November 4, 2016 by Sara Novak
Coconut aminos are a healthier alternative to soy sauce for those that don’t or can’t consume soy. The condiment has a sweet and savory flavor profile that makes it a great substitution in many recipes that contain soy sauce. If you’re looking for that umami flavor without soy, monosodium glutamate (MSG), or any trace of GMOs, coconut aminos may be just the thing.
What are Coconut Aminos?
Coconut aminos are a liquid that comes from the aged sap of coconut blossoms mixed with sea salt. Coconut blossoms are the flowering portion of the coconut tree which bloom before coconuts grow. The nutrient dense sap contains a wide variety of vitamins and minerals as well as amino acids and, once combined with sea salt, it forms a brown liquid with a deep flavor that’s very similar to soy sauce.
Coconut Aminos Health Benefits
With a touch of sweetness and less salt than soy sauce, coconut aminos are also low glycemic, vegan, gluten-free, and contain 17 amino acids. People are often drawn to the healthy condiment because they want to avoid processed soy.
While traditionally soy sauce was made through a lengthy process that resulted in fermented soy collected from aged miso, (soy paste), mass production has changed the process of making soy sauce. Though you can still purchase higher grade soy sauce, not all soy sauces are created equally. Most are produced using a process called acid hydrolysis, which, rather than fermenting the soy, breaks it down so it’s no longer whole soy.
What’s more, in the U.S. 93 percent of soy is genetically modified. Many soy sauces also contain gluten, which is off limits for those that either have a gluten sensitivity or those with more serious Celiac disease.
Other health benefits of coconut aminos include:
- Coconut aminos contain 300 percent less sodium than soy sauce. This is really important for those concerned about high blood pressure but still want to be able to enjoy that savory flavor.
- Populations that eat high amounts of coconuts tend to have lower rates of cardiovascular disease, according to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
- Coconut products are less likely to cause obesity and diabetes than foods that contain processed soybeans, like soy sauce for example, according to a study published in PLos One.
- Coconuts are good for immune health because they’re high in antioxidants and as a result reduce oxidative stress, according to a study in Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine.
- Coconut aminos may also be good for mental health because they contain a protein called inositol, which balances certain chemicals in the brain and can reduce instances of depression and anxiety, according to Dr. Axe.
- The amino acids present in coconut aminos combine with proteins in the body to form the building blocks of life.
Coconut aminos only contain two ingredients, coconut blossoms and sea salt, and it’s unlikely that either one of those ingredients are harmful. That’s why for the most part, coconut aminos are considered a healthy condiment.
If you’re allergic to coconuts then coconut aminos aren’t the best choice for you. In that case, look for soy sauces that are naturally fermented, many will say “aged” on the label. They tend to be more expensive, at around $10 per bottle. If you’re looking to avoid wheat, you may want to try Tamari, or Japanese style soy sauce. It usually contains no wheat and it’s a darker, richer version of soy sauce .
Where Can I Buy Coconut Aminos?
Image via Thrive Market
Coconut aminos are pretty new to the market but the condiment is still easy to track down online or at your local health foods store. This brand is worth a try:
When the coconut tree is tapped it produces a nutrient-rich sap that exudes from the coconut blossoms. This sap is very low glycemic (GI of only 35), is an abundant source of minerals, 17 amino acids, vitamin C, broad-spectrum B vitamins, and has a…
Coconut Aminos Recipes
Coconut aminos have 300 percent less sodium which means when you’re cooking with it, you can use a little more without the cardiovascular guilt. Experiment with it in your favorite recipes to find the right balance. Here are some delicious recipes to get you started: