I am always in Miso Love, but it’s almost winter, so I am really in Miso Love. It wasn’t until I visited, and later worked at The Tree of Life Center in Patagonia, Arizona that I realized what true, artisan, miso was. My only association was some watered down creation, ordered at a Chinese restaurant. No, no, no! That is not traditional miso soup. Also called broth. For the next six months, Mac and I will daily have a cup of miso broth in our mugs. We do this to ward off colds and flu, or if we do get a bug it may not become powerful. You see, traditional miso is a probiotic. As the famous Hippocrates quote states: “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Here’s a quote from Dr. Shinichiro Akizuki, director, St. Francis Hospital, Nagasaki:
I have found that, with very few exceptions, families, which make a practice of serving miso soup daily, are almost never sick…. I believe that miso belongs to the highest class of medicines, those which help prevent disease and strengthen the body through continued usage…Some people speak of miso as a condiment, but miso brings out the flavor and nutritional value in all foods and helps the body to digest and assimilate whatever we eat….
Where to Get Miso
The only miso I use is from South River Miso Company in Conway Massachusetts. If you click into the link, watch the video, for The Cooking Channel, of Christian Elwell making miso. You will understand why their miso is so wonderful. If you are wondering which flavor to order, Sweet White or Chickpea are mild flavors to get you off to a good start. It is difficult to find in retail stores, so I order online. They ship to the warm states October through March. Below is a photo of my order. Not that I’m a hoarder, or anything!
How I Make Miso Broth
First, Miso is classified as light miso or dark miso. For example, Sweet White and Chickpea would be light miso. Adzuki Bean miso would be a dark miso. The Dandelion Leek Miso, in the photo above, is a dark miso. Don’t worry, you will know when you open the jar and see the color of the miso paste.
A general ratio is:
1 cup hot water
2 teaspoons dark miso
(or if you are using a light miso)
3 teaspoons light miso
THE PREPARATION METHOD is simply mix miso into a cup of boiled water and savor the deep flavor. It’s a great coffee or tea substitute, and a life saver when traveling. I make my broth in a Vitamix, and run on high for about three minutes. Then pour into a mug.
You will see a lot of recipes for miso soups online and in recipe books. I find the Basic Broth to be fully satisfying, and daily alternate the flavors.
If you order from South River, be sure to get The Little Book of Miso Recipes. It’s really the only book you need and is filled with information, and simple recipes. I also use miso in salad dressing and dips.
FOR WOMEN, a very small amount of non-GMO, traditionally fermented soy miso will fill your body’s estrogen cellular receptor sites with good plant estrogen. This will block your cellular receptor sites from filling with toxic, environmental estrogens from, like say–a plastic water bottle. Many articles have been written, that before American fast food invaded Asia, this is one of the reasons Asian women had less osteoporosis and breast cancer than American women.
Winter is a time to eat for health, so Happy Healthy Days!
Since I mentioned the Tree of Life Center in the top paragraph, here are a few photos from those days in the kitchen and in the sprout house. Miso soup was served almost daily.