The Raw Glow Blog

Category — fermented foods recipes

Natto Recipes and Recipe Ideas – Everything You Need to Know

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

May 15, 2013   1 Comment

Natto Recipe – Raw Cucumber Salad

Natto Recipe - Raw Cucumber Salad
Natto Recipe - Raw Cucumber Salad
This is a super simple light Natto recipe with spiral cut cucumber and a bright Ume Plum Vinegar dressing.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 1 serving

Nutrition Information:
  • 178 calories
  • 4 grams of fat
  • 22 grams of sugar
  • 1394 milligrams of sodium
Ingredients:
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey or more depending on desired sweetness
  • 1 teaspoon raw Ume Plum Vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon raw miso tamari
  • 1/8-1/4 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon chopped cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon chopped green onion (green parts only)
  • 2 cups spiralized English cucumber noodles
  • 3 tablespoons Natto
Instructions:
To make the dressing, mix the Ume Plum Vinegar, tamari, finely grated ginger, and raw honey in a small bowl with a fork until well combined and set aside. Then, using the paderno spiral slicer, spiralize an English cucumber until you get about 2 cups cucumber noodles. (You can peel the cucumber or not peel it depending on the type of presentation you want.) Toss the spiral cut cucumbers with the Ume Plum dressing and garnish with the Natto, chopped green onion and cilantro. Eat with chop sticks for fun.

 

Tips

  • If you don’t have one, you can purchase the paderno spiral slicer here to make the cucumber noodles.
  • If you don’t know what Natto is, here is a Natto article I wrote about this ancient Japanese superfood. If you don’t have access to Natto you can use organic cooked edamame instead.
  • I get my Natto delivered to my home from Meguminatto, you also might find it in selected Asian markets.
  • I get my raw Ume Plum Vinegar from Eden Foods
  • I get my raw wheat and soy free Miso Tamari from South River Miso but you could just use regular tamari.
  • You can grate the ginger with a microplane or spice grater, but if you don’t like the consistency of raw ginger you can squeeze out the juice between your fingers and discard the pulp.

Hope you enjoyed this simple Natto recipe. Do you have a favorite Natto recipe? If so, please share it below.
♥,
C

May 15, 2013   No Comments

Two Light Raw Food Recipes with Fermented Vegetables

seaweed salad

I don’t usually buy too many prepared raw foods in the super market but there are two delicious and healthy, might I add, items that I just couldn’t pass up. One of them is an organic raw fermented no fat salad dressing by Zukay, they have 6 flavors and Sweet Onion Basil is my favorite. Because the dressings have little or no fat, in my opinion, they need some oil or blended avocado or nuts mixed into them. In this recipe I used the Sweet Onion Basil dressing by Zukay and some hemp oil to make a lovely seaweed salad. If your local natural food grocery store does not carry Zukay products, they are also available online at www.zukay.com

 Seaweed Salad with Sweet Onion Basil Dressing

2 cups half moon sliced English cucumbers. I like to use the ceramic mandoline.
½ cup soaked and rinsed Emerald Cove Brand Wakame Seaweed (about 1/3 a cup before hydrated)
¼ of a large avocado or one half of a small avocado diced
½ of a cup chopped cilantro
2 green onions chopped
2 heaping tablespoons ground raw sesame seeds (no hulls) You can grind the sesame seeds in a vitamix , food processor, or use a mortar and pestle.

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl so that the avocado gets smashed a little.

 Dressing

4 tablespoons Zukay Sweet Onion Basil Salad Dressing
1 tablespoon hemp seed oil
Pinch of cayenne to taste

 Mix dressing ingredients in a bowl and pour over salad. Makes 1-2 servings.

This next recipe is a recipe for a quick raw blended soup. To make  it, “over the top” top it with Farmhouse Smoked Jalapeño Sauerkraut available at some Whole Foods in Northern California.  Farmhouse Sauerkraut is the best sauerkraut I have encountered so far, they have three flavors: Apple Fennel, Smoked Jalapeño, and Classic Caraway. To learn more about Farmhouse Sauerkraut go to: www.farmhouseculture.com/

fiesta soup 

Fiesta Soup

1 cup carrot juice (I cheated and used store bought carrot juice from the refrigerated section, not raw, but quick)
¼ an avocado
Juice from 1 lime or lemon
Small handful cilantro
2 green onions
½ teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper or less

Blend the ingredients in a blender to make a soup. Garnish with green onion, cilantro, bell pepper, avocado, and to make  it, “over the top” top it with Farm house smoked jalapeño sauerkraut or homemade or another brand of raw sauerkraut.  Makes 1 serving.

