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Natto Recipes and Recipe Ideas – Everything You Need to Know

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Natto

For my birthday I treated myself to an order of Meguminatto Natto and since then I have been coming up with Natto recipes and recipe ideas that I wanted to share with you. I am not only going to share with you some of my Natto recipes and recipe ideas, but also a full description of Natto, its nutritional benefits, and where to buy it in the U.S.

What is Natto?

Natto is cooked whole soybeans that have been fermented with the probiotic Bacillus Sunstilis. Fermentation enhances the nutrition of the soybeans and develops a unique flavor and texture. Natto has been traditionally consumed in Japan for over 1000 years. Just recently, Natto has been gaining popularity in the United States because of its reported health benefits.

What are the Health Benefits of Natto?

One of Natto’s health benefits is its highly absorbable high Vitamin K2 content. Vitamin K is known for strengthening bones and reducing blood clots by slowing arterial calcification.

*Please note that because Natto contains vitamin K it could conflict with some anti-coagulant medications such as Warafin. Please consult your physician before consuming.

Another benefit of Natto is that the fermentation process breaks down the protein content in the soybeans making the protein easier to digest and more bioavailable.

Below is a list of some of Natto’s Nutritional Elements

Natto Contains:
Protein
Dietary Fiber
Enzymes: Proteinases, Lipase, Amilase, and Nattokinase
Isoflavones
Saponins
Lecithin
Linoleic Acid
Bacillus Natto
Vitamin B2
Vitamin E
Vitamin K2
Calcium
Iron
Arginine
Tryptophane

These days there are Natto derived supplements available on many popular supplement and health information websites. However, some believe that eating Natto fresh is the most effective and potent way to receive its benefits.

What Does Natto Taste Like?

Natto can be an acquired taste because of its gooey texture and its deep woodsy fermented flavor. I can’t really compare it to another flavor, the closest flavor I can think of would be a cross between a blue and a smoked cheese but more mild and less salty. The soybeans are super soft and the Bacillus Natto creates a sticky gooey texture around the soybeans. The gooey “strings” don’t bother me at all and actually remind me of the consistency of honey. In my opinion, Natto is a prized delicacy. Either you hate it or you love it, and I am one of those people that just absolutely loves the flavor and texture of Natto!

Where to Buy Natto in the U.S.?

Up until a little awhile ago the only way to get Natto in the U.S. was to make your own or purchase it at selected Asian markets. However, now a small company called Meguminatto has started making organic Natto in the U.S. with U.S. grown organic soybeans. If you order online they will deliver Natto straight to your home. Once the Meguminatto organic Natto is delivered, it will last over 6 weeks in your fridge.

I highly recommend the Meguminatto brand of Natto. Its organic and has a smooth mellow flavor with hints of sweetness, much less intense than other Natto brands I have tried before.

How do You Eat Natto?

You can eat it straight as is or try different Natto recipes. There are so many Natto recipe ideas out there and you can come up with you own Natto recipes as well. The flavor of Natto particularly lends itself to Asian flavors or you can use it as you would cheese or another type of legume such as garbanzo. The only caution is to not heat the Natto because it will degrade the beneficial bacteria and enzymes.

Natto Recipes and Recipe Ideas

If you decide to try Natto (Meguminatto brand or otherwise) here are some Natto recipe ideas to get your imagination and taste buds jump-started.

Here are a few Natto recipe ideas if you want to try some at home:

1. Traditional Method. Stir Natto into a warm (not hot) bowl of brown rice. Add some miso tamari and chopped green onions to your liking and stir again. Enjoy!
2. My Favorite. Boil up a serving of your favorite noodles (I like to use gluten free brown rice or black rice spaghetti or 100% buckwheat noodles.) Strain and rinse the noodles with cool water. Stir in Natto with chop sticks until the Natto strands make a sauce for the noodles. Finish with sea salt or miso tamari to taste.
3. Mustard. Add your favorite mustard to Natto and enjoy.
4. Sushi. Substitute Natto for raw fish in your favorite sushi recipe. Good with pickled ginger and a dollap of wasabi. Natto is also good in your favorite summer roll recipe.
5. Rice Cake. Spread a layer of peanut butter on an organic brown rice cake (I like Lundberg’s Tamari with Seaweed Organic Rice Cakes) top with Natto and drizzle a layer of equal parts raw honey and miso tamari mixed together for this sweet and salty snack. (For the raw version you can substitute the brown rice cake for a flax cracker and the peanut butter for raw almond butter.)
6. Japanese Sweet Potato. Natto is great over cooked and cooled Japanese Sweet Potatos sprinkled with a little miso tamari.
7. Cucumber Salad. Here is a beautifully presented raw cucumber Natto salad recipe I came up with. To get the full Natto recipe click here.

* If you don’t have miso tamari available you can just use regular tamari.

Don’t be scared to try Natto, you just might love it! It is actually one of my very favorite foods.

Hope you enjoyed these Natto recipe and recipe ideas. Have you tried Natto? What is your favorite way to enjoy it?

♥,
C

1 comment

1 FoodsTOChew { 09.11.14 at 8:44 am }

Nice. Check out my experience with natto here: http://foodstochew.com/my-week-with-natto-san/

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