One ingredient I use frequently is hippie dust. What… You haven’t heard of it? Or maybe you’ve heard of it by another name. How about nooch? Red star yeast? Savoury yeast? Or how about its official name – nutritional yeast? But then again, it’s quite possible you haven’t yet heard of it at all!
It appears many people haven’t heard of nutritional yeast. In fact it’s the one ingredient that triggers an email back from clients after I’ve sent them their meal plan asking, “Um, what’s nutritional yeast and where can I find it?”
Allow me to share with you my love for hippie dust – what it is, why you want it, and how to use it.
Nutritional yeast is is specifically cultivated as a food crop for use as a nutritional supplement and to add flavour to foods. It’s an inactive yeast so unlike baking yeast, it doesn’t make food rise. And it’s not the same as Brewers Yeast, which is a by-product of making beer.
Nutritional yeast is super rich in the B-vitamins, the same vitamins we burn through when we are stressed out or putting our bodies under stress – such as tough run workouts! Just one tablespoon of nutritional yeast easily provides us with a daily serving of most of the B-vitamin complex, which in turn helps us to convert our food (specifically, carbohydrates) into fuel (that is, glucose), which is in turn used to produce energy (you know, run fast).
Two tablespoons contain 20% of the recommended daily allowance of iron, another biggie for runners. And, nutritional yeast is also a complete protein source, including all the essential amino acids. In fact just 2 tablespoons offers 9 grams of protein – not bad!
Nutritional yeast has a nutty cheese-like flavour, which I find nicely enhances many savoury dishes. You don’t need much. It comes either in large flakes or in small flakes which is more like a powder, both blend easily with liquids.
You probably won’t find nutritional yeast at your typical grocery stores, but you should be able to find it at your local natural food store – it’s typically sold in the bulk bins, or at a Whole Foods, Choices or Trader Joe’s.
Lastly, let’s look at how to use nutritional yeast. So many options!
- Sprinkle it overtop of various snacks and dishes. For example, sprinkle a tablespoon overtop of popcorn; or over sautéed veggies; over Kale Chips just before baking them, or over the veggies that top Market Fresh Pizza. I even put some into the pizza crust.
- Use it as breading – such as in Southern Baked Tofu. Or mix it with teff or breadcrumbs to coat fish to make your own fish ‘n’ chips.
- It’s really great in salad dressings – such as in Hearty Rice Salad.
- Make Mac & Cheez, without the cheese! Seriously, watch out for this one, I find it addictive.
- Use it in egg dishes or egg replacement dishes, such as Frittata or Scrambled Tofu.
Does hippie dust sound like something worth adding to your diet? Or if it’s already a staple in your kitchen, how do you use it? Let me know by leaving a comment below!
Happy running 🙂