Katie Cavuto, M.S., R.D.

Watch: Healthy Foods to Stock in Your Pantry

Nutritional yeast has long been used by vegans as a naturally dairy-free cheese substitute because of its nutty, earthy, umami qualities. But this mustard-yellow powder is now attracting even more fans because of its stellar nutrition profile.

Nicknamed nooch, yeshi and hippie dust, nutritional yeast is not the same as yeast used to make bread-it's heated and dried so it doesn't rise.

Two tablespoons of the flakes provides about 3 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber. Plus, it's a good source of minerals and B vitamins.

Look for the golden flakes and powder-they can be used interchangeably-on natural-foods-store shelves, in bulk bins or online.

Use nutritional yeast in our healthy recipe for Mushroom Pâté‚ or try one of these yummy ideas:

  • * Stir into pasta instead of Parmesan cheese.
  • * Sprinkle on freshly popped popcorn for a flavor boost.
  • * Season sauted greens or baked kale chips.
  • * Add to mashed potatoes or cauliflower.
  • * Combine with chopped raw nuts and fresh herbs, coat chicken or fish and bake.
  • * Stir into soups and stews to deepen flavor.