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Last Updated on April 26, 2023
What is coconut aminos and does it make a good substitute for soy sauce? Let’s find out!
What Is Coconut Aminos?
Coconut aminos is made from fermented coconut sap and has sea salt added to it. It’s one of the soy sauce alternatives you may have heard about. Want to learn more?
Let’s dive right in!
Coconut aminos is very similar to a traditional soy sauce and lends an umami flavor, but this liquid condiment works for those with food sensitivities or soy allergies.
If you have dietary restrictions, it can be used in place of place of soy sauce, although it is much more expensive.
Coconut aminos is an allergy-friendly liquid condiment. It’s gluten-free, soy-free, and suitable for AIP, paleo, vegan, vegetarian, keto, and Whole30 diets.
Coconut aminos is not SCD or GAPS Legal.
Coconut aminos is pH neutral, therefore can be consumed in moderation when on a low-acid diet. It also contians some trace vitamins and minerals.
Are There Health Benefits to Coconut Aminos?
Coconut aminos isn’t a superfood by any means, but it is a healthier alternative than soy sauce. Because it’s made from just coconut tree sap and sea salt, it’s free of MSG, which is often found regular soy sauce.
So, if you eat a paleo diet or are just looking for a condiment with a similar flavor to soy sauce, then coconut liquid aminos might be a great option for you.
Does Coconut Aminos Contain MSG?
Although the sap used to make coconut aminos contains the amino acid glutamine, it doesn’t turn into MSG because yeast or bacteria isn’t used in the fermentation process. So, coconut aminos is NOT an MSG allergy food to avoid.
Low Glycaemic Index (GI)
Although coconut aminos is naturally sweet, it comes in at 35 on the GI scale, so it doesn’t spike your blood sugar.
Coconut Aminos Vs Soy Sauce
It’s well-known that soy sauce is loaded with sodium. It also sometimes contains gluten and MSG. You have to read the labels for sure. My husband is Asian and I am pretty sure soy sauce ran through his veins when we first met.
When I switched to a gluten-free diet many years ago, we started using tamari sauce instead of soy sauce. Tamari is still soy, but it’s fermented and better for you. I also found a gluten-free brand that I liked and trusted.
So, when I went on an AIP diet and had to ditch the tamari for coconut aminos I was a bit nervous about my husband’s reaction. Surprise! He doesn’t mind using coconut aminos instead of soy sauce at all.
Coconut aminos has a similar taste to soy sauce, but with a more sweet flavor; and I like that. I use it as a flavor enhancer in recipes just like I would soy sauce.
Coconut Aminos Vs Soy Sauce – Which is Better for You?
There are amino acids in coconut aminos that may help preserve and build muscle. Coconut aminos also contains much less sodium than soy sauce, so it you are watching your sodium intake, it’s a great alternative.
Coconut Aminos contains less salt than other soy sauce alternatives.
Substituting One for the Other
Coconut aminos is a popular condiment that can be used to mimick flavor profiles of traditional soy sauce. If you are cooking Asian cuisine, you can usually swap out soy sauce for coconut aminos 1:1.
Coconut Aminos Vs. Liquid Aminos
The savory flavor you are looking for in a soy sauce can be found in a few different condiments. Let’s compare coconut aminos and other soy sauce substitutes.
Bragg liquid aminos is often used in place of soy sauce because it’s generally a better option for your health. It’s still made from soy, so if you have a soy allergy or have to avoid soy for the paleo autoimmune protocol or some other diet, then this won’t work for you.
Liquid aminos provides some nutritional value because it has amino acids from the fermentation process. Fermented soybeans are much better for you.
Using liquid aminos will bring about a more mild umami flavor and a touch of sweetness to your dishes. Braggs liquid aminos is made from non-GMO, organic ingredients.
Like coconut aminos, liquid aminos are gluten-free.
Tamari is also made using fermented soybeans. It can be a bit stronger in flavor and sometimes saltier than soy sauce. It can use used interchangeably in recipes that call for soy sauce.
If you are looking for a gluten-free alternative to soy sauce, but can consume soy, then this might be a great option for you.
Ways to Use Coconut Aminos
The good news is coconut aminos is a good substitute for any recipe that calls for soy sauce.
I like to use coconut aminos as a teriyaki sauce by measuring equal parts of orange juice and coconut aminos. Then I grate in some fresh garlic and ginger and sprinkle in some onion powder.
You can make this as a marinade or you can simmer it on low and use an arrowroot slurry to thicken it into a glaze or sauce.
Sushi Dipping Sauce
This soy-free seasoning sauce can be used in recipes or when you make a dipping sauce for sushi. For sushi, I like to use a bit of this popular soy sauce substitute and add some freshly grated ginger and garlic, plus a squeeze of lime. It’s so good!
Because of the health benefits of calamansi, I have also swapped the lime juice for it when making this sauce.
It’s good to keep in mind that heat destroys the natural amino acid benefits, so coconut aminos is healthiest for you unheated.
Brands of Coconut Aminos
I have tried a lot of different coconut aminos brands. They aren’t all the same. Most grocery stores will carry at least one brand, and I often see Coconut Secret at most grocery stores.
- Coconut Secret – Found at many grocery stores. Made from organic coconut blossom nectar
- Trader Joes Coconut Aminos – This one isn’t my favorite. I tend to find it sweeter than other brands.
- Thrive Market Coconut Aminos – I like this one. It’s not too sweet and has just the right balance of flavors.
- Braggs Coconut Liquid Aminos – A bit tangier with the addition of apple cider vinegar
- Big Tree Farms Coconut Aminos – This is my preferred brand. It’s not too sweet and has the peftct flavor.
- Good & Gather™ Coconut Aminos – I haven’t tried this one yet. It contains organic coconut blossom nectar, water, and Balinese sea salt.
So there you have it. You can use coconut aminos instead of soy sauce. Coconut aminos has a savory, sweet and umami flavor and lower sodium than soy sauce.
To summarize the diffferences between liquid aminos, soy sauce, and coconut aminos:
- Liquid aminos are made from organic, non-GMO soybeans. They are also gluten free.
- Soy sauce often contains wheat (gluten) and has more sodium. Sometimes MSG is added as a flavor enhancer.
- Coconut aminos are soy-free and lower in salt than soy sauce and liquid aminos.