Nutritional Yeast: This non-active yeast gives you a distinct cheesy flavor. Sugar-free, dairy-free and low on fat, it is often used as a cheese substitute. It is sold in a flake-like form and sprinkled on popcorn, soup and pasta.

For those of you not familiar with this vegan ingredient, nutritional yeast is nothing but deactivated yeast that is sold as a commercial food product. It is often regarded as a vegan alternative to cheese or cream, because it has a cheesy flavor (without the dairy). But it’s no ordinary ingredient—nutritional yeast has several health benefits too. It is high in vitamin B12, an important element that is usually missing in vegan foods. Here are a few ways to incorporate it in your diet.

  • Popcorn: Sprinkle some nutritional yeast on popcorn for a cheesy burst of flavor.
  • Pizza: If you’re doing pizza without cheese, try a topping of nutritional yeast (before you pop it in the oven). It looks and tastes quite close to cheese.
  • Salad: Amp up your healthy salad with this cheesy element, without the calories.
  • Pasta: Instead of digging into cheese-laden pasta, opt for olive oil-tossed pasta with a sprinkling of nutritional yeast.
  • Scrambled Tofu: Nutritional yeast complements tofu well, and also makes for a delicious scramble.

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