I've been slightly in love with miso since the first time I heard about it. I remember it vividly! When I was training at college and our teacher explained how she uses it in everything! I remember the little diagram she drew on the board about how it can help to clean out the gut with little enzymes that eat up all the waste that builds up. I know, sounds so so gross right? I never seemed to forget it though and I still like to build it in my diet now.
WHAT IS MISO?
Miso is a paste made out of fermented beans. It is used widely in Japanese cooking and is famous for the miso soup that you can make from it. However, it can also be used as a glaze and marinade for cooking meats, fish and veggies too.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF MISO
There are different colours of miso (white, yellow, red and barley). These all depend on the length of the fermentation process. They are also slightly different in taste depending on the strength of them.
WHAT ARE THE HEALTH BENEFITS
According to BBC Good Food, the health benefits are pretty impressive...
Miso is a source of copper, manganese, vitamin K, protein, and zinc.
The fermentation process means that miso is rich in enzymes. Fermentation enhances the number of beneficial bacteria in the food. These bacteria are known as probiotics and are thought to help a wide range of health issues, especially for digestion, absorption and assimilation of nutrients.
By consuming fermented foods you are adding beneficial probiotics bacteria and enzymes to your overall intestinal flora, increasing the health of your gut microbiome and digestive system and enhancing the immune system.
Studies in 1997 and 2013 have shown that fermented foods synthesise vitamins in the gut, primarily vitamin K and vitamin B12, as a by-product of their metabolism.
Miso is considered to be high in salt (approximately 2.3g per tablespoon) and should be consumed with the guidelines of no more than 6g per day in mind.
There is much research on the benefits of including soy products in the diet. Although miso is made from soy beans, the quantity consumed is quite small and unlikely to have a profound oestrogenic effect.
Soy products are widely produced from genetically modified (GM) soybeans. Many favour organic soy products to ensure a lower risk of unwanted pesticides. To make sure miso is made from organically grown, not genetically modified soy beans, make sure to read the label. The label will also indicate if the miso is gluten free.
HOW TO INCORPORATE MISO INTO YOUR DIET
I love to use it as a base for soups. Add some miso paste to some vegetable stock and you're pretty much good to go!
You can also blend it with a bit of sweetness and glaze a piece of fish or tofu with it and pop it under the grill to brown.
Another great way is to add it to rich sauces and gravy. It has a rich flavour - ever so slightly fishy due to the fermentation process but can hide quite easily in a rich sauce.
It's just a great way of getting some healthy probiotics into your diet without having to consume lots of vinegary sauerkraut too!
Try and go for the organic option as there can be a lot of GMO associated with soy and miso. It's a great way to build some extra goodness into your diet too!
Thanks so much for reading, I hope it has given you some inspiration!