Curious about that yellow-labeled bottle that sits on the condiment shelf at so many natural grocery stores and vegan restaurants? Bragg Liquid Aminos is a condiment similar to soy sauce, though it's marketed as a healthier alternative.
Bragg Liquid Aminos gained popularity in the health-food movement that started during the 1970s and, unlike other health-food trends from the era, such as macrobiotic diets and carob, it never really went out of fashion. There is debate over whether Bragg Liquid Aminos is actually healthier than other seasoning sauces derived from soybeans, such as conventional soy sauce, tamari, or nama shoyu, however.
What Is Bragg Liquid Aminos?
Bragg Liquid Aminos is a seasoning sauce made from soybeans and purified water. All of the soybeans used to produce the Bragg product are verified by the Non-GMO Project. Bragg Liquid Aminos contains no chemicals, artificial coloring, or preservatives. One downside to Bragg Liquid Aminos is the cost, since it's a bit pricier than most standard soy sauce brands.
Brand founders Paul Bragg (deceased) and Patricia Bragg have maintained an aura of mystery around the product, and the manufacturing process and exact recipe remain a secret.
How to Use Bragg Liquid Aminos
Bragg Liquid Aminos can stand in for soy sauce as a seasoning at the table or during cooking, such as in a vegetable stir-fry. It also adds umami flavor, or a deep, savory taste to dips, composed sauces, and dressings.
Bragg Liquid Aminos is vegan and a good plant-based source of essential amino acids. The soybeans are unheated and unfermented during processing, so some people include Bragg Liquid Aminos on their raw vegan diet. But because of the processing, others choose to exclude it. For a truly raw vegan soy sauce substitute, try nama shoyu, or make your own homemade raw vegan nama shoyu.
What Does It Taste Like?
Bragg Liquid Aminos tastes similar to soy sauce but much milder and with a tiny bit of sweetness to it. The product tastes closer to tamari, a sauce made from fermented soybeans, than regular soy sauce, which is a bit stronger and saltier. Many people find the taste of Bragg Liquid Aminos quite pleasant.
Recipes With Bragg Liquid Aminos
You can substitute Bragg Liquid Aminos with a ratio of 1:1 in any recipe that calls for soy sauce. If you need a thicker consistency such as would be provided by adding tamari to a sauce, whisk in a little bit of flour, corn starch, or arrowroot, or even a pat of butter, depending on the cooking method.
Where to Buy Bragg Liquid Aminos
Any well-stocked grocery store will carry Bragg Liquid Aminos. Look for it either in the spices and seasonings section, with the soy sauces, or in the health-food aisle. It may also occasionally be shelved with the vinegars. Check your favorite health-food store, which may carry it in containers of varied sizes, including a spray bottle that makes it easy to spritz some flavor on your salad. You can also purchase Bragg Liquid Aminos from online grocery retailers.
Bragg Liquid Aminos has a three-year shelf life, and you do not need to refrigerate the product, even after opening. However, keeping it out of direct sunlight in a cool location can extend its lifespan.
Nutrition and Benefits
Bragg Liquid Aminos contains both essential and non-essential amino acids, including alanine, arginine, aspartic acid, glutamic acid, glycine, histidine, isoleucine, lysine, leucine, methionine, phenyllalanine, proline, serine, threonine, tyrosine, and valine. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, and are necessary for healthy muscles, bones, and skin. The human body cannot produce the nine essential amino acids: histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine. Foods that contain all of these nine are considered complete proteins.
Because of the naturally occurring 320 milligrams of sodium per teaspoon, the product is not recommended for a low sodium diet. Compare this to coconut aminos, which adds salt but has only 79 to 120 milligrams of sodium per teaspoon, and regular soy sauce with more than 800 milligrams per teaspoon.
Bragg Liquid Aminos vs. Soy Sauce
Though Bragg does not carry a gluten-free certification, Bragg Liquid Aminos is naturally gluten-free, in contrast to many brands of soy sauce which commonly contain wheat. Bragg does not use flavor enhancers or other additives, whereas conventional soy sauce brands often contain salt, alcohol, and preservatives. Bragg Liquid Aminos is also certified kosher.