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When it comes to eating good food, we are always looking for healthy substitutions that’ll give us that indulgent feel without all the guilt.

You might have heard of people using cauliflower as rice, zucchini as noodles, even Portobello mushroom caps as burger buns!

When it comes to food, peoples creativity knows no bounds  – and in this case… creativity often times leads to a healthier, more fulfilling lifestyle and even contributes towards your weight loss goals

Some people might feel “put off” when swapping their favorite refined carbs for healthier versions but if you can adjust and learn to make healthy the “new normal” in your routine (just like you’ve made those carb-loaded burger buns part of your unhealthy routine) it becomes a normal and satisfying way to become healthier and happier.

One healthy swap you may not have heard of is Liquid Aminos – Liquid aminos are an ingredient that has been gaining popularity over the past few years. You may have seen it swapped out for soy sauce, but its quite versatile for everyday cooking. Liquid aminos add a rich salty umami flavor profile to dishes (similarly to soy) but are significantly healthier.

In this article we will explain the health benefits of liquid aminos and give you 3 simple recipes to give them a try!

Health Benefits of Liquid Aminos

What are liquid aminos

Liquid aminos are made from soybeans which are one of the few plant sources that have complete proteins. This means they contain all the essential amino acids your body can only get from its food.

To make liquid aminos soybeans are treated with hydrochloric acid which breaks down their proteins and release amino acids. This is the same process that would generally happen in your stomach. Once they have been broken down sodium bicarbonate (aka baking soda) is added to the soybeans to neutralize the remaining acids. This is also what makes the liquid aminos taste salty.

In their final form, the soy bean based solution turns into a dark amber-brown liquid that looks and tastes quite similar to soy sauce. However, they are not quite as strong or harsh, and generally taste a little sweeter. (1)

 

Health Benefits of Amino Acids

Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. They form the basic building blocks for our muscles, regulation of gene expression, cell signaling, and our immunity.

Amino Acids are also highly beneficial for the health, moisture level, and overall condition of your skin. People that get enough amino acids tend to have healthier better looking skin for a much greater portion of their lives.

 

Health benefits of Liquid Aminos Vs. Soy sauce

Liquid aminos naturally contain the natural amino acids that you need to survive.  However, to get any significant nutrition from liquid aminos you would have to ingest large amounts. This means liquid aminos are not a great source or supplementation for amino acids but they make a great ingredient swap compared to the empty calories of soy sauce. Generally they are best for adding a bit of healthy flavor when you want salty & savory dishes.

The benefits of liquid aminos include:

  • Lower sodium levels than you standard soy sauce
  • Vegan
  • Gluten-free
  • Low carb
  • Low calorie
  • Very similar and can even be used in place of soy sauce though a bit less intense, less salty, and slightly more sweet tasting. Great alternative.

On the other hand Soy Sauce generally contains high levels of sodium. It also includes histamine and tyramine. Consuming too much histamine can cause toxic effects that lead to headaches, rashes, stomach problems, and even changes in blood pressure.

3 easy recipes to use liquid aminos

Spicy Mustard Scallops with Chard

Ingredients

  • 3.5 oz scallops
  • 3 tbls stone ground mustard
  • 2 tbls bragg’s liquid aminos
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic sliced
  • 1/2 cup low sodium vegetable broth
  • 8 oz chard shredded, chopped

Instructions

  1. Combine Bragg’s, Vinegar, Lemon juice and mustard in saute pan.
  2. Add scallops, onion, & garlic and cook about 10 minutes or until almost all the liquid is gone.
  3. Remove the scallops and add the vegetable broth-scrape up any tasty bits in the pan (this is called deglazing).
  4. Add chard to the broth and cook stirring occasionally until chard is tender, adding a little water if needed.
  5. Top with mustard scallops and enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 193kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 23mg | Sodium: 3739mg | Potassium: 1167mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 14120IU | Vitamin C: 83.6mg | Calcium: 152mg | Iron: 5.1mg

 

Sweet & Sour Shrimp

Ingredients

  • 3.5 oz shrimp
  • 1 c water
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 orange with rind
  • 3 tsp liquid aminos
  • 1 tbsp onion minced
  • 1 clove garlic crushed and minced
  • cayenne to taste
  • pink salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • stevia to taste

Instructions

  1. Boil 1 cup of water with lemon juice and orange with rind until pulp comes out of the center.
  2. Scrape out remaining pulp and discard the rind.
  3. Add onion, garlic, Bragg’s, and spices and reduce liquid by half.
  4. Add the shrimp to the sauce and sauté for 5-7 minutes until shrimp is cooked.

Nutrition

Calories: 182kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 250mg | Sodium: 1744mg | Potassium: 316mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 295IU | Vitamin C: 80.5mg | Calcium: 196mg | Iron: 2.1mg

 

Crispy Dry Fry Tofu

Ingredients

  • 5 oz extra firm tofu
  • 2 tbsp liquid aminos

Instructions

  1. Very thinly slice the tofu (like in the photo)
  2. Spread around with lots of space over low-medium heat
  3. Heat the moisture out of the tofu until it’s golden-brown on one side
  4. Flip & repeat
  5. Be patient- dry-frying takes awhile but the tofu will be worth it
  6. Enjoy dry-fried tofu by dipping in liquid aminos as a soy sauce swap!
*DO NOT marinate the tofu beforehand but you can dip in sauces or marinade after

Nutrition

Calories: 78kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 89mg | Potassium: 218mg | Sugar: 1g | Calcium: 44mg | Iron: 1.7mg

 

Takeaway

While not every “swap” is ideal  and you may not always love it… replacing your favorite high carb, high fat, high sugar ingredients or treats can become a new journey that will ultimately make you not only feel better but improve your health and quality of life.

When it comes to liquid aminos you can use them wherever you would use soy or even Worcestershire sauce. This includes:

    • Stirfries
    • Dipping sauce for sushi or dim sum
    • Adding salt and savoriness to soups, hummus, salad dressings
    • Marinades

It can be fun to experiment with what works best for you and your taste buds! All it takes is a simple google search and you can find tons of different healthy swaps to try in your diet this year.

In addition to swapping out liquid aminos for soy sauce and cutting down on your sodium… be sure to experiment and have fun with your food.

Tag @weightlossdirect on Facebook and Instagram to share your swap results!

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