Text and photos: Anna Plaszczyk
27 December 2015
There are some inconspicuous spices, which, at the first meeting, do not give you any plans and hope. But soon it turns out that you no longer know how to live without them. Such a secret ingredient are undoubtedly yeast flakes. Yeast flakes are dried, inactive yeasts. Thanks to it they do not ferment, so they do not cause any stomach pains. They are rich in vitamins and microelements. They contain zinc and B vitamins (B1, B2, B5 and B6), responsible for the condition of hair and nails. As a result of B vitamins deficiency, angular cheilitis, hair fall, problems with nails and skin can appear very often. Symptoms of deficiency are also; nervousness and insomnia, slower metabolism and decreased concentration.
The yeast flakes are often enriched with B12 vitamin, which is extremely important for vegans. Zinc, however, is used in the treatment of acne. The yeast flakes also contain phosphorus, magnesium, iron, potassium, selenium and chromium. Therefore they are a natural dietary supplement for people with skin and hair problems.
Due to the rich composition, yeast flakes are an ideal dietary supplement for people with the skin or hair problems. Vitamin B can for example prevent ... excessive oily skin and hair. Yeast flakes are also an excellent product for those who are currently on a diet. The high content of easily digestible chromium reduces appetite, and thus - increases the effectiveness of the diet. So it is good to add them to any diet – even, in the amount of up to 3 tablespoons a day!
How can yeast flakes be useful in the kitchen? The best known and highly valued recipe with it is a vegan Parmesan. In order to prepare it, you need flakes and cashews in a ratio of 1: 1. We mix them into a smooth paste and we have a replacement of hard long-ripening cheese. But yeast flakes can also be used as all kinds of coating of chops and for seasoning pastes and vegetables pates, soups, dressings or dips. However, yeast flakes can be used not only in the kitchen! They can also be put on a face as a mask. For this purpose, just add a small amount of water, oil, lemon juice or fruit mousse (e g. Kiwi). This mask will add radiance to your skin and help to rehydrate it properly, and the B vitamins regulate secretion of sebum.
Yeast flakes can be bought in the store (ours are from the store supporting Viva Foundation!), or made at home. The yeast used in the production of flakes are Saccharomyces cerevisiae. And this is exactly the same species that you have in your refrigerator and use for baking pizza and yeast dough!
How to prepare homemade yeast flakes?
200 g of fresh yeast,
1/3 cup of tepid water,
5 g agave /treacle /sugar cane syrup,
5g + 5g + 5g of sugar.
Put crumbled yeasts at room temperature to the litre vessel (e.g. jar) and pour water with the agave syrup. Mix it with a wooden or plastic spoon! The jar should be covered with a paper and a rubber band. Then we make holes in it. We leave in a warm place, and when the yeast will begin to grow – we add first portion of sugar (5 g) and stir. Again we cover the jar and leave in a warm place. Within an hour we add two remaining spoons of sugar and leave it for an hour.
We put baking paper on a baking tray so that its edges were directed upwards in order to prevent dough from getting under paper. Warm the oven up to 200 degrees Celsius, set convection oven function. Mix yeast and pour a thin layer on a baking tray. Bake it for 10 minutes, but if the mass is getting brown too quickly - reduce the temperature. After this time we open an oven slightly and bake for another 15 minutes. This is a very important step, which should be monitored to prevent flakes from burning. Turn off oven and leave the dough to cool completely. In winter you can easily and quickly cool the dough by putting it outside.
When cracked yeast dough gets cold - we put it back in the oven warmed up to 100 degrees Celsius and dry it for several minutes or even an hour. Flakes must be dry. Thus prepared flakes can be ground in a grinder or simply crumbled.