The first time you taste amazake, you will not believe that the sweet, ambrosial flavors of this pudding like substance comes entirely from grain.
Amazake, literally "sweet sake", is a nonalcoholic fermented food made by incubating a mixture of cooked rice and koji, rice cultured with an Aspergillus mold, for several hours. The surprisingly concentrated sweetness develops as the abundant digestive enzymes in koji break down the complex starches in rice into easily digestible, natural sugars.
This naturally sweet rice preparation has been used in Japan for centuries as the base of a delicious, warming drink.
Brown rice amazake is high in fiber and complex carbohydrates as well as the B vitamins niacin and thiamin, and is low in fat. Whole brown rice contains a generous supply of B vitamins, plus calcium, phosphorus and iron. Unlike other intensely sweet foods, which are usually made up mostly simple sugars, amazake provides a slow but prolonged source of energy that is calming and soothing.
Amazake is the perfect food for people suffering from poor digestion, since its ingredients are predigested into simple nutrients by the traditional fermentation process. For this reason, it is also considered an excellent food for young children. Like miso, amaze has an abundance of active enzymes that help your body break down proteins, fats, and complex carbohydrate into simple amino acids, fatty acids, and simple sweet sugars.
This information is based on the book “Japanese Foods that Heal" by John and Jan Belleme.
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