Splendid Spoon’s new Vegetable Bolognese is a delicious, savory bowl that packs as much nutrition as taste. The star ingredient of this bowl is nutritional yeast, a popular vegan cheese replacement. Eliza Savage, MS, RD, CDN, weighs in on this new ingredient on the Splendid Spoon line-up.

Nutritional yeast is a type of yeast known as Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the same strain used to make bread and beer. However, unlike the active yeast used in bread and beer, the yeast cells in nutritional yeast are deactivated during processing so the final product is a dried, inactive form.

The savory condiment contributes a nutty, umami flavor and a boost of nutrition in flake, granule, or powder form. It’s delicious sprinkled over kale chips or popcorn, as a thickener in soups and sauces, or it adds an Emeril Lagasse-style “Bam!” to pasta, especially Splendid Spoon’s Vegan Bolognese.

From a dietitian’s point of view, there is ample evidence that supports using this superfood ingredient. It’s a nutritional powerhouse that contains protein as well as key vitamins and minerals. Here are a few research-backed benefits:

It’s a complete protein.

Nutritional yeast contains all nine essential amino acids, meaning it is a complete protein. One tablespoon contains 2 grams of protein, so adding a few shakes onto your favorite dish adds not only flavor but muscle-boosting and satiety-promoting protein power.

It’s rich in vitamins, especially B12.

The nutty-flavored powder naturally contains many vitamins, especially B12, which is critical for those who consume a vegan diet, and folic acid, which is crucial for women who are trying to conceive or who are pregnant. Many companies fortify their nutritional yeast, giving it even more oomph. One tablespoon contains over 40 percent of the RDA for riboflavin, B6, B12, thiamin, niacin, and folic acid.

It’s a good source of minerals.

Nutritional yeast provides a variety of minerals, including iron, selenium, and zinc. Iron is vital for keeping energy levels up, while selenium and zinc support immune function.

It’s a natural immune booster.

In addition to zinc, nutritional yeast contains two types of fiber that are associated with improved immunity: mannan and beta-glucan (1). Evidence shows that these polysaccharides help to stimulate the immune system and fend off infection.

It’s good for your heart.

The tasty flakes may improve your heart health. Research shows that beta-glucan, a soluble fiber found in nutritional yeast, may lower cholesterol (2). Plus, it’s rich in the antioxidant glutathione and mineral selenium, which have been shown to have beneficial effects on cholesterol, atherosclerosis, and lipid oxidation in animal studies (3).

If these incredible health benefits aren’t enough to have you sprinkling nutritional yeast on everything you eat, Splendid Spoon’s Vegetable Bolognese will have you begging for more. The drool-worthy bowl smells—and tastes—like traditional beef Bolognese but is 100% plant-based, gluten-free, and full of nutritional superstar ingredients. Chock full of tomato, mushrooms, quinoa, cashews, and hemp seeds, the savory meal is satisfying and nourishing, providing your body with ample protein and fiber with very little sodium or saturated fat—unlike traditional Bolognese. One bite, and you’ll be dreaming that you’re enjoying your bowl in a gorgeous piazza in Italy! Add it to your order today!

1 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6651133/
2 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5810204/
3 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17880156/