Don’t Forget the Nutritional Yeast!

NOOCH2You can forget the sunscreen, your hair gel, and even, your bathing suit.  But, forget the nutritional yeast, and you may set sail on a plant-strong, vacation tizzy.  Like many who have enjoyed a plant-strong lifestyle, I find nutritional yeast, or “nooch” as it is familiarly called, a savory and flavorful addition to any meal.  But, leave it home during vacation, and panic may just ensue. Even after visiting the one “health food store” on Chincoteague Island last summer, the cashier drew a blank stare on her face when I asked, “Excuse me, where is the nutritional yeast?”  Not one store on the Island carried nutritional yeast.  I made it through the week, just fine, but I missed the creamy and flavorful deliciousness from the little yellow flakes and the flavor added to some of  my favorite summertime dishes.

Nutritional yeast travels easily, and here’s a tip:

Save your old spice jars, and use them as carry-all containers for your “travel nooch.”  Gets through airports easily. Plus, you can stick it in your backpack when dining out.  It will be pasta-ready in no time.

Nutritional yeast, a deactivated yeast is composed of  light-yellow flakes (either sourced from sugarcane or molasses), is found in the bulk area or in bottled shaker-jars.  Many plant-based chefs and at-home-cooks, use “nooch” as a condiment as its flavor is almost cheese-like. It has been described as “nutty, cheesy, or creamy.”  Make certain, however,  that the product you purchase has been fortified with vitamin B 12. Oh, yes, sometimes it is also called “hippie dust.”

If you leave home without it, here are a few things you can do to have the forgotten “nooch” join you on your remote vacation:

  1. Leave reminder notes throughout the house before you leave, DON’T FORGET THE NOOCH!;
  2. Keep an extra jar in the glove box (your back-up), just in case;
  3. Once you realize you’ve forgotten your nutritional yeast, get on your computer and order from your favorite mail-order website. If needed, the extra postage will have it in time for lunch the next day.
  4. Head to the grocery store and make a fun spice mixture, equal amounts of garlic powder, ground oregano, and black pepper.  Nothing cheesy about it, put it adds great flavor.
  5. Visit a vegan restaurant and ask,”Can I buy some nutritional yeast from you?”

Once you’ve forgotten nutritional yeast in your vacation gear, it is something you will  do only once. Trust me.  The final sticky note on the front door was, “Char, do you have your nutritional yeast?”

This year, I did, and it graced many salads and fresh tomato dishes, pasta bowls, and rice dishes.

As you get ready for the final swing of summer, don’t for get the nutritional yeast.

Everyone at Engine 2 wishes you a happy and safe end of summer. Safe travels, plant-strong style.