So … what is MISO?
Traditional miso has long been a staple of Japanese culture and cuisine. It is an alkaline-forming, fermented paste made from soybeans and koji bacteria, which may also be mixed with rice or barley. Its flavour is rich and complex due to a unique process of fermentation and ageing. During the ageing cycle, carbohydrates, fats and proteins are broken down into digestible acids, including the important Glutamic Acid. We use white and brown rice for our miso, which is certified organic and non-GMO. It can last for several months in the refrigerator and can be used for soups, sauces, dressings and spreads.
10 reasons you should eat MISO!
- It restores native bacteria in your digestive system with regular eating, boosting your immune system and also the effective absorption of nutrients
- It’s high in proteins
- Miso soup is a complete food, containing all essential amino acids. It’s full of bacteria, enzymes, proteins and vitamins B12, B2, K, E trytophan, choline, lecithin and linoleic acid
- Miso alkalizes the body, and disease can’t live in an alkaline environment
- It helps to lower LDL cholesterol
- It’s wonderful for your skin. Linoleic acid helps skin stay soft and clear. People with a higher intake of linoleic acid have fewer wrinkles
- It helps to reduce your risk for prostate, breast, colon and lung cancers, studies show an increased survival rate from cancer
- It’s high in antioxidants
- Any vegans out there looking for (rare) vegetable sources for B12? Miso is your answer!
- It can even protect you from radiation. In 1945, when the atomic bomb was dropped in Nagasaki, Japan, patients and staff and the St Francis Hospital were 1.4 km from the epicentre of the fallout. They all managed to survive and stay healthy, whilst those who were the same distance or even further away suffered from leukaemia and radiation burns. Under the supervision of Shinichiro Akizuki M.D., the patients and staff ate a daily diet of miso soup, brown rice, vegetables, and seaweed. Neither Dr Akizuki or his patients suffered from the effects of the nuclear bomb. They all agreed it was their daily diet that saved them. Miso soup can also protect against radiation from EMF’s and ELF’s given off by transformers, powerlines, computers, electrical stations, microwaves and air conditioners.
Know your MISO from your MISO …
Our homemade MISO is fermented, but we suspect that factory-made miso is actually not fermented. They use chemicals for a ‘fast fermentation’ that actually isn’t fermented at all, so you miss the health benefits of the fermentation process (see above!)
They also don’t use whole soy bean or whole rice. They use cracked, low-quality crops, accidentally broken during industrial processing and what we’d consider to be waste. These broken grains are overly oxidised, almost a powder. Artificial flavour and colour is then added to imitate the umami of properly-made miso. These factories want to save the cost and time of fermentation, which should take at least 3 months – but they manage to do in 1 week!
Also beware pasteurised miso! The healthy bacteria and enzymes we’ve described are also destroyed through this process. For this reason, you should only add your miso to stews or soups below boiling point, just before serving. Slightly warming the miso activates the healthy bacteria, so this is good.
Home-made using traditional Japanese techniques, we produce 3 kinds of ‘pure’ miso –
- OKASAN is ‘mother’ miso, made from organic white rice, non-GMO soybean, Balinese rocksalt and koji bateria. A young honey-coloured miso, with a sweet, fruity taste
- GENMAI is also young, but made with brown rice for an earthier and robust flavour.
- SUKOYAKA is for ‘health’, as its enzymes and bacteria have matured over more fermentation & ageing cycles, intensifying their medicinal effects as well as the taste of this dark miso paste.
Pure miso makes a great dip. A spoonful of it will enrich your soup or curry. But there’s much more to miso than that.
We make miso-based salad dressings, mustards and pastes to eat with raw vegetables or to use as a spread.
We blend miso and our organic cacao to make a spicy chocolate base for cookies, granola and other desserts.
Japanese love Furikake, a ‘sprinkle’ involving sesame that gives texture to rice dishes. We have fused this with a ‘Tekka’ style roasted miso to create a macrobiotic condiment using sesame and other tasty super-health herbs (mustard leaf, moringa and moroheiya). See collaborator, food artist & enthusiast, Stephen Black