Amazake is a fermented rice drink that has been in Japan for centuries. Depending on the production method, amazake may or may not contain alcohol.
Amazake can be made from both white and brown rice. In Western countries, however, amazake is not very popular. That’s a shame! Amazake has some advantages that certainly make its use attractive.
Amazake can be used in different ways. The simplest way is to mix it with water. That way you have a nice sweet drink. But it can also be used to make pastries, snacks, cakes, and dressings. In this article, we will see why amazake is healthy.
What is amazake?
If you translate amazake literally, it means sweet sake. As the translation suggests, amazake is made during one of the first processes of making sake. The sake is usually still alcohol-free. The basis of amazake is therefore boiled, white or brown rice. Koji is then added to the boiled rice. Koji, also known as Aspergillus Oryza, is a common fungal culture in Japanese cuisine. The result is a rather thick sweet remedy, which can often be found in organic stores.
If you choose to use amazake, then we recommend you to opt for amazake, made from brown rice. Research shows that it contains more vitamins and minerals.
Benefits of amazake
A super drink
With a long list of health benefits, amazake is often classified as a super-drink. Among its nutrients, vitamins, and minerals, we find vitamin B1, B2, B6, amino acid, pantothenic acid, inositol, biotin, dietary fiber, and oligosaccharide.
Good for digestion
Amazing is known for its beneficial effect on digestion. This is due to the fiber contained in the rice it is made with. This is especially true for amazake made from brown rice, which contains more fiber than white rice. In fact, brown rice contains more than twice as much fiber as white rice. These fibers stimulate the functioning of the intestines and contribute to healthy digestion.
Furthermore, since amazake has a low glycemic value, it provides a fairly constant energy flow. This also makes amazake more suitable for diabetes patients than sugar.
In addition, amazake also contains certain enzymes that help the body to break down fats, proteins, and complex carbohydrates. This is because amazake is a fermented product such as yogurt.
Helps detoxify the body
There are also some indications that amazake helps detoxify the body. This was shown by a small-scale Japanese study from 2004. During the study, a group of Japanese women used amazake for two years as opposed to the control group. In the end, it was found that in women taking amazake, certain toxins were found to a significantly lesser extent.
A natural sugar substitute
Amazake can also be used as a natural sugar substitute. There are several advantages to replacing your sugar consumption partly or completely with amazake. The most important advantage, of course, is that you will need to use more of it to replace your sugar intake. Second, unlike sugar, it has an awful lot of vitamins and minerals. These vitamins and minerals have several advantages.
You can use amazake in different ways. This way you can simply make a drink with it by mixing it with three times as much water. In addition, it is also delicious in pastries, cakes, and puddings.
Keeps your skin healthy
for centuries, amazake has also been known in Japan as a ‘beauty product’. This is partly due to a large number of different Vitamin Bs. Vitamin B plays an important role in regenerating the cells, including, of course, your skin cells. In this way, it can effectively prevent premature skin aging.
Beware of commercial amazake
Finally, it is important to know that commercial amazake, so amazake from the store often contains more koji. As a result, the calorie content is higher and the amazake sweeter. To prevent this, you can of course also make your own amazake. By making it yourself, you can decide for yourself how sweet you want it and therefore also determine the calorie content yourself.
How to make your own amazake
Making amazake is very easy. Very few ingredients are needed and preparation is simple:
- 375 grams of round blond rice
- 250 grams of rice koji
- 1.15 liters of water
- A pinch of salt.
First, cook your rice until the consistency becomes that of porridge. Once cooked, wait until the temperature drops to 55-60 °C. Add the koji and mix.
Place your mixture in fermentation for 10 hours, at a temperature between 50 and 60 °C. This temperature must be maintained throughout the fermentation period.
As soon as the time is up, your amazake is ready. Note that you can keep your amazake cool for 10 days.
As you can see, amazake is a healthy product. Of course, as with any other product, you have to make sure that you do not use too much amazake. It’s good for your skin and digestion all the while being a great sugar replacement. What not to like.
Jenny holds a Master’s degree in psychiatry from the University of Illinois and Bachelors’s degree from the University of Texas in nutritional sciences. She works as a dietician for Austin Oaks Hospital in Austin, Texas. Jenney writes content on nutrition and mental health for the Scientific Origin.