Thursday, February 28, 2013

Miso Soup

A bowl of soup is so warm and satisfying, especially throughout the chilly winter months. People should consider replacing that bowl of chicken soup with a way healthier bowl of miso soup! Miso soup is a staple in Japan and you'll find it in Japanese and sushi restaurants. It is often served at the beginning of the meal as a digestive aid. Thankfully, miso soup is super easy to make at home and I would eat it every day if I could!

From Care2, here is a quick list of the top ten benefits of eating miso soup:

1. Contains all essential amino acids, making it a complete protein.
2. Stimulates the secretion of digestive fluids in the stomach.
3. Restores beneficial probiotics to the intestines.
4. Aids in the digestion and assimilation of other foods in the intestines.
5. Is a good vegetable-quality source of B vitamins (especially B12).
6. Strengthens the quality of blood and lymph fluid.
7. Reduces risk for breast, prostate, lung and colon cancers.
8. Protects against radiation due to dipilocolonic acid, an alkaloid that chelates heavy metals and discharges them from the body.
9. Strengthens the immune system and helps to lower LDL cholesterol.
10. High in antioxidants that protects against free radicals.

Here is my quick recipe to make a bowl of miso soup! This recipe makes one bowl - double the recipe if you're making this for two people. You'll need:

-  2 cups of water
-  2 tbsp of miso paste (yellow or white miso)
-  a couple of green onions, diced
-  1 tbsp Wakame (sea vegetable, available in the Japanese section of the grocery store)
-  1/4 block of extra-firm tofu, chopped into cubes (optional)
-  a few mushrooms (optional)
-  chopped garlic rounds (optional)

The key to preparing miso soup is not overheating the miso paste. You don't want to heat this soup, especially the miso, beyond a certain point as the heat will kill all of the beneficial enzymes that makes this soup a nutritional powerhouse.

Bring the water to a boil in a saucepan along with the Wakame, green onion, tofu, mushrooms, and garlic. Simmer until the mushrooms are soft. Reduce the broth to low.

Scoop one cup of broth from the pot out and add the miso paste to it. Stir with a spoon until the miso dissolves. Put the miso/broth back into the pot and stir for 2-3 minutes on low. Do not bring back to a boil as this will kill the nutrients in the soup!

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