Yes! Although the cheesy taste of nutritional yeast may make it seem like a forbidden food, you may definitely have nutritional yeast on Whole30.
Nutritional yeast is an inactive type of yeast often found in the form of flakes or granules. It’s most often used in food as a condiment or a base for vegan cheeses and cheesy-flavored sauces. Nutritional yeast is a powerhouse of B-vitamins and is thought to have many other amazing health benefits such as improved immunity and digestion as well as antiviral and antibacterial properties. What an awesome little food!
I Can Have This on Whole30? What’s the Catch?
As with most things on Whole30, there are some caveats to this seemingly perfect little condiment.
Because of its cheesy flavor, nutritional yeast is a popular ingredient in vegan or other dairy-omitted diets when making cheese substitutes.
Although nutritional yeast is an approved food for the program, Whole30 guidelines implore you to please resist the urge to use it to make vegan cheese.
Although technically the ingredients would likely be all Whole30-compliant, using nutritional yeast to make a “cheese” would fall into the category of SWYPO foods which are a definite Whole30 no-no.
Have a cheese-free substance to indulge in like you would normally indulge in cheese would be a continuation of the vicious cycle of emotional food dependence that Whole30 is meant to break in the first place!
For this reason, many people on Whole30 choose to avoid nutritional yeast entirely as it may be too reminiscent of cheese to them. As always with this program, use your best judgment and do what works for you! If nutritional yeast does not immediately trigger a deep mourning for the lack of cheese in your life, feel free to enjoy it as much as you’d like. Do try, however, to avoid morphing it into a false cheese stand-in.
Non-Cheesy Ways to Enjoy Nutritional Yeast on Whole30
Don’t get too discouraged by the SWYPO implications of nutritional yeast—there are plenty of ways to enjoy this vitamin-rich superfood without ‘cheesifying’ it.
- Use it to jazz up steamed veggies like broccoli or cauliflower.
- Sprinkle it over hard-boiled eggs with salt and pepper for an extra kick of nutrition and
- Add it to salads to bump up the savory flavor.
- Top a piece of sweet potato toast with avocado, salt, pepper, nutritional yeast, and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil for a hearty, keeps-you-full snack.
Where Do I Get this Magical Food?
Nutritional yeast is more widely available than you might think—many grocery stores carry different brands or you can order it online.
When shopping for nutritional yeast, be sure to (of course!) always read your labels. Many brands of nutritional yeast are fortified with other vitamins and minerals, but this is nothing to worry about.
You want to make sure the brand you buy is free of gluten and preservatives, however! Some of our favorites include:
- Bragg’s Organic Yeast Seasoning. This brand is available in many stores and is free of all common allergens including dairy, corn, and gluten! It is also fortified with extra vitamins and minerals for added nutritional value.
- Now Foods Nutritional Yeast Powder. This brand is also fortified with some extra B-Vitamin goodness and is produced with a keen eye for quality.
- Sari-Foods Non-Fortified Nutritional Yeast. Looking for a brand with nothing extra added? This is our pick for pure, non-fortified nutritional yeast without the fortification of added vitamins and minerals.
However you use nutritional yeast, you can’t deny that it adds a great, savory flavor to your dishes…plus it has the added bonus of being a nutritionally dense superfood!
Use this Whole30-approved ingredient to keep your meals interesting while on the program. A little extra flavor can go a long way on Whole30!
What are your thoughts? Do you have any favorite ways to use nutritional yeast that we missed? Let us know in the comments!