So far in our Cool Cultured Cuisine, we’ve covered cold dishes and a beverage. This week features a food that can be served hot or cold: Miso. More than likely you’ve had it as a hot soup, but given its health benefits, I think you’ll agree it’s cool, even in summer!
Dr. Andrew Weil describes miso soup as the Japanese version of chicken soup - a combination soul food and comfort food. Just what I needed as a yogini-on-the-go, traveling to 2 destinations on 3 flights in 48 hours. The yummy miso soup I had at the restaurant near my hotel was both nourishing and comforting, right on time for adjusting to climate and time zone changes. Miso is even credited by some with helping to reduce the risk of breast cancer and diabetes. So what is this magical ingredient?
Miso is a thick paste made rom fermented soybeans, barley, rice or other grains. It generally varies in color and taste, from light (milder flavor) to dark (stronger flavor) I’ve tried several different types and prefer the sweet white miso featured above. Miso, like other fermented foods, has natural, plant-based probiotics that support your digestive and immune systems. For vegans, it’s also an excellent concentrated source of protein and nutrients including B12, vitamins E and K, calcium, iron and potassium.
Miso is also great in salad dressing, sauces, marinades and vegetable dishes. I’m a huge fan of DIY salad dressing and have included one of my favorite miso-based recipes by raw food chef extraordinaire, Ani Phyo below. It goes great on everything and has a total of 5 ingredients!
You can purchase miso in the refrigerator section of your local health food store, natural foods section of your local grocery store, or Asian grocery stores. Here’s to another fabulous fermented food!
c/o Ani Phyo’s 15-Day Fat Blast
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil, or ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil and ¼ cup hemp or flax oil
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup miso, unpasteurized
- 1-2 tsp fresh minced ginger
- 1 tbsp nama shoyu (raw soy sauce) or Bragg’s liquid aminos
- black pepper to taste (optional)
Place ingredients into blender and blend until smooth. Dressing will keep for two weeks or longer in the fridge.