Natto is a Japanese superfood, filled with nutrients and vitamins that are beneficial to your health. Here’s how to prepare it at home.
Before jumping into the homemade natto recipe, you should have a look at all the benefits that can come from eating it.
Natto is a Japanese dish that is made out of soybeans which are fermented and have a very specific smell, a sticky and slimy texture, and a nutty taste. But don’t let the slightly pungent smell and texture put out off.
Nutritional Value Of Natto
Here is the nutritional value you can get from 100 grams of natto:
- Carbs are 15 grams;
- Fat 10 grams;
- Calories are 210;
- Proteins are 18 grams;
- Iron is 48% of the recommended daily intake (RDI);
- Fiber 5 grams;
- Manganese is 75% of the RDI;
- Calcium is 20% of the RDI;
- Vitamin C is 22% of the RDI;
- Zinc 20% of RDI;
- Potassium is 20% of the RDI.
It contains antioxidants and smaller amounts of vitamin B6, and other plant compounds that aid your health.
The real reason why natto is healthier than boiled soybeans is the fermentation process that occurs. This fermentation process is the perfect environment for the growth of probiotics.
We need probiotics because they are useful bacteria that can provide us with a great range of health benefits.
Among other things, that I will list below, these probiotics will make food more digestible. This is especially great because this way your gut will be able to absorb all the nutrients more easily.
Health Benefits Of Eating Homemade Natto
To make sure that you can pass that stinky smell and interesting texture of natto, check out what it can do to your body. All the health benefits that come out of this food should make it easier to eat.
1. Better Heart Health
Because natto contains fiber, nattokinase, vitamin K2, and probiotics, it can help you reduce cholesterol. It can also lower blood pressure levels and reduce your risk of heart disease.
2. Provides You With Stronger Bones
There are a number of nutrients in natto that can contribute to stronger bones. Here you can include vitamin K2 and calcium. Both of these are needed to get stronger and healthier bones.
3. Your Digestion Will Improve
As I mentioned before, probiotics can certainly get your digestive system a good boost.
Get in a good dose of probiotics and help your body to absorb nutrients easily by improving the entire digestive system.
4. It Can Even Strengthen The Immune System
This one is a given. Being filled with minerals and vitamins, it comes as no surprise that the immune system can benefit from it.
Vitamin C, zinc, iron, and, of course, our friend probiotics can all be found in natto. All these play a big role in improving and ending up with a healthier immune system.
By consuming natto regularly you can end up with even more benefits. Here you can include weight loss, better brain health, and even a reduced risk of certain cancer.
Natto is considered generally safe for consumption by most people. But it has blood thinning properties, so people on medication for blood thinning may need medical advice before including natto into their diet.
You should also limit natto consumption if you have a thyroid problem because it is made out of soybeans that are goitrogen. This goitrogen is a compound that can intervene in the normal function of the thyroid gland. If you have a healthy thyroid function you don’t need to worry.
This is pretty much everything you need to know about natto, except for the recipe. So if you want to make homemade natto, you can find here all that is needed.
How To Make Homemade Natto
There is an easier alternative to homemade natto, just go to an Asian supermarket and purchase it. However, you can make your own at home with these ingredients:
- 700 grams of soybeans;
- A package of store-bought natto or natto starter (you need this for the fermentation);
- Oven-safe dish with a lid that is sterilized (or you can use thin foil);
- A large cooking pot;
- A kitchen thermometer;
- And, optional, pressure cooker.
Here you can find all the steps you need to follow in order to prepare delicious homemade natto:
- Wash the soybean well, under running water, and then place them in a pot.
- Pour water over the beans until they are fully submerged and let them soak for at least 9 hours, or leave them overnight.
- Drain the beans, then add fresh water to the pan and boil it for 9 hours. Here it can come in handy to have a pressure cooker and you can reduce the cooking time to 45 minutes.
- After you cook the beans, drain all the water and place them in an oven-safe, sterilized dish. A simple way to sterilize your dish is by adding boiling water to it for at least 10 minutes before use.
- Now add the natto started to the beans, and follow the instructions on the package. Or use store-bought natto which you can simply add to the beans and mix them together.
- Mix everything together with a sterilized spoon, making sure that all the beans are coated with the natto starter mix.
- Cover your dish and put it in the oven to ferment for 22-24 hours at 37°C degrees or 100°F.
- Let the natto cool for several hours then allow it to age in the refrigerator for 24 hours before you eat it.
You can even let your natto to age 96 hours in the refrigerator. If you really want to try it thought then you can eat it after it aged about 4 hours. Put any leftovers in the freezer and eat them later.
Add to it some cooked rice and seasonings such as mustard, soy sauce, chives, or whatever you like.
Even though it takes a lot of time to prepare it, natto is definitely worth a try. It boosts your immune system, strengthens your heart, and helps improve your digestive system.
So give this homemade recipe a try and add it to your healthy eating list. Your entire body will thank you!