I’ll admit I love simple steamed broccoli. But you know when sometimes you just want something a little more, I don’t know… exciting? This deliciously healthy (and mighty quick) side dish changes the broccoli game! I’ve crumbed broccolini with polenta and nutritional yeast flakes. Then lightly pan cooked it to give it a crumbly “cheesy” flavour (minus the cheese, ++ on the flavour and nutrients). It’s gluten free and vegan too! But what the heck is Nutritional Yeast, you ask?…
So it sounds a little weird and quite frankly, unappealing. But Nutritional Yeast has to be one of my favourite ingredients/seasonings that I use as a vegan cheese substitute. It tastes like a nutty/tangy cheese similar to Parmesan and is delicious on omelettes, grains, soups, bone broth, roasted cauliflower, popcorn, and more. I buy this Bragg’s Nutritional Yeast from my local supermarket or health food store.
Nutritional Yeast is a deactivated (i.e. dead) yeast strain called Saccharomyces Cerevisiae. It’s grown on blackstrap, beet or cane molasses where it’s harvested, washed, dried, and heated to deactivate it. It’s naturally gluten free, vegan, sugar free and sodium free.
Nutritional Yeast is a great plant-based source of complete protein. It contains 18 amino acids including all nine “essential” amino acids. It’s packed with energy-producing B vitamins, including thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), pyridoxine (B6), folic acid, niacin (B3) and cobalamin (active B12). Just 1 tablespoon provides 3g protein and more than the recommended dietary intake (RDI) of B1, B2 and B6. It’s also a good source of zinc, selenium and dietary fiber. Nutritional Yeast contains beta-glucan, the soluble fiber founds in oats. Beta-glucan is known to lower cholesterol by binding to excess cholesterol in the colon and preventing absorption. It also contains glutathione, our body’a master antioxidant. This is important for detoxification, as well as protects our cells from oxidative stress, aging, and prevents chronic diseases.
In nature vitamin B12 is only found in animal products. Therefore vegans often supplement or use foods fortified with B12. Vitamin B12 is essential for a healthy nervous system, red blood cell production and metabolism.
Note: Nutritional Yeast is NOT the same as baker’s or brewer’s yeast which are active yeasts, whilst Nutritional Yeast in inactive. However, don’t use it if you have a yeast allergy.
Broccoli crumbed with Polenta & Nutritional Yeast (vg/gf)
- 1 x bunch broccolini
- 1/4 cup polenta
- 4 heaped tbls Nutritional Yeast flakes
- 2 tbls Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
- Lightly steam broccolini for 3-4 mins.
- Mix polenta and nutritional yeast in a bowl and roll the broccolini through it, pressing it through the flowery parts until it sticks.
- Heat a non-stick fry pan and add EVOO. Lightly saute the broccolini for about 2 minutes a side.
- Serve up as a side dish with a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime, and some whole egg mayo or vegan cashew cheese to dip in (optional).