The rest of the world is now aware that miso (fermented soybean paste) is a healthy food. I’ve been praising miso and teaching people my at-home miso making method for 20 years. But why not just buy miso? Most store-bought miso only contains dead probiotics: still healthy but won’t give you the maximum health benefits miso has to offer. I was recently interviewed by SBS about my miso, and will share with you why I am so passionate about this immunity boosting miso.
You can read the SBS article here to see my tips and advice for making you own homemade immunity boosting miso.
What is “Alive” Miso?
Miso is a Japanese ingredient made out of fermented soybeans. You can get many different types of miso simply by altering how long they are fermented for, giving them different colours and tastes. However, many mass-produced, cheaper miso products rush through this process: using heat to speed up the fermentation. This significantly affects the flavour: you lose out on a deep umami flavour and the miso is less sweet. Manufacturers then add MSG, sugar and other unhealthy additives to re-flavour the miso.
A longer fermentation will give a stronger tasting and darker coloured miso. Cheap miso will use heat to speed up the fermentation, which not only kills all the healthy probiotics, but also produces a poor-quality, less flavourful miso. Manufacturers will then add MSG, sugar and other unhealthy additives to re-flavour the miso, horrible!
Not only does heating and rushing through the fermentation give a worse flavour, it also kills off all of the healthy bacteria and enzymes that are so good for you! This is to prevent mould from growing and prolong the shelf-life of products, which is good for selling but not for maximising the health benefits of this amazing superfood.
Alive miso means that cultures of probiotics and enzymes are alive and active, giving you the maximum health benefits possible. These healthy cultures help strengthen your gut microbiome, which boosts your immunity and reduces the growth of any harmful bacteria. Having a probiotic-rich diet also means you get sick less and recover faster from infections.
Eating foods rich in probiotics is also an effective way to combat digestive issues that arise from an imbalance in gut bacteria, such as constipation, bloating and even IBS. Research also shows that fermented food in general helps digestion overall, by reducing antinutrient levels. Antinutrients are naturally found in foods and can sometimes bind to the vital nutrients in your gut, stopping your body from absorbing them.
Making your own home-made miso ensures that there are “alive” cultures of healthy probiotics and enzymes, these are so good for your gut health which benefits immunity. When cooking with “alive” miso, it’s important to closely follow the recