What Are Coconut Aminos?

Last Update: November 16, 2023

If coconut aminos sound too intimidating to incorporate into your cooking, consider this: You might be overlooking a healthy, super-tasty soy sauce alternative! There’s a reason this superfood seasoning is quickly gaining popularity as a miracle in a bottle—and it’s not just because of its many health benefits. Here’s what you need to know about your new favorite pantry staple.

What are coconut aminos?

Coconut aminos are a salty-sweet sauce made from coconut sap. The sap is harvested from coconut blossoms, blended with sea salt, and naturally aged. As you might guess, this rich, dark sauce is high in amino acids. In fact, some brands of liquid coconut aminos contain up to 17 different types of amino acids (nearly all of the 20 amino acids naturally found in your body’s proteins).

Coconut aminos FAQ

The name might sound technical, but coconut aminos are anything but boring. Take a closer look at this trending food.

What do coconut aminos taste like?

Think coconut aminos taste like coconut? Think again. Coconut aminos are similar in flavor to a light soy sauce or tamari; a flavor often described as “umami” that is a bit meaty and savory (aka the “fifth taste” that differs from sweet, salty, bitter, or sour). Since the flavor is similar to soy sauce (and typically a touch sweeter), coconut aminos can easily be used as a healthier replacement option for recipes that require soy.

How to use coconut aminos

Like soy sauce, coconut liquid aminos easily enhance a variety of recipes from marinades, dressings, glazes, and more. And because coconut aminos have the same richness of soy sauce, it’s an especially ideal ingredient if you’re looking for a way to maximize flavor without adding extra sodium.

Coconut aminos nutrition

With roughly 65% less sodium than soy sauce, 17 naturally occurring amino acids (which help to build protein) along with minerals, and vitamins B and C, coconut aminos are not only rich in flavor but also in nutrients, earning them rave reviews from foodies and nutritionists alike.

A single serving (5g) of raw coconut aminos has the following nutritional breakdown:

  • 5 calories
  • 1 gram carbohydrates
  • 0 grams fat
  • 113 milligrams sodium (5 percent DV)

What diets can I use it for?

Soy allergies? Eating gluten-free? Soy-free, vegan, and Paleo-friendly, coconut aminos are the secret sauce that supports just about any diet. And because this diet-friendly flavor saver is made with coconuts—a food that’s shown to support HDL or healthy cholesterol—it works well when eating a cholesterol-free diet. Coconut aminos also have a low glycemic index of about 35, making it a delicious soy sauce replacement if you’re on a diabetic dietary plan.

Coconut aminos vs. soy sauce

Still need some convincing to make the switch from soy sauce? Though they may taste surprisingly close to soy sauce, coconut aminos have some key differentiators that put them in a class of their own.

For starters, unlike soy sauce, coconut aminos don’t contain wheat so they are inherently gluten-free. And don’t think you’ll be sacrificing flavor. Coconut aminos have the same color and texture of soy sauce and earthy richness, but contain about 14 times the amino acids at a fraction of the sodium content (about a third), And while many soybeans grown in the US are genetically modified, coconut aminos are non-GMO.

This is not to say that coconut aminos are perfect. Though one teaspoon has far less sodium than soy sauce, it isn’t a sodium-free food. A serving of coconut aminos ranges from about 90-160 mg of sodium versus 290 mg found in regular soy sauce. It’s important to follow specified serving sizes and consume as you would any seasoning that includes sodium.

Coconut aminos recipes

Once you start swapping in coconut aminos for your favorite soy sauce-enhanced recipes, you’ll want to find new ways to incorporate this not-so-secret ingredient. We have a feeling these coconut aminos recipes will soon make your hit list.

Sheet-Pan Shrimp With Sesame Broccoli

No time to cook? No worries! This one-pan meal is the perfect solution to a busy week. Just toss shrimp in coconut aminos and coat broccoli in sesame oil, salt, and red pepper flakes. Combine and bake!

Nutty Sesame Carrot Noodles

No need for noodles! This low-carb, Paleo-friendly take on pad thai uses ribbons of carrots in a sweet and savory sauce of nut butter, coconut aminos, coconut sugar, and ground ginger.

Savory Almond Dipping Sauce

Here’s a quick and easy salad dressing or dipping sauce to take your dish from bland to bold: Just whisk together creamy almond butter with coconut aminos, raw honey, water, and a little red pepper.

Gluten-Free Ramen

Looking for a simple but comforting gluten-free lunch? You’ll want to slurp up these quick-cooking wonder noodles in a flavorful soup of chicken bone broth, fish sauce, fresh ginger and garlic, and coconut aminos. Top with a hard-boiled egg, green onions, and your favorite ramen must-haves.

Vietnamese Shrimp Salad

Sumptuous shrimp, bright, fresh herbs, crisp veggies, and a sweet and salty dressing of coconut aminos, fish sauce, and honey make this Asian-inspired dish an all-around winner.

Japanese-Inspired Avocado Toast

If you’re an avocado toast devotee, this recipe will take your love to the next level. Add a Japanese influence to your slices by brushing toast with coconut aminos and sprinkling avocado slices with toasted nori and sesame seeds.

Roasted Broccolini With Nori Salt

Upgrade a basic side to gourmet status by hitting broccolini with dash of sesame oil and coconut aminos and topping with nori salt (toasted nori mixed with sesame seeds, cayenne pepper, large-flake sea salt, and black pepper) before roasting in the oven.

Brown Rice and Salmon Salad

This superfood-powered bowl is ideal for midday fuel or a hearty dinner. Top seasoned brown rice with succulent salmon, shelled edamame, crunchy cucumbers and carrots, and a zesty rice vinegar dressing.

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Jillian Gordon

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