Miso is undeniably the most medicinal soy food. Current scientific research now supports its historical health claims. This delicious food is an effective therapeutic aid in the prevention and treatment of heart disease, certain cancers, radiation sickness and hypertension. Miso soup consumption is linked with up to a 50% reduced risk of breast cancer according to the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Through a special double-fermentation process, soybeans and grains are transformed into a wondrous seasoning agent with potent healing properties.
Just as you can taste the difference between a fine and cheap wine, you can readily taste and appreciate the difference between a quality miso and a pasteurized, high-tech miso. Look for organic miso that states on the label that it was naturally aged in wood using traditional techniques.
Miso has a texture similar to peanut butter and is available in a vast range of delicious flavors ranging from meaty and savory to sweet and delicate. While you’ll most often find miso in soup, where it serves as a rich and flavorful bouillon, it is also used in sauces, dressings and even some desserts.
The sweetest tasting misos are yellow or beige in color, sweet and light in flavor and impart an almost diary-like creamy flavor. They seem especially suited to Western-style comfort foods like mashed potatoes and cream soups, whereas the more salty, savory misos are dark red or brown, have aged longer, and impart an Asian flavor.
My current favorite is a soy-free miso made of chickpeas. Whenever my energy is low, immune system is challenged, or before and after X-ray exposure, it’s miso that goes into my soup.
At home, refrigerate miso in an airtight container. Use the light-colored miso within nine months and dark miso within eighteen months. Miso is a superior source of usable whole protein, for it contains all eight essential amino acids. Miso’s protein content ranges from 12 to 20%, depending upon the variety.
May you be well nourished,