Enjoy and Happy Spring!

♥,
C

What  prepared raw foods do you like? Please share in the comments section below.

April 13, 2010   13 Comments

Your Guide to Making Raw Young Coconut Kefir

strawberrykefirshake

I first learned about kefir about 10 years ago from The Body Ecology Diet by Donna Gates.

10 years ago I was making it out of goats milk and soy milk. Now I much prefer to make it out of coconut milk or young coconut meat.

 According to Donna Gates, Kefir is a health promoting food and it has been traditionally consumed in Russia and the Middle East for thousands of years with good results. It’s a natural probiotic source that can promote a healthy digestive system.  Also, because of kefir’s vitamins, minerals, easy to digest proteins, beneficial bacterias, and yeasts, it contributes to a healthy immune system as well.

Click here to read more about kefir’s benefits. It’s the best article I’ve found on Kefir so far.

 Now for the fun stuff: How to make it!

coconutkefir

My favorite is to make it out of young coconut meat and the young coconut water.  It’s rather simple to make young coconut kefir:

  •  Take the meat from about 4-6 young coconuts and then blend the meat in a blender with some water or young coconut water until you reach a pudding consistency. (Make sure that the meat and water are not pink, purple, or brown. Think bright white meat and clear liquid. )
  • Put the mixture in a sealed quart sized mason jar with extra room at the top. (It will expand as it ferments)
  • With a sterilized spoon mix a packet of Body Ecology’s Kefir starter in a little warm water and then mix it into the coconut mixture. Seal the mason jar and let it ferment for 24-36 hours. It is best for it to ferment around 70 to 75 degrees F. I put mine near the dehydrator, if it is running, for some extra warmth, or you can put it in an insulated cooler. The longer it ferments the more sour it will get.
  • Store it in the refrigerator. The final product should be white and delicious with stevia, honey, fresh fruit, or blended with fruit in a blender.
  • If is pink or purple or anything but white please discard.

Click here to learn how to safely open up young coconuts

Easier and Less Expensive Version

 I soon realized that due to the cost of young coconuts that I wasn’t going to be able to make young coconut kefir regularly! So I tried making it with Turtle Mountain’s Coconut Milk, which is pretty much just a watered down version of coconut milk.  I’m sure you could make your own milk with brown coconuts or use watered down bottled coconut milk.  I used the original flavor which has some evaporated cane juice that the beneficial bacteria just love. Use the same directions as above using the coconut milk as a base.  Instead of making a creamy kefir it makes a drinkable probiotic liquid and is a great base for smoothies.

 You can make kefir just out of the young coconut water as well! Probiotics never tasted so good:)

Click here to get the kefir packets

FYI: I remember reading that the packets might contain trace amounts of dairy.

 Instead of using the packets you can use the kefir grains directly which is the most economical way to go, because if taken care of, they last forever and actually multiply!

 You can get the kefir grains from here

If you want to use the grains,  here is a great article on how to get started

The reason I don’t use the grains is because with most of my kitchen projects such as with my kombucha and rice bran pickling experiments, I get really excited at first and then I loose interest and have a huge science experiment I’m not sure what to do with! The packets allow me the flexibility to not make kefir for awhile and then start up again when the mood strikes:)

Here’s a simple recipe using kefir I made just yesterday:

 Strawberry Nectarine Kefir Sorbet

 kefirsorbet

1 and ½ cup frozen strawberries
½ cups coconut kefir
½ a nectarine
1 pinch stevia powder
seeds from 1 vanilla bean* optional

 Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender using a tamper. Blend less for a sorbet, blend more for more for a shake. Garnish with fresh fruit and bee pollen. I added bee pollen, wheat germ, and drizzled with blackstrap molasses. It felt like a sundae:)

kefirsundae

 Blending kefir with any fruit in a smoothie tastes great. My favorite with kefir are strawberries and blueberries.

Click here for more kefir recipes

If you liked this post you might like my young coconut yogurt post as well!

Happy Fermenting!

♥,

C

August 15, 2009   20 Comments