Yup, you read the title correctly, NOOCH popcorn.Aka nutritional yeast popcorn. If you’re anything like us, you’re probably asking yourself, ‘what the heck is nooch??’ (if you’re a veg/vegan pro, then you’re rolling your eyes and saying, uh DUH). Even though we’ve been rocking the plant based thing for a while now, it has taken us years to figure out the nooch craze. To clarify, ‘nooch’ is super cool hippie vegan slang for nutritional yeast. Which makes sense, because if you went around calling it yeast, people would be totally weirded out and never try it.
This is definitely not a new or inventive recipe. Nutritional yeast popcorn has been loved and eaten by the masses for a long time. When people like this stuff, they REALLY like it. But, as silly as it seems, some of us just need a little guidance in breaking the nooch door down. Or at least knocking. Cautiously. And learning how to make your own version of this delicious and nutritious snack does just that. It also shows you how ridiculously easy it is to make your own popcorn.
Before we get into the nutritional yeast popcorn recipe, let us explain what nutritional yeast even is, and why you should be eating it. First off, nutritional yeast is NOT the kind of yeast you bake with (that’s baker’s yeast). It’s also not brewer’s yeast. What it IS, is a yeast that’s grown on molasses, and then harvested, washed, and dried with heat to stop the growing processes.
Still seems a little weird, right? Well, what’s NOT weird is how freaking good it is for you. To begin with, nutritional yeast is a complete protein, which is like being the Cadillac of proteins. It’s an awesome source of B vitamins (which is what makes is such a staple in plant based diets), and it also contains iron, selenium, and zinc. Finally, it packs a substantial punch of fiber.
So let us summarize: high protein, high fiber, high vitamins and minerals. And that doesn’t even cover the other, more confusing health benefits (just google nutritional yeast for that). Guys, it’s just GOOD for you. To top it off, it tastes great. It has a tangy, cheesy flavor to it that is great on most things (but maybe not your cereal).
Nutritional yeast popcorn might sound strange but it’s SO weirdly addictive. You literally just can’t stop eating it. And not the cute piece by piece eating it, but the look-to-see-if-anyone-is-watching-and-then-shove-hand-fulls-into-your-mouth, eating it.
So now, on to the nooch popcorn. We were super excited to try this. We bought a bag of nutritional yeast at Trader Joe’s, and then… It sat in our pantry for about 2 months. THEN, we bought our own popcorn. And they BOTH sat in our pantry for another 3 weeks. Yay procrastination! Finally, on a day when we were cravings a snack, but still trying to stick to our clean eating, we decided to bust it out. And ohhhhhh buddy, it’s been a consistent visitor in our kitchen ever since.
This is such a great snack option because it satisfies that snacky feeling and the salty craving, but doesn’t completely derail your diet. If you’re a skeptic, just TRY it. We never thought this would be something we’d like, and now we’re hooked.
Our all time favorite way to eat it is with a bottle of Dr. D’s Water Keifer. Dr. D’s is another stellar find that tastes EXACTLY like grape soda, except without all the sketchy ingredients and massive amounts of sugar (and it has a ton of probiotics for a happy tummy). If you occasionally get blindsided with the soda craving, we highly suggest this stuff. Great flavor, minimal sugar. Plus it totally transports you back to your childhood when paired with a delicious bowl of this popcorn.
You can thank us when you’re done shoveling it in your mouth 🙂 .
** FUN FACT: cats love nutritional yeast too and it’s completely safe for them to eat (obviously use good judgement and only give it to them in reasonably small portions). Our fuzz nugg Bella is obsessed with it!
Nutritional Yeast Popcorn
1/3 Cup Popcorn Kernels
3 Tbsp. Olive Oil
3 Tbsp. Nutritional Yeast Flakes
Salt (to taste)
1. Heat oil over medium high heat in a medium sized pot, and place 3 kernels of popcorn in the oil. Once those have popped, pour in the rest of the kernels. (This ensures that your oil is heated evenly enough to pop the rest of your popcorn).
2. Cover the pot with a lid, and enjoy the weirdly satisfying sound of your popcorn popping.
3. Once the popping has nearly stopped, turn off the heat and remove the pot.
4. Pour popcorn into a bowl (we LOVE the bowls that come with a lid, it makes it super easy to shake up and combine the ingredients). Add the nooch and salt, and combine thoroughly.
You can also add other toppings, such as butter, cayenne pepper, garlic, etc. Get creative!