I think that nutritional yeast is usually associated with the type of yeast we all use for baking. However, this yeast, much different from the other, is a deactivated yeast – meaning that it does not foam, froth, or cause dough to ferment or rise. This type of yeast serves a completely different purpose. It is sold as a food product that can be used in a multitude of ways that one would not suspect.
Before we dive into how we can use this product, I want to talk about why it is beneficial to use. If we don’t understand why we are using nutritional yeast, it is simply another food product to add to the long list of health foods we “should” be eating. First off, the nutritional yeast contains a very important vitamin that many of us are lacking, and that is vitamin B12. When the yeast is manufactured, B12 is either added to the product, or it is grown in a B12-enriched medium.
Besides containing this vitamin, nutritional yeast is considered to be a complete protein, meaning it contains other B vitamins, is low in fat and sodium, free of sugar and gluten, and contains iron.
I’ve heard that nutritional yeast is used by many vegans and vegetarians as a dairy free alternative. It also exists as a vegetable protein, giving them their much needed protein fill. Since I am neither vegan or vegetarian, I am not be using nutritional yeast as a dairy or protein substitute. I am adding the yeast to my daily meals for the flavour enhancement, and for its health benefits.
Here are some fun ways to use nutritional yeast;
- Add to any of your pasta dishes that do not contain tomatoes (tomatoes overpower the taste) – Would be delicious over top of some cauli rice or zoodles
- On top of bread – Sprinkle over top of your warm and toasty lavash
- On top of garbanzo beans
- Add to soups to enhance flavour, and to replace cream as a thickening agent
- Add to spicy dishes such as curries – Would work wonderfully with “Buttah Chicken”
- Sprinkle over top of fried eggs, or mix in with scrambled
- Mix into popcorn
- Sprinkle on to steamed mixed veggies
- On top of your favourite salad
- On top of steamed kale or spinach
It was so nice and refreshing to read the story of Cook’s Vanilla and the family behind the business. The Lochhead family business started way back in 1918! Angus Lochhead saw a great sales opportunity in vanilla and later built a factory to supply for both bakeries and dairies around the Midwest. This business survived through the factory burning to the ground, The Great Depression, and World War II. Thereafter, Angus’ son Raymond Lochhead studied mechanical and chemical engineering at Cal Tech, where he explored the chemistry of vanilla. Ray had placed extensive experimentation on perfecting his slow, cold, direct extraction method to produce the best vanilla. To take his dedication even further, he began to study bean quality and curing methods around the world, in places like Madagascar, Bali, Tonga, Fiji, India, and Maurtius. Ray then set up vanilla curing operations in Bali and Fiji and also developed long lasting relationships with Madagascar and Tonga. Since the innovative time of their father and grandfather, Ray’s daughter and son-in-law continue to expand their operations. Their daughter, Margaret has a chemistry degree that she puts to good use at the in-house lab, and their other daughter, Susannah, continues to source the finest quality vanilla from their foreign partners. There you have it! Four generations of vanilla lovers. Just when you thought their story couldn’t get more interesting, they were also amongst one of the first companies to to promote organic certification for vanilla growers in Tonga.
We are proud to support such an innovative and creative family business! We are currently stocking an array of extracts for your baking needs: almond, cinnamon, cookie vanilla, pure vanilla and maple. If you’re anything like me, vanilla is constantly flying out of your pantry, and the grocery store does not have a high quality vanilla option! No need to worry though, we can now buy from the vanilla curing pioneers.
Who ever thought that a chunk of charcoal looking mushrooms growing on a tree would be good for you? I know I sure didn’t. I heard of this mushroom while eating at a vegetarian/health food restaurant in Edmonton. My server was going on and how about its health benefits, so I decided to read up on it.
Here in the West, we tend to catch on to medicinal food trends much later on than East. The East has been consuming chaga for years, mainly as tea, and gaining from its immune-boosting ingredients and antioxidants. Nonetheless, it’s becoming more and more popular in the West and we finally have access! Now, at first glance, chaga doesn’t exactly look like the most appetizing mushroom – in fact, it doesn’t really look like a mushroom at all. However, this mushroom really packs a punch when it comes to health benefits. The good news for us Canadians is that these mushrooms typically grow on birch trees in colder climates across the Northern Hemisphere. Giddy Yoyo’s chaga has actually been hand picked from the Canadian boreal forest of Ontario and Quebec! How wonderful is that?
Now that we know where the mushroom lives, lets talk about why we want to eat this Canadian mushroom.
- Chaga supports the immune system in a big way. We all know of immune boosting foods, but what chaga does differently is that it actually balances the immune system. This means that not only does it boost the immune system, it will also slow it down when it is overactive.
- It is also known for its soothing properties, supporting the integrity of blood cells and aiding with irritation.
- Studies have shown that an ingredient called betulinic acid found in chaga is responsible for breaking down a bad cholesterol called LDL.
- Chaga is full of antioxidant properties. There are six ingredients that make chaga so healthy: Polysaccarides (provide energy, cardiovascular health, intestinal and liver health, promote healthy blood sugar levels); Beta-D-Glucans (modulate the immune system); Phytosterols (have a positive effect on viral compounds); melanin (gives chaga high antioxidant levels and gives it the highest ORAC score of any superfood); SODs – Super Oxide Dismutase (protects our body against the destructive effects of uncontrolled oxidation and free radicals). (1)
The suggested use, as per Giddy Yoyo’s instructions go a little like this..
Use 4 TBS GY CHAGA for every 1 litre of water; simmer for a minimum of 15 minutes to make a tonic, or up to 2 hours to make a concentrate, remembering to add water as necessary. You can brew your GY CHAGA up to 3 times or until the dark pigments no longer extract into the water. Store used GY CHAGA in the freezer in between batches. For variety add GY VANILLA BEAN POWDER, cinnamon, fresh ginger or other sweet & earthly spices to the brew. Add a spoonful of Coconut Oil before drinking. (2)
I’ve been waiting to try this recipe in the THM cookbook for a while now. Just so you know, before we head into this review, I am not your average white girl. I have a strong inner Indian girl, and it shows in almost everything I love – especially in cuisine! My best friend of ten years is Indian and I grew up having sleepovers at her place and eating her mom’s delicious food. She is the type of lady who loves to feed people, and I am the type of person who loves to eat, so you can only imagine how this relationship worked out! Needless to say, I have very high expectations of Indian food and I crave it on the daily. You can ask my husband, he will attest to this.
It is because of this love for Indian food that I both wanted to try the recipe, but at the same time had very little faith that it would live up to my expectations. However, I was very wrong! This recipe was to die for. It had a beautiful aroma, and the flavour was perfect – exactly the right amount of spice for both those who enjoy spice and those who cannot handle too much of it. There were a couple of things I did differently for this recipe. I did not have onion powder on hand, so I skipped out on that ingredient and I used coconut oil instead of butter. I was really worried that this would greatly affect the recipe, because, you know, what would Butter Chicken be without the butter? But it worked out extremely well. I would recommend this recipe to anyone. Those who have not tried Indian food, and also to Indian food lovers. Your home will smell like a spice market (my favourite part) and you will have a flavourful, healthy and satisfying meal. I ate mine with quinoa, but next time I would like to use some warm Joseph’s Lavash to dip into the sauce. Yum! Happy eating everyone!