When the lovely Dr. Ann Yonetani, arrived at the door of High Vibe, offering up her smartly packaged and locally made Natto, we were immediately intrigued.
Ann is a microbiologist and the genius behind NYrture. Her company NYrture Food produces New York Natto, a traditional Japanese probiotic fermented non-GMO soybean living super food —
made fresh (yeah for us!) here in New York City.
For those of us catching up with “what’s cool now consciousness”, let’s look at the health benefits of fermented non GMO soy and the ancient Japanese food staple: Natto.
WHAT (the !#%*) is NATTO?
Natto is a traditional Japanese comfort food made of cooked whole soybeans fermented with Bacillus subtilis bacteria.
For over a thousand years, natto has been a staple food in Japan, long revered for its nutritive value and many health benefits. Today, natto remains a popular breakfast, snack or side dish, typically eaten with a bowl of rice.
Ubiquitous in Japan, natto is virtually unknown elsewhere. Natto is the food that Japanese grannies always tell their grandchildren to eat because it is “good for you”, and many recent scientific discoveries support this idea. Natto is fermented with a probiotic bacterial species (Bacillus subtilis) which promotes gastrointestinal health and is also rich in compounds shown to support cardiovascular (nattokinase) and bone (vitamin K2) health.
Natto is loved for its unique flavor and aroma — savory, umami-rich and pungent (quite similar to a deliciously stinky cheese). As a living food, natto is full of active probiotic bacteria, and as with other naturally fermented foods (e.g. wine, cheese, sauerkraut), the taste of natto evolves and intensifies with time. Freshly made natto has a milder flavor than natto that has been aged for a few weeks.
No description of natto would be complete without mentioning its uniquely sticky texture. Neba-neba is a Japanese word to describe the sticky, stringy, wispy film that coats natto beans. In Japan, the more “neba-neba“, the better the natto. In fact, standard practice is to vigorously stir natto before eating to increase neba-neba!
NYrture NEW YORK NATTO is:
- PROBIOTIC – a living food fermented with Bacillus subtilis, an important probiotic bacteria promoting gastrointestinal, immune, cardiovascular and bone health.
- NUTRIENT-DENSE – an excellent source of protein, fiber, vitamin B2 & vitamin K2.
- VEGAN & GLUTEN-FREE – made from only two ingredients: soy & beneficial bacteria.
- GMO-FREE – made from non-GMO soybeans grown by a sustainably-run US family farm.
- FRESHLY HANDMADE – crafted by hand using ancient techniques and never frozen.
- GREEN – locally made in NYC & packaged in recyclable/reusable glass jars.
- STRANGELY ADDICTIVE – challenging at first bite, a healthy comfort food for the experienced.
How in the world do I eat it?
For the uninitiated and faint at heart (like me), NYrture offers the mild and utterly delicious New York NATTO BLACK. The goo took some getting used to but the flavor won and left me wanting more, more, more! Those devoted welcome the more pungent, rich and TRADITIONAL New York NATTO. NYrture’s latest and ingenious offering of Organic New York NATTO TURMERIC takes an even healthier spin on goodness and flavor – imagine the possibilities!
Natto is most commonly served and eaten abed a bowl of rice, seasoned with condiments and other ingredients to taste (e.g. soy sauce, scallions, mustard, hot sauce, seaweed, kimchee or egg yolk). Natto-maki sushi rolls are a delicious and portable way to consume natto. A non-traditional and yummy way to serve natto is on toasted bread topped with melted cheese. Natto can be a great addition to a simple pasta or soba dish, providing rich and complex umami flavor.
For those leaning towards plant based raw, and wanting to introduce the health benefits of probiotic and living foods into their diet. NYrture Natto can be enjoyed in warm miso soup, or perhaps crowning a bed of parsnip and pine nut “rice”, or finely shredded romaine lettuce, spiralized cucumber noodles tossed with sesame seeds and a drop of sesame oil, shredded raw nori, finely sliced green onions, homemade pickled ginger, finely sliced hot chili, and drizzled with nama shoyu, plum or sweet rice vinegar, sesame oil.
It’s time to eat NATTO NOW! Available IN STORE at High Vibe or visit us online!
Read even more about Dr. Ann Yonetani and NYrture Natto: