Yeast extract: a great source of protein and B vitamins

May 5, 2015 2:23 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

At Naturally Good Food we stock three varieties of yeast extract. We have 340g jars from Meridian, with added B12, as well as the same product without additional salt, from Meridian. A smaller alternative is the reduced salt yeast extract from Natex, at 225g.

Naturally Good Food stocks three varieties of yeast extract.

Great for vegans, older people, young ladies and soldiers: packs a powerful, healthy punch.

These are all natural yeast extracts, high in protein and vitamins (especially the B vitamins). They’re great spread thinly on toast, or used as a base stock for stews and sauces. Try diluted with hot water for a savoury drink as well.

Yeast extract is a great store-cupboard ingredient for vegans. Everyone needs plenty of vitamin B12 to maintain healthy blood and a functional nervous system. This vitamin is only found naturally in foods from animal sources, meaning that vegans need to source alternative supplement-rich ingredients. Yeast extract is one of these. Older people can also find it difficult to absorb enough B12 from their usual diets – making this additional supply a good idea – while the rich supply of folic acid found in yeast extract makes it a good ingredient for young women wanting to maintain healthy fertility. It’s long been included in soldiers’ ration packs too, as it packs a powerful punch for such a small product.

Out of interest, how is this product made? Simply, by extracting concentrations of yeast cells. These are allowed to die and break up (sometimes encouraged by adding salt), so that their proteins are broken down into simpler compounds. The thick cell walls of the yeast are then removed, which further concentrates the flavour.

Here are a couple of quick ideas for using yeast extract in vegan cooking – we hope that non-vegans will find them equally delicious!

Vegan roast potatoes with yeast extract

Par-boil your potatoes in the usual way and get the oil ready for them in a hot oven. Drain the potatoes and shake in a pan containing one tsp yeast extract. This fluffs the potatoes up and coats them nicely in the extract. Roast in the oven for around 40 minutes. Absolutely lovely.

Vegan spaghetti with yeast extract

This is ideal student/camping/child-friendly food! It involves cooking spaghetti as usual, then tossing it in a mixture of a spoonful or so of the cooking water, a splash of oil and a spoonful of yeast extract. Add any herbs you have to hand. Optional additions: vegan hard cheese or a squirt of vegan ketchup or tomato puree.

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This post was written by Yzanne

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