My question: what are some creative or practical ways to take the Red Star yeast? What quantity / day? Spoonfuls? Thanks for the work you do. I admire your devotion, knowledge and hope I will do something in the same field one day! Line Gareau
Answer: Nutritional yeast comes in several forms, from a powder-like consistency to flakes. Since the powder form is denser, you need to use less than with the flake type varieties. The recommended daily amount of nutritional yeast is approximately 1 heaping tablespoon of powder or 2 tablespoons of flakes.

Nutritional yeast has long been popular among vegetarians, vegans and health enthusiasts because it is both a food and a nutritional supplement. It has a great nutty/cheesy taste, and it also adds many valuable nutrients to our diet.

"Red Star" brand nutritional yeast (Vegetarian Support Formula) is a rich source of the B-complex vitamins riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, biotin, and B12 (cobalamin). The B12 used in "Red Star" nutritional yeast is derived from natural bacterial fermentation, not animal products. Their careful growing process provides a high-quality source essential and nonessential amino acids. It also contains folic acid and several minerals including selenium, chromium, phosphorus, magnesium and zinc.

Often brewer's yeast is confused with nutritional yeast. Nutritional yeast is a primary grown food crop, which means it is grown specifically as a nutritional supplement. It is a food yeast, grown on a molasses solution. Brewer's yeast is a by-product of the beer making industry. To add to consumer confusion, because brewer's yeast is also rich in B vitamins, many health food stores sell it as a nutritional supplement along side nutritional yeast. However, it has a rather bitter taste and is not as high in some nutrients as nutritional yeast.
Because of its rich flavor and yellow color, nutritional yeast makes a wonderful cheese substitute. Sprinkle it on salads, soups, popcorn, spaghetti, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, spinach, kale, sandwiches, vegetable-based burgers, or anything else that you want to accent with a savory, nutty/cheesy flavor.

I keep an old spice jar with a shaker top filled with nutritional yeast at the table to make it convenient to use. I also love to make a cheesy sauce with it to pour over vegetables. To make it, use about 1 tablespoon flour, 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 cup soymilk. Heat it up on the stove top or microwave, stirring constantly until it thickens. The more you use nutritional yeast, the more you will find creative ways to include it into your diet. My book
Virtues of Soy: A Practical Health Guide and Cookbook has more delightful nutritional yeast recipes.

For more information about nutritional yeast, go to

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Monique N. Gilbert, BSc. has offered guidance in health, nutrition, fitness and stress management since 1989. Through her writings, Monique motivates and teaches how to improve your well-being, vitality and longevity with balanced nutrition, physical activity and healthy stress-free living.


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