If you're hankering for that hard-to-define, but so-darntasty, umami taste, perhaps a good old bottle of soy sauce is your first go-to in the pantry. In a flash, spicy, savoury, and tangy soy sauce will elevate any dish. Unfortunately, there are many strikes against most commercial soy sauces.
Most soy sauces in your local grocery store are mass-produced through acid hydrolysis, with genetically modified ingredients, rather than the conventional fermentation process, and most likely contain gluten that along with soy, is off-limits to many people.
It may sound surprising that over the past few years, an equally delicious, but undoubtedly better-for-you, soy alternative has slowly taken up space on North American grocery store shelves. Meet your new favorite staple in the kitchen: coconut aminos!
Coconut aminos, which are naturally gluten- and soy-free, derive from the fermented sap of the coconut palm tree. It is almost similar in color and consistency to traditional soy sauce, and while coconut also gives its products a distinct taste, you do not need to worry about this coconut tasting condiment because it is made from the sap and not the fruit of the coconut tree.
Coconut aminos are low in sugar at just one gram per teaspoon, despite being made from sweet tree sap, and are much lower in sodium than soy sauce at only 90 milligrams of sodium per serving (while soy sauce has almost 300 milligrams per serving!). It also includes amino acids, including glutamic acid, which is responsible for the distinctive flavor of umami, and inositol, which is credited with enhancing everything from PCOS to mental health problems.
Coconut aminos are extremely flexible and can be replaced with 1:1 In every recipe, for soy sauce. If you prefer darker soy sauce with a richer taste, you might want to increase the amount of amino coconut. As it has a more delicate flavor than soy sauce, when added at the end of cooking, coconut aminos impart the best flavour.