Miso (pronounced mee-so) is produced when ‘soybeans and a grain, usually rice or barley, are combined with salt and a mold culture, then fermented in wooden vats for up to 3 years.’
~ Phyllis Balch, Prescription for Dietary Wellness
If you’re not already familiar with miso, I’m here to share the reasons that you should be.
Simply put, miso is an unpasteurized paste that contains live cultures (lactobacilli and bifidus bacteria) and has an abundance of lactic-acid-forming bacteria, protein and enzymes ~ all of which help you to digest your food easier. Miso also contains healthy isoflavones, like genestein (it’s an antioxidant and an anti-cancer agent) that are more easily absorbed by your body.
Miso is also very versatile. It can be used to season and add zing to soups, stews, sauces, dips and salad dressings. If you prefer simple, it can be added by the tbsp. to a cup of nice, warm water for a yummy (and digestive-enhancing) broth.
Now, whether any of this excites you or not, miso should be in your fridge.
You don’t have to eat it every day to benefit from it. You can rotate it with other probiotic foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, yogurt, kefir and kombucha. It’s all about balance, right? Regardless of the source, as long as you’re getting it into your belly, that’s what counts.
Oh, and if you don’t have a clue what those other probiotic foods are, don’t panic, I’ll be writing about them also. Promise.
If you still aren’t convinced that miso should be on your next grocery list (check the fridge at your local health food store), I’m giving you my recipe for ‘Ginger Mushroom Miso Soup’. It will take you about 10 minutes to make and you will love it. Seriously.
And your belly will thank you.
Ginger Mushroom Miso Soup
1 tbsp. coconut oil (plus a spoonful for yourself! so good!)
6 cups of water
1/2 head of kale (washed, pulled off of stems)
1 thumb-tip size piece of fresh ginger (chopped or grated)
6 tbsp of miso (1 for each cup of water)
1-2 cups of brown mushrooms (washed and halved)
2 green onions (washed and diced on diagonal)
Begin by warming up the coconut oil in a soup-sized pot and then throw in the ginger and mushrooms. Saute them lightly and add the water and kale. Bring this all to a light boil and then turn down and simmer for 10 minutes or so. Take it off the heat and let it cool slightly.
* never boil miso as this will destroy the enzymes and nutrients *
Stir in the miso and the green onions.
Enjoy in a fancy soup bowl alongside some whole grain bread or your favorite sandwich!