Cooking With Coconut Aminos: The Dos and Don’ts

Coconut aminos seasoning has become a popular condiment in recent years. It is a vegan, soy- and gluten-free soy sauce alternative. It has the same color as soy sauce and a few other characteristics that make it similar to soy sauce. However, there are some key differences, so you will need to keep these in mind to ensure the best results. Here are some of the most important dos and don’ts of cooking with coconut aminos.

Do use coconut aminos as a source of umami in your dishes.

Coconut aminos seasoning is a popular soy sauce substitute because it has a similar dark brown appearance and is salty. Another reason that it is such a good substitute is its intense umami flavor that is a product of an amino acid called glutamate. Coconut aminos seasoning is a source of glutamate along with about 16 other amino acids. Glutamate is also found in soy sauce and is the source of its umami flavor.

Do use coconut aminos if you are unable to consume gluten or soy.

Coconut aminos seasoning sauce is made with the sap of the coconut tree and salt. Unlike soy sauce, it contains no grain and no gluten making it an excellent soy sauce alternative for people who cannot consume gluten. Coconut aminos sauce is soy-free, so you can use it as a soy sauce alternative if you are on the Paleo diet since that diet forbids soy products.

Do adjust the amounts of sweeteners in your dish when using coconut aminos.

Along with its savory notes, coconut amino sauce has a slight sweetness. If you are using it in dishes that contain sweeteners, you may need to adjust the measurements to ensure that the dish is not overly sweet.

Do use coconut aminos if you want to lower your salt intake.

Coconut amino sauce is made with sea salt and is used because of its ability to give a salty, savory flavor to dishes. All that said, it is considerably less salty than soy sauce. Even low-sodium soy sauce contains more salt than you will get from the typical serving of coconut aminos.

Do consume coconut aminos in moderation.

While it contains much less salt than soy sauce, it is still a high-sodium seasoning. As such, it can contribute to high blood pressure and other health problems brought on by excessive salt consumption.

Do store coconut aminos correctly.

The ideal place to store it is in the refrigerator where it can last for a year or longer. If it is stored at room temperature, unpasteurized coconut aminos will continue to ferment.

Don’t use coconut aminos as a 1:1 soy sauce or substitute.

Coconut aminos seasoning looks a lot like soy sauce, but its flavor profile is not as strong. If you want the same intensity of flavor from coconut aminos that you would get from soy sauce, you will need to use more of the coconut aminos. When using coconut aminos as a soy sauce substitute and find that your dish needs more salt, start by doubling the amount that your recipe requires for soy sauce and increase from there if necessary.

Don’t heat coconut aminos.

Some experts recommend never heating coconut aminos seasoning sauce in the belief that heating destroys some of its nutritional content.

Don’t use coconut aminos if it smells like vinegar.

If it is improperly stored, coconut aminos seasoning will ferment until it becomes vinegar.