Despite the fact that I was a lifelong lover of dairy products like yogurt (ate it every day!), ice cream, string cheese, and Parmesan cheese, I cut out dairy products a couple of years ago.
It turns out that dairy products were triggering a number of health issues I had for most of my life – from allergies, congestion, sore throats, ear infections, indigestion and acid reflux to skin issues, gas and bloating. I used to get congested frequently, had chronic ear infections (which meant lots of antibiotics), and took Claritin and Zyrtec for seasonal allergies, along with reflux reducing meds like Prilosec (for 10 years!).
For me, cutting out dairy has been one of the keys to begin healing my body, not being sick so often (almost never!)…and getting off of those medications naturally. It’s been pretty amazing!
Check out my *NEW* Pinterest board – Deliciously Dairy Free – for additional articles on the topic as well as dozens of recipes for non-dairy alternatives to foods like cheese, cheesecake, ice cream, milkshakes, dips and dressings. I will be featuring many of them in upcoming blog posts, so stay tuned!
One of the questions people often ask me is, “How do you live without cheese? I could never give up cheese.” The short answer is there isn’t an “exact” match, BUT I’ve found some great options to use as replacements!
One of those foods is nutritional yeast (AKA “nooch”).
A few years ago, I had never even heard of nutritional yeast and certainly wouldn’t have guessed it was something edible. This is kind of like the eggplant naming question…couldn’t they have picked a more appealing name??
Despite its odd name, this stuff has been a staple in our pantry for the past 3 years. You can find it online, or at Wegmans, MOMs, Whole Foods, Roots, or other natural food stores.
Here’s the 411 on why you might want to get yourself some “nooch”!
- If you don’t eat dairy (or are trying to reduce it!), it’s a great substitute for cheese-based preparations. It has a “cheesy” smell and taste to it.
- It’s a great source of protein and contains essential amino acids (protein building blocks!).
- It’s loaded with vitamins, especially B vitamins, which are important in hundreds of your body’s processes, including staying energized and fighting stress.
- It’s low in sodium.
If you can get past the weird name, it’s worth giving this stuff a shot.
I will be posting my favorite “nooch” recipes in the coming weeks – check out the list below for a sneak peek of what I will be making and sharing!
- Herby homemade popcorn
- Salad dressings
- Kale chips
- “Cheezy” curly kale salad
- Dairy-free “cheese” sauce for mac & cheese or nachos
- Nutty rawmesan cheese (a substitute for my beloved Parm cheese!)
If you’re interested in going dairy-free and what it could look like for you, check out this 28-Day Dairy Free Challenge with Dr. Oz or this information on elimination diets from my favorite blog, Nourishing Meals!
Stay tuned for future recipe posts featuring this quirky but healthy ingredient!