Natto

$36.20

Natto, sticky fermented whole soybeans, is a traditional Japanese breakfast food. It is the richest food source of vitamin K2, essential in proper calcium absorption. Natto is also a living food and contains the highly beneficial probiotic enzyme nattokinase. Nattokinase is key in a healthy digestive system, known to aid in digestive disorders, especially those caused by antibiotic use, and essential for proper blood clotting mechanisms.

Rhapsody Natto comes in two varieties: Organic large bean & non-GMO small bean.

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Organic large bean. Case of twelve 3.5 oz containers. $36.20 per case
Non-GMO small bean. Case of twelve 4 oz. containers. $36.20 per case
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Description

Organic Natto (large beans)

Weight: 3.5 oz

Ingredients: certified organic large soybeans, well water, Bacillus subtillus culture.

Rhapsody Certified Organic Natto is made by fermenting large organic soybeans using the bacillus subtillis culture. Although 80% of all natto sold in Japan is made from the small soybeans, many find the large beans more satisfying to their taste, it being bolder and distinctly flavorful in its own way. See below for more information about natto.

Non-GMO Natto (small beans)

Weight: 4.0 oz

Ingredients: non-GMO soybeans, well water, Bacillus subtillus culture.

This variety is made by fermenting small soybeans using bacillus subtillis culture. Most traditional natto sold in the US is made with small soybeans; that’s how we know natto. As we currently cannot find any growers for organic small soybeans we opted to make it anyway, but making sure that our beans are  third party certified non-GMO (non-Genetically Modified Organism).

Try both our nattos to find out which you prefer, or, indeed, maybe you like both.

Probiotic. Gluten Free. Fermented. Vegan. Low Sodium. High protein.

Shelf Life: Keep refrigerated or frozen. Kept refrigerated best consumed by the “Sell by” date on the package, plus a few days. Natto keeps well in the freezer for at least one year. Once thawed best consumed within a few weeks.

All About Natto

Natto is a Japanese probiotic superfood generally made from small soybeans. It is the richest food source of vitamin K2. Vitamin K2 is essential in both calcium absorption and making sure that the calcium ends up in the bones (and not in the vascular system which often happens to improperly absorbed calcium). Recent research studies also link proper vitamin K2 intake to reduced risk of certain cancers, diabetes, among other benefits.

Because natto is fermented and a living food it also has the highly beneficial nattokinase probiotic enzyme. Nattokinase is key in a healthy digestive system and is known to aid in digestive disorders, especially those caused by antibiotic use. Nattokinase is essential in the proper clotting mechanisms in the blood and has even been suggested to break down the plaque associated with Alzheimers Disease.

What is natto and why eat it?

Fresh Rhapsody natto covered with Bacillus subtilis

Natto – fermented whole soybeans

In line with many of our other Rhapsody products, natto is a traditional Japanese fermented food. It was traditionally made by fermenting small soybeans in rice straw. The bacillus subtillis culture naturally present in the rice straw inoculated the soybeans, creating a nutrient dense food.

Natto has a very distinct smell, flavor and texture. It is ready to eat and best eaten at room temperature. Traditionally it is stirred well before eating it, to develop the stringy sticky threads it is known for. Many relish it as a delicacy while others have learned to love it for it’s extraordinary health benefits. The beans used for natto beans are small soybeans so that the bacteria (Bacillus subtilis) can permeate and ferment the bean more thoroughly. Soybeans need to be well soaked, properly cooked, and fermented to significantly reduce unwanted substances such as phytic acid, lectins, and saponins and allow a thorough breakdown through enzymatic activity to yield an easy to digest, tasty, and nutrient rich probiotic food. Some highlights of the health benefits of natto are as follows.

1) High in Vitamin K2.

Vitamin K2 is necessary for proper bone development and maintaining a healthy bone mineral density. It assists in calcium absorption to aid in creating and maintaining healthy bones, protecting against osteoporosis. While assisting the absorption of calcium for the bones, it also helps keep the vascular system clear of calcification. This argument was made stronger when research showed that Japanese who eat natto on a daily basis are at much lower risk for bone fractures than Western countries where vitamin K2 deficiency is more common. A Recommended Daily Allowance of vitamin K2 has not been established, but upto 200mcg might be an adult’s daily need. You will find that in less than one ounce of natto.

2) Contains Nattokinase.

Nattokinase is an enzyme that helps break down blood clots (a so-called fybrinolitic). As you get older your body’s ability to create plasmin (the natural enzyme that breaks down blood clots) diminishes, while the ability and rate of creating clots increases. Nattokinase can take the place of plasmin in breaking down these blot clots. It has been suggested that nattokinase can help with the prevention of Alzheimer’s and diabetes, although more study needs to be done to make this better understood.

3) PQQ

Pyrroloquinoline Quinone or PQQ is an essential nutrient which actively promotes the formation of mitochondria, subunits in cells that are responsible for the healthy functioning of cells. Studies have found their beneficial role in maintaining memory, cognitive health, and as a cardio and neuro protective compound. New research have shown natto to be a uniquely high source of PQQ.

4) Probiotic

Natto is fermented and is made using the Bacillus subtilis natto bacteria. This bacteria is helpful in aiding digestive disorders. It is said that in ancient Japan the Samurai’s used it daily and would even feed it to their horses to increase their speed, health and vitality. The B. subtilus bacteria can live out it’s whole life cycle in the human gut, which not all probiotics are capable of. This makes natto a highly effective aid in creating a healthy environment in your digestive system.

Stringy natto

Stir natto and it gets even stringier!

5) High Quality Vegetable Protein.

Natto has 18 grams of protein available per 100g serving. It contains a broad range of amino acids and is very nearly a complete protein. When paired with rice, it supplies all the amino acids to make a complete protein. A big advantage is, that it is fermented, which means predigested and easy to absorb.

Other Nutrition Data

One serving of natto (about 100g/3.5oz) contains:

  • 22% RDA Dietary Fiber 22% RDA Calcium
  • 22% RDA Vitamin C 48% RDA Iron
  • 6% Vitamin B6 76% Manganese
  • 29% Magnesium 21% Potassium
  • 20% Zinc

How much natto to eat? Traditionally natto is eaten in small portions of about 1.5 ounces several times per week. Because of a general deficiency in nutrients found in natto you might find yourself attracted to eating more than that initially. Your body is basically playing catch up. Dietary changes and the industrialization of food production has led to deficiencies unimaginable 50 years ago. Fermented foods such as natto, tempeh, miso, sauerkraut, pickles, and so on, play an important part in regaining the health we once took for granted.

Natto is usually made from a small variety of soybean. It can be made with large soybeans, resulting in a different taste and texture. Organic natto soybeans are not available in the United States at this time, so we have to contend with non-GMO soybeans for now. The folks that we get our natto soybeans from practice progressive farming techniques such as crop rotations to strengthen the soil and reduce pesticide use. However, they are not organic which we would prefer. We are in conversation with local farmers in the hopes that if we create the need for natto beans (by making natto), they would grow them. We have a few promising prospects and have high hopes for making natto with certified organic soybeans in the future.

Refrigerate and consume by the date on the container, or freeze and consume within a few weeks of thawing.

Some References:

http://www.jafra.gr.jp (search natto).

http://jn.nutrition.org/content/136/5/1323.abstract

http://www.beyondmedicine.nl%2FArtikelen%2FArtikelen%2Ftabid%2F2137%2FEntryId%2F354%2FAderverkalking-en-Vitamine-K2.aspx

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyrroloquinoline_quinone

http://www.nature.com/hr/journal/v31/n8/full/hr2008203a.htm

http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf803072r

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitamin_K2#Dietary_sources_and_adequate_intake

New York Times article on natto

Also read about natto on our blog HERE. And if you want to be part of a conversation on natto go to: https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/nattosupport/info

Natto Recipes

The most basic way to eat natto is the way our granddaughter does if you let her: straight out of the container with just some soy sauce added. She devours natto like that.

A more traditional way of serving natto, however, is as a Japanese natto maker described it: first stir it forty times, then add soy sauce, stir it again forty times, add mustard and diced scallions, then stir it again forty times. A Japanese customer told us to stir it 250 times, though. If nothing else, it would be a good exercise for the wrist! In general stir it well to get a nice creamy mix.

Quantity wise add to one container of natto  1-2 Tsps of soy sauce, up to 1 Tbsp of mustard, either yellow or spicy, and 2 Tbsp of diced scallions.

It has been said that adding vinegar to natto will temper its pungency. Not all natto is necessarily pungent, mind you, but it does level off its characteristic flavor.

Natto in Soup

If you have trouble with the characteristic natto flavor try natto in soup; it mellows it out and makes the soup smooth and silky. Thus a great way to introduce natto to others. Add the natto when the soup has cooled; you don’t want the probiotics to be killed. You can add a whole container to a pot of soup for 4.

Natto on Rice, Noodles, and Pasta

When you put natto on hot rice or noodles/pasta its smell and flavor will be accentuated and the beans will get softer. Flavor the natto first, though, as described above, unless the rice, noodles, or pasta are part of an already flavorful stir-fry or so. A few strips of nori always makes for a nice decoration and adds minerals and vitamins.

Natto Avocado Salad

Peel two ripe avocados and dice them. Mix with one half to one full container of natto. Add 1 – 2 tsp of lemon juice or balsamic vinegar, a good dollop of (tofu-) mayonnaise or tahini whipped up with some water. Finish it off with a dash of salt, soysauce, or pickled plum (ume) vinegar or umepaste to taste. Serve on bread or crackers or as a side dish.

Green Kale with Natto

Wash a bunch of green kale (or any other of your favorite greens) and blanch it for 3-5 minutes or until the stems are soft in slightly salted boiling water. Dip the kale briefly in cold water to stop the cooking process and rinse off the salty water. Coarsely chop the kale and put in a bowl. Fold one half to one full container of natto into the greens. Sprinkle with roasted salted sesame seeds (gomasio) or bring up to flavor with soy sauce, umeboshi vinegar or lemon juice, mirin or cooking wine.

Natto Paté

Mush one container of natto with a fork, add 1 Tbsp of yellow mustard, 1-2 tsp of soy sauce, add one tbsp of peanut butter or sesame paste (tahini) and mix well. Spread on crackers, rice cakes, or serve as a dip for chips.

Other Ideas

  • Natto and sauerkraut or diced dill pickles
  • Natto in enchilidas or tacos
  • Natto in sushi rolls
  • Natto cole slaw
  • Natto, green peas and corn salad

Nutrition Facts

Organic Large Bean Natto

Nutrition facts for organic large bean natto

NON-GMO Small Bean Natto

nutrition facts for natto

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