Best post this month for those trying to cook vegan
Why Use It?As you can guess from its name, nutritional yeast is packed with nutrition, particularly B-vitamins, folic acid, selenium, zinc, and protein. It’s low in fat, gluten-free (check specific brands for certification), and contains no added sugars or preservatives.
Because vitamin B12 is absent from plant foods unless it’s added as a supplement, nutritional yeast that contains B12, such as Red Star Vegetarian Support Formula, is a great addition to the vegan diet. Not all nooch has B12, though, so check the label carefully before buying.
The vitamins and minerals are all well and good, but truthfully, I use nutritional yeast for its flavor, which has been described as cheesy, nutty, savory, and “umami.”
Just a tablespoon or two can add richness to soups, gravies, and other dishes, and larger amounts can make “cheese” sauces and eggless scrambles taste cheesy and eggy.
The savory, umami taste of nutritional yeast comes from glutamaic acid, an amino acid that is formed during the drying process. Glutamic acid is not the same as the commercial additive monosodium glutamate and is a naturally occurring amino acid found in many fruits and vegetables. Adding a small amount of nutritional yeast to a dish enhances the flavors present and helps form a rich flavor base.
If for some reason you can’t find nutritional yeast or can’t use it, you can safely leave it out of recipes where it’s used in small amounts as only a flavor enhancer; in some cases, miso or soy sauce can be used in a 1:3 ratio (1/3 of the amount of nooch called for), though both add sodium. In recipes where nutritional yeast provides the bulk of the flavor, such as vegan cheese sauces, it’s best not to attempt to substitute it.
Recipes, where to buy it and much more here...................... http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/2011/10/what-the-heck-is-nutritional-yeast.html#comment-75949