Vegan Grandma

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Vegan Melty Pizza "Cheese" and Some Interesting Things About Nutritional Yeast.

Vegan Melty Pizza "Cheese"
makes 1 and 1/4 cup

I made a tempeh spread today, but I didn’t think it was very good, so here is a recipe I’ve made many times before, and really like. It’s from Cooking With PETA, Great Recipes for a Compassionate Kitchen, by People For the Ethical Treatment of Animals, published by Book Publishing Company, Summertown Tennessee, page 19.

This vegan cheese substitute is easy, is cheaper than commercial cheese substitutes, and it melts. It makes good "cheese" sandwiches as well as a good pizza topping. 1/4 cup has 0 grams of fat, or 2.6 grams of fat if you add the optional oil.

1 cup water

1 cup nutritional yeast

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 tablespoon flour

1 teaspoon lemon juice

½ teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon garlic granules

2 tablespoons water

1 tablespoon canola oil

Put all ingredients except the 2 tablespoons of water (include the 1 cup of water) in a blender and process until smooth. Pour the mixture into a small saucepan, and stir over medium heat until it starts to thicken. Let it bubble for 30 seconds, remove from heat and whisk vigorously.
Whisk in the 2 tablespoons of water and optional oil (the oil adds richness and helps the "cheese" to melt better. It adds only 2.6 grams of fat per 1/4 cup).

Drizzle immediately over pizza or other food (it’s good on steamed broccoli), and broil or bake until a skin forms on top. You can also refrigerate in a small covered container for up to a week. It will become firm when chilled, and cannot be poured, but it will still be spreadable, and can be spread on bread or quesadillas for grilling.

Some Interesting Things About Nutritional Yeast.

Nutritional yeast is a nutty/cheesy-tasting food. In Australia it is sometimes sold as "savory yeast flakes". It is a favorite with vegans because of its similarity to cheese when added to foods.

Nutritional yeast is grown on a mixture of cane and beet molasses for a period of seven days. B-vitamins are added during the process to provide the yeast with the nutrients it needs to grow. When harvested, the yeast is washed, pasteurized to kill the yeast, and dried on roller drum dryers before it is ready for market. It is then used by food manufacturers in food products, added to pet foods to add nutrients, or packaged for sale in natural foods stores.

Nutritional yeast is a low-fat, low-sodium, kosher, non-GMO food that contains no added sugars or preservatives. The cane and beet molasses used in the growing process does not make nutritional yeast sweet and is not a source of simple sugars.

Nutritional yeast does not contain active yeast. You should never use a live active yeast (i.e. baking yeast) as a food supplement because the live yeast continues to grow in the intestine and depletes the vitamin B in the body.

The earliest recorded use was in 1550 BC in Egypt. But it is only during the last few decades that the health benefits of nutritional yeast have been researched.

Nutritional yeast is available at natural food stores in powder or flake form. In recipes, you can substitute twice as much of the flaked form for the powdered form.

Be sure you don’t get brewer’s yeast by mistake, as its quite similar in appearance. There is a significant difference between brewer’s yeast and nutritional yeast. Brewer’s yeast is a by-product of breweries and distilleries

Nutritional yeast is different from yeast extract which has a very strong flavor and comes in the form of a dark brown paste.

Some brands of nutritional yeast contain whey, a dairy product. Vegans should read the labels carefully.

Nutritional yeast is rich in protein. It contains 18 amino acids (forming the complete protein) and 15 minerals. Rich in the B-complex vitamins, nutritional yeast is good for stress reduction. Do not use nutritional yeast as a source of vitamin B-12 unless the label says that it contains B-12. Red Star Vegetarian Support Formula T6635+ Nutritional Yeast is the only proven, reliable vegan yeast source of Vitamin B12.

One serving (approximately 3 tablespoons) of nutritional yeast contains 47 calories, 8 grams of protein, 5 mg of sodium, 5 carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber and less than 1 gram of fat.

Adults shouldn’t eat more than 3 tablespoons of nutritional yeast per day – more may cause an increase in uric acid in the bloodstream, putting stress on the kidneys or contributing to gall stones or gout in some individuals.

Store nutritional yeast in a cool, dry place or refrigerate it. It keeps indefinitely.
Sprinkle nutritional yeast on hot popcorn or garlic bread, or add a generous spoonful to a stir fry or pasta sauce.

Use it as a condiment sprinkled on \rice and vegetables.

Add ½ teaspoon per 1 cup liquid to gravies and sauces.

Add a tablespoon per 2 cups mixture to vegetable, bean and grain burgers.

Use 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast along with each cup of flour or meal in baked goods.

Make a yeast "cheese" to adorn a vegan pizza or lasagna.

Add it to your cat or dog's food to promote a healthy coat and good general nutrition.

To make yeast pancakes, combine ½ cup nutritional yeast, 3/4 cup organic whole wheat flour, and 3/4 cup water in a medium-size bowl, to form a loose flaky mixture. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Pour the batter into the skillet and cook on each side for approximately 3 minutes, until the pancakes are golden brown and crispy.


Simply Vegan, Quick Vegetarian Meals, by Debra Wasserman, published by The Vegetarian Resource Group

World Vegetarian, by Madhur Jaffrey, published by Clarkson Potter publishers, New York

Cooking With PETA, Great Recipes for a Compassionate Kitchen, by People For the Ethical Treatment of Animals, published by Book publishing Company, Summertown Tennessee


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