It’s no secret that I’m a huge miso fan. I use miso in dressings, sauces and on almost daily basis in my almond miso spread. My preferred miso of choice is chickpea miso either from South River Miso or Miso Master. Both brands are organic and GMO-free. When shopping for miso, look for it in the refrigerated foods section of the health food store. Your average grocery store will not have miso unless it’s an Asian market. Miso seems to be a food item only appreciated by those with an Asian upbringing or those aware of the importance of fermented foods.
Miso is my favorite of all the ferments because of its flavor, functionality and superfood status. Miso is a fermented bean paste that most people are familiar with in the form of miso soup. The soup, being made with boiling water is unfortunately dead. There’s no need to kill your miso in the process of making soup. Especially considering the time invested in making this living food which is anywhere from 3 months to 3 years. Heating water to 150F and allowing it to cool will make soup that is warm and alive. Miso has many endearing qualities. For starters it takes an indigestible protein source – beans, legumes and pulses – and makes them digestible. The bean most commonly used to produce miso is soybean. Because of GMO (genetically modified organisms) concerns, one must be sure to purchase organic miso products to insure that you are not consuming a food containing genetically modified ingredients. I am a fan of chickpea miso, which has no soy in it at all. Miso must be unpasteurized to retain its health benefits. Miso powders are not a substitute to vibrant living unpasteurized miso paste. Miso has a hearty salty flavor with earthy undertones that are dependent on the ingredients used to make it. Dark misos are heartier and make wonderful additions to savory recipes while light misos are salty and slightly sweet allowing them to be used in milder creations.
In Asian countries like China, Korea and Japan; miso and fermented vegetables are a traditional daily staple. In some households they are served with every meal. Miso contains Lactobacillus like other friendly ferments. This probitoic has been shown to protect against E. Coli, Salmonella and Shigella. Another beneficial characteristic of unpasteurized miso is its ability to detox heavy metals and radiation from the body. Miso is a enzyme rich, protein dominant food containing all the essential amino acids. Miso contains omega-3 fats as well as lecithin, which is an emulsifier. This combination allows miso to balance cholesterol in the body. Miso is also a great source of calcium and B vitamins. Its salty taste allows you to use it in place of salt in many recipes.
Bell Pepper Miso Soup – serves 2
1 red, yellow or orange bell pepper
1 ripe avocado
2 to 3 TB organic miso
2 C water 1 clove garlic Green onions/scallions – for topping
1/8 to ¼ tsp salt – to taste
This soup can be prepared with warm water (130F) or heated on the stove after preparation.
Cut and seed avocado and bell pepper.
Place ½ the avocado and ¾ of the bell pepper in the blender.
Place remaining ingredients in the blender and blend smooth.
Pour into bowls.
Cut up remaining bell pepper, green onion and avocado for topping.