Have you ever taken a really good look at the condiments in your fridge? And by “a really good look at,” I mean have you actually read the labels? If not, start with that ubiquitous bottle of ketchup. (I think you’ll be in for a bit of a surprise at the sugar content alone.) Another shocker? Check out the label on a typical bottle of soy sauce. Most formulations will contain some combination of water, wheat, soybeans, salt, and sodium benzoate. Right there you know three things:
- Soy sauce contains wheat and therefore is not gluten-free.
- Soy sauce contains sodium benzoate, a chemical which is used to make dyes, pharmaceuticals, and antiseptics.
- Soy sauce is not for you, if you are trying to eat clean or more healthfully.
In fact, there is a ton of scary stuff on the interwebs about sodium benzoate and how it interacts with the human body. (I encourage you to do some reading and draw your own conclusions.) That said, take a look at this alternative I sourced at our local Superstore last week when looking for tamari sauce (soy sauce’s gluten-free cousin). Instead of tamari, for just a few dollars more, I decided to give a preservative-free, two-ingredient bottle of All Purpose Liquid Soy Seasoning a try.
Bragg’s Soy Seasoning, while new to our household, has actually been around for over a century. In the early 1900s, a healthy living pioneer named Paul C. Bragg created a bunch of clean-eating (before that was a “thing”) formulas for food products. Of them, his Liquid Soy Seasoning has truly stood the test of time. After all, it has been available for market since at least 1912! (Reminds me of Keen’s Mustard Powder, which has been around since the mid-1700s — another tried-and-true condiment.) My point? Even if you’re not super particular about your diet, why wouldn’t you shell out a few extra bucks and give up traditional soy sauce forever? Especially when Bragg’s only contains, drum roll please… soybean vegetable protein and purified water?! Yep, that’s it. Same taste, same colour, same cooking and seasoning applications, but with none of the additive chemical nonsense.
First Impression: It tastes almost identical to soy sauce. Same dark colour, but with a touch more salty than umami flavour.
Cost: $6.49 (Canadian) per 473 mL/16 fluid ounce bottle + taxes.
Best Feature: It’s a quick, healthier, direct substitute. Nothing to do but swap out the bottles!
Excited About: Trying it in or on everything I used to add soy sauce to, including sushi and my Mashed Acorn Squash recipe!
Something Unexpected: It comes in plastic rather than glass (we always prefer glass) and it contains slightly more (although naturally occurring) sodium than your run-of-the-mill soy sauce. Best to use sparingly, especially if salt consumption is of concern.
Value for Money: To do away with more gluten and yet another preservative? Great value for money!