Category Archives: Product Reviews

Nutritional Yeast: the surprisingly yummy vegan treat!

Normally, I prefer to use ordinary, everyday ingredients in my cooking. You know what I’m talking about. The type of ingredient that you can get at virtually any grocery store, whether it’s in Los Angeles or the most out of the way town you can find. Things like flour, spinach, apples… heck, even vegan soy milk can be found in almost any store nowadays. They sell it in Target! But one of the few products I try to always keep on hand, even if I have to drive out of my way to get it, is Nutritional Yeast. Why? Well, there are several reasons.

First and foremost, it’s yummy. I am completely serious. I know the name sounds unappetizing, but that’s not the point.

Nutritional Yeast usually comes in bags or a plastic container that you can buy at your local health food store, co op, or even order online. You can sprinkle it on salads or add it to dishes like soups and sauces for additional flavor. Sometimes I like to sprinkle it on dishes just because it makes the presentation pretty. It looks like golden colored flakes or powder.

That’s important. Nutritional yeast comes as pretty golden flakes or a fine golden powder. It is NOT the granular yeast you get to make your bread rise. If you get that stuff and use it as a condiment, you’ll be very disappointed.

Nutritional Yeast lives up to it’s name because it’s very, you guessed it, nutritional. Mainly, it contains a ton of B vitamins, as well as being cholesterol and fat free. And tasty. Did I mention tasty?

The flavor has been described as both nutty or cheesy. I think it has a hint of both. It’s used in a lot of vegan cheesy-ish type recipes for soups, sauces, and even faux cheeses. Honestly though, if you really want to know what it tastes like, you’ll just have to taste it. You can usually get a small bag of nutritional yeast for a few dollars.

Now, I’m not telling you to rush out, buy a bag of nutritional yeast, and just eat it straight. But as a condiment? Heaven! I find it combines nicely with vegan margarine on mashed potatoes or popcorn, but I’ve also loved it on salads, soups, and even in brown gravy!

Among vegetarians and vegans, Nutritional Yeast is a staple for the simple reason that it’s an easy and versatile source of B12. I’m not going to go into incredible detail about why vegans need to make sure they have an adequate source of B12. Just trust me. It’s important. It’s not difficult either since many cereals, soy milks, and other staples are already routinely fortified with B12. As I said before though, Nutritional Yeast has other benefits.

On the B12 note though, let me mention one more thing. Not all Nutritional Yeasts are created alike. The Red Star Vegetarian Support Formula Nutritional Yeast contains B12, but some of the other ones do not. Some stores even carry (for some unimaginable reason) Nutritional Yeasts that contain non vegan ingredients such as whey and other dairy products. So it pays to read the label.

So let’s sum up. Nutritional Yeast. It’s nutritious. It’s a great source of B vitamins – especially B12. It’s versatile, yummy, and last but not necessarily least, it’s pretty.

What are you waiting for?

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Filed under Animal Rights and Veganism, Product Reviews, Recipes

Product Review: ZenSoy Chocolate products

Since I’ve made several blog entries about the link between chocolate and human slavery, I thought it only fair to give a few suggestions for chocolate products that can be enjoyed without harming others. After all, we want to support ethical companies as well as withdraw our support from unethical ones.

ZenSoy chocolate pudding cups are absolutely delicious. They taste extremely rich, creamy and decadent, and (so far)they’re the only vegan chocolate pudding I’ve been able to find that uses organic cocoa. That means that no (human) slaves were harmed to make them. The recyclable cardboard packaging for the cups show the pudding to be certified vegan, USDA Organic, and (U) Parve. The small plastic cups are perfect for packing in your lunchbox. I’m highly addicted to them.

ZenSoy Soy on the go Chocolate soymilk is great when you’re out and feeling like a little kid. For anyone out there who ever drank Yoo-hoo Chocolate Drink , its sort of like that. Except, of course, without the dairy. They come in a cute little container with an expandable straw that you “punch” into the top. The product also sports the official certified vegan logo and a certified organic logo.

ZenSoy specializes in soymilks and soy based puddings. Unfortunately, they were started by a dairy company, and there is a somewhat cutesy (though idiotic imo) remark on their website about how the cows don’t mind them starting a soy company. Also, its a little oxymoronic imo to have disposable packaging on vegan products, but let that go. The company, ZenSoy itself, only produces vegan products. Their chocolate products use only organic cocoa, which makes them (human) slave free as well. Those are things I definitely want to support, and I would urge everyone else to do the same.

ZenSoy products are found in many of the major chain grocery stores (such as Giant Eagle) as well as your local Health Food Stores or over the internet. Also, many grocers will special order products if you ask them.

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*For more info about the link between chocolate and slavery please check out my previous blog entries linked below.

Stop Supporting Slavery!

Alert: Conflict-free Chocolate?

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