María Felicia’s 2023 New Year Body… Cleanse – Day 10 | The North County Moms

Day 10

Nutritional Yeast


If you’re not vegan, you may not be familiar with the dry yellow flakes, a popular protein-packed and fortified condiment in meatless kitchens — nutritional yeast. Also called “nooch,” nutritional yeast is a necessary staple in the cleanse cupboard, and it stays fresh and edible long after the 3-week cleanse is up. Literally, it has a shelf life of two years when stored properly (think: cool dark cabinet).

My acquired taste – umami 

I’ll be honest, I was introduced to Nooch years ago, when I first started doing an annual cleanse, but I was unclear about what nutritional yeast was and did little research to find out. On the advice of others, I ate it during the cleanse, but I had to acquire a taste for it. With each cleanse that came and went I developed a fondness for nutritional yeast. Eventually , I found myself using it after the cleanse, too. 

Years ago, for me the taste was unique. I was uncertain if I liked it or if I was afraid of it. I mean, who eats yeast that’s not baked in bread or brewed in beer? Because I hadn’t researched how it was an actual food product I was a little leery to add it to my plate, of well, anything . But I remember my first cleanse, years ago, when the plainness of each item I dished up got a little boring. Since nutritional yeast was one of the items on my cleanse grocery list — I’d already purchased it, and it was waiting for me to be brave enough to pluck it from the kitchen shelf — I decided to add it to my bowl of brown rice and veggies. The umami flavor was curious to me. I certainly didn’t hate it, but I guess I was slightly put off by it. Because like I said, who eats plain old dry yeast?

Now that I’ve done my homework, today I know that umami is a taste category along with sweet, sour, salt and bitter. At first, that characterization was kind of puzzling to me. But it’s not a hard concept to understand when you have food references to link to it. Umami foods are pleasantly savory, like soy sauce, meats and broths. A study by NIH notes, umami is a fifth taste discovered in the early 1900s by a Japanese scientist. 

Taste and versatility 

During the cleanse, nutritional yeast is a great savory additive or condiment that subs well for the parmesan cheese you might put on a bowl of pasta. Of course, there’s no wheat-based pasta allowed on the cleanse, but straight brown rice pasta is a definite Go! To me Nooch brings flavors together, rounding out standalone features of a bowl of say, chicken, rice and broccoli, and uniting them under the surprisingly full-bodied taste of the yellow flakes. I especially like it sprinkled on homemade kale chips. During non-cleanse days, it’s also excellent on popcorn!

Nooch nutrients

Nutritional yeast has a long shelf life – up to two years, if stored properly, i.e., think: cool and dark. Its name has the word “nutrition” in it for a reason. Fortified versions of the cheesy tasting flakes contain Vitamin B, zinc and potassium. It’s the fifth flavor classification identified on the tongue: umami. So, whether snacking for “mealing” you’re in for a savory taste experience that satisfies. Bonus: there’s protein and fiber in it, too. 

In a word, nooch is awesome!

Day 10 2024 – Yes! It’s Nutritional Yeast.

María Felicia’s 2023 New Year Body… Cleanse – Day 10

Written by Maria Felicia Kelley
Maria Felicia Kelley is not a medical doctor. The cleanse and fasting benefits she discusses in this post are derived from her own experiences and observations. Individuals should consult their own healthcare providers when eliminating foods from their diets.
@thenorthcountymoms | @1MariaFelicia 
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