• What's all the fuss about Nooch?

    If you've been around the vegan world for a while you have undoubtedly come across the ingredient nutritional yeast, otherwise known as NOOCH. Many people love it, some people hate it. But it's an undeniably handy and nutritious ingredient that you'll want to know a bit more about, if you're not already familiar. 

    I often get questions about nutritional yeast:

    • What is it?
    • Is it different from Brewer's/Baker's Yeast?
    • Do you have to refrigerate it?
    • Is it good for you? (and if so why)?
    • What are some ways to include it in your diet?
    • Can you eat it if you have Candida or a yeast allergy?

    I answered some of those questions as part of this week's episode of In My Plant-Based Kitchen

    But I thought I'd also provide some of the answers in a blog post here today. AND I'm going to share one of my favourite recipes featuring nutritional yeast, my NOOCH Dressing.

    So, what is Nutritional Yeast? And is it different from Brewer's/Baker's Yeast?

    In a word nutritional yeast is the deactivated form of yeast that you’d use to make bread (baker’s yeast) or beer (brewer’s yeast). Nutritional yeast is grown specifically as a food product and it tastes very different from baker's or brewer’s yeast, which tend to be bitter -- so don't buy one of those and put it on your popcorn! They are NOT the same.

    Nutritional yeast Is grown on cane sugar and molasses, then harvested, washed and dried into flakes. After harvesting it is washed and pasteurized to make sure it won’t keep growing.

    Is it good for you? (and if so why)?

    Yes! It's very...well nutritional! Or nutritious, let's say :-) It's an excellent source of protein and a rich source of B vitamins, which are important for energy production, helpful in the metabolism of protein, fats and carbs (meaning they help us to better use the fuel from our food), and they're important for helping us to manage stress too. Nooch is known for its B12 content (notable since B12 is difficult to get without supplementation on a vegan or vegetarian diet); however, since B12 deficiency is not something you want to wrangle with don't rely solely on nooch for your intake -- just take a supplement. :-)

    Finally, nooch contains a variety of antioxidants, which we can all use a little more of.

    It IS important to note though, that some nooch is fortified with additional nutrients, and some are not, so read your labels to make sure you know what you're getting.

    Nooch is thought to be helpful for immune health, heart health, liver health and more. In short, yes! It's very good for you! Eat it!

    What are some ways to include it in your diet?

    Nooch has a delightful cheesy, nutty flavour that is great

    • on popcorn (sprinkle with apple cider vinegar first to make it stick)
    • in dressings and sauces (see recipe below)
    • sprinkled on salads or savoury oatmeal
    • mixed into anything you want to add a little cheesi-ness too
    • used to make lots of vegan cheeses
    • great as part of a coating on air-fried or roasted tofu!

    Can you eat it if you have Candida or a yeast allergy?

    Though the yeast cells of nutritional yeast are killed during manufacturing, to be on the safe side people who are allergic or sensitive to yeast are advised to avoid nooch. 

    Do you have to refrigerate it?

    You don’t need to keep it in the fridge, but do store in a cool dark place and it will last for about 2 years.

    Now that you know all about Nutritional Yeast, time for a recipe!

    Nooch Sauce/Dressing

    Makes about 600 ml

    Ingredients

    • ½ cup nutritional yeast flakes
    • ¾ cup water
    • ½ cup raw sunflower seeds
    • ½ cup cooked chickpeas
    • 1/3 cup braggs soy alternative or coconut aminos (lower sodium)
    • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
    • 2 cloves garlic

    Directions

    Place all ingredients in your blender and blend until smooth. Make sure you give this enough blender time to get SUPER creamy – you will know it is ready when a little bit between your fingers feel smooth and not at all gritty. Use as a salad dressing, over steamed broccoli or cauliflower, roasted vegetables, rice bowls, or even as a vegetable dip. Keeps in the fridge for a week; also freezes well.

     

     


  • Let's Talk Turmeric!

    One of my favourite things about heading into the winter season is getting cozy with healthy comfort foods -- soups, stews, curries, and warm drinks.

    I have found myself reaching for a couple of my go-to warm drinks in the afternoons/evenings recently, so I thought it would be a good time to share them with you, alongside some information about the benefits of including turmeric on a daily basis too!



    In this week's episode of In My Plant-Based Kitchen I cover:

    🫚 what turmeric is
    🫚 why it's beneficial to include in culinary doses on a daily basis
    🫚 who should be careful about consuming turmeric and why
    🫚 ideas for including it

    and we make my version of Golden Milk (and I also talk about how to make Lemon Ginger Turmeric Tea.

    This is a quick but info-packed episode.
    Join me here.

    AND NOW FOR THE RECIPES!

    Golden Turmeric Milk 
    Ingredients

    • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder (or you can boil a few slices of fresh turmeric root instead)
    • ¼ - ½ tsp cinnamon (to taste)
    • A few slices of fresh ginger
    • A mugful of plant milk (soy, oat, almond, rice - whatever you prefer)
    • Small pinch black pepper (this helps the absorption of curcumin, which is the active antiinflammatory ingredient in turmeric)
    • liquid sweetener to taste, optional (agave or maple syrup)

    Combine turmeric, ginger, milk and pepper in a small pan, whisking until combined. Bring to a low boil, and simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove solids, add sweetener to taste and enjoy. 

     
    Lemon-Ginger Turmeric Tea 

    • 3 slices fresh ginger
    • A cupful of boiling water
    • Juice of ½ a lemon
    • ½ tsp turmeric powder
    • Small pinch black pepper
    • Sweetener to taste, optional

    Boil some water and place ginger slices in the water to steep - simmer for 5-10 minutes. Remove solids, add lemon juice, turmeric and sweetener to taste. 
     
    (This also makes a really nice cold drink, but the turmeric does tend to separate so you need to make sure it is stirred well before drinking).

     


  • Best Ever Homemade Granola Bars

    I have been making and sharing this granola bar recipe for MANY years and it never gets old! You can make them so many different ways, just by switching up the nuts, seeds and dried fruit. These really are the best homemade granola bars you will ever make!

    This week's episode of In My Plant-Based Kitchen is in 2 parts. In the first part I answer a great question that came in about the nutrition of cooked and cooled starches. We talk about how cooling starchy foods like potatoes, pasta and rice can be beneficial, why resistant starch is helpful for health, and more.

    In the second part of the episode we make The Best Ever Granola Bars (originally inspired by a recipe in Christie Morgan's cookbook, Blissful Bites).

    In the episode I explain the parts of the recipe you can adjust and switch, but here is the version I made in the video:

    The Best Ever Granola Bars

    Ingredients:

    • 2 c unsweetened brown rice crispy cereal
    • 2 c rolled oats
    • 1/2 c dried cranberries
    • 1/2 c unsweetened coconut shreds
    • 1/3 c slivered almonds
    • 1/2 c walnuts, chopped
    • 1/2 c pumpkin seeds
    • 1 1/2 c brown rice syrup
    • 1 c almond butter
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

    Directions:

    1. Mix up the dry ingredients up to the pumpkin seeds in one bowl.
    2. Add the wet ingredients (brown rice syrup, almond butter and vanilla) to a saucepan and warm slowly until thoroughly mixed.
    3. Combine wet and dry ingredients and mix well.  Fold in the chocolate chips.
    4. Put everything in a baking casserole lined with parchment paper. Press the mixture into the casserole until evenly spread and smooth on top (It’s helpful to put a layer of parchment on top and press down with your hands, or the bottom of a glass to get an even top).
    5. After the bars have cooled and set for several hours cut and go!

    Tips:

    • Super easy, and this makes a HUGE batch - you could easily half them, but these bars also freeze really well
    • Feel free to switch up the nuts/seeds/dried fruit too – it’s great with pecans, coconut, sunflower seeds...you get the picture!
    • CAUTION: The rice syrup provides texture and allows these bars to set. Maple syrup does not work as well – the bars are much gooier, so be careful about swapping the sweetener.

    If you make these, let me know how YOU customize them to your own tastes (and of course, how you like them) :-)


  • A Plant-Based Thanksgiving - Menu included!

    As the holidays approach I wanted to offer a few tips and recipes to help you make them healthier, kinder and more delicious than ever! 

    In this week's episode of In My Plant-Based Kitchen (Episode 11) I talk about

    • how to veganize and "healthify" some traditional family favourites
    • how to plan a plant-based holiday meal (including ideas for mains)
    • what's on my menu for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday dinner (see my holiday recipe ebook here)
    • I walk you through my Naturally Sweetened Holiday Cranberry Sauce recipe (so good)! Here's that recipe:

    Naturally Sweetened Holiday Spice Cranberry Sauce

    Ingredients:

    • 1 c water
    • ½ c freshly squeezed orange juice
    • 2 c fresh/frozen cranberries
    • 2 c dried cranberries
    • ½ c raisins
    • ¾ c tart dried cherries
    • 3 tbsp agave syrup or maple syrup
    • 1 tbsp orange zest
    • 1 tsp ginger, peeled and minced
    • 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
    • ¼ tsp ground cloves (optional – or use another spice like nutmeg/anise, etc)

    Directions:

    1. Place water, juice, cranberries, raisins and cherries in a medium-sized pot and bring to a boil. Depending on how much water your cranberries release, you may need to add a bit more water or orange juice. If you're feeling the sauce is dry, add up to another 1/2 - 3/4 cup (you can do this later in the process too - the main thing is to give the fruit enough liquid to steep and become soft in).

    2. Turn the heat down to med-low and simmer for about 10 minutes, until some of the cranberries start to burst open, stirring occasionally. Some will burst and others won’t, which gives the sauce nice texture.

    3. Now add the agave/maple syrup, ginger, orange zest, cinnamon and cloves and simmer for a few more minutes, stirring regularly, until everything is starting to come together and the sauce has thickened to your preferred consistency (keep in mind the sauce will thicken up more as it cools).

    4. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely. Once everything has cooled, you can blend the sauce partially if you like a smoother sauce.

    5. Chill in the fridge or serve at room temperature.

    *Note, the flavours in this sauce really come together on day 2, so this is a great thing to make the day before your big meal. If you have leftovers, store in an airtight container in the fridge and it will keep for a couple of weeks (if it lasts that long)!

    Want more recipes? Check out my HOLIDAY RECIPE EBOOK HERE.

    Enjoy! Wishing everyone a Happy, Healthy, Kind Thanksgiving.



Website Created & Hosted with Doteasy Web Hosting Canada