Nutritional yeast is not a substitute for active dry yeast, often referred to simply as yeast or baker's yeast in recipes. Unlike nutritional yeast, active dry yeast is activated. It's the ingredient in bread and other bakery products that makes them grow. In short, the difference between nutritional yeast and active dry yeast is that one is an ingredient and the other is a condiment.
Active dry yeast is used in baking to make dough rise, while nutritional yeast is a condiment used by vegans as an alternative to cheese. The most popular way to use nutritional yeast is as a vegan substitute for cheese. Not only does this ingredient add a lot of vitamins and probiotics to a dish, but it actually tastes like finely aged cheese. Try it the next time you order vegan nachos or a creamy dairy-free lasagna.
This vegan fettuccine Alfredo recipe would taste great if nutritional yeast were used instead of so-called vegan parmesan. Don't hesitate to sprinkle even more on top for maximum cheese flavor without cheese. Unlike active dry yeast, nutritional yeast is usually fortified with vitamin B12 (although this is not always the case; don't forget to read the list of ingredients). And as The Spruce Eats explains, nutritional yeast requires very little maintenance and you don't need to try it before adding it to a recipe, since it's not alive.
Both can be eaten, but brewer's yeast is bitter and has more of a moist grain flavor, while nutritional yeast tastes good and imparts a cheesy and nutty flavor to foods. Nutritional yeast comes from the same organism as active dry yeast, but it's used in a very different way. Although WebMD classifies nutritional yeast as safe for most people, it carries some potential risks. Nutritional yeast is deactivated yeast, so it doesn't make things grow and doesn't replace yeast when baking.
Nutritional yeast grows in the form of pure sugar and is harvested for its beneficial health qualities and for use as a condiment and nutritional supplement. Nutritional yeast is a deactivated yeast that vegans use to thicken sauces and, in fact, it only mimics the flavor of Parmesan cheese and also has a nutty flavor. Nutritional yeast can also make a vegan black bean burger sound good, or give mushroom burgers a flavor that surpasses mushroom. Nutritional yeast is a flaky, yellow coating that works as a vegan alternative to cheese.
Add a touch of cheese to that morning frittata by mixing a few tablespoons of nutritional yeast with eggs, or make a vegan version and use tofu instead. Nutritional yeast also works well as a moist condiment, such as in spinach and cashew pesto, where it gives the dish a Parmesan-like essence. Active yeast and nutritional yeast are completely different products that are used for two different things. In addition, nutritional yeast is full of probiotics, potassium, zinc, vitamins B1, B2 and B6, proteins, fiber and amino acids, so incorporating it into homemade meals can add a healthy touch to dinner.
Vegan gluten-free meatballs benefit from the addition of nutritional yeast, both as a binder instead of the egg, and to add another tasty layer of flavor that blends well with the earthy flavor of mushrooms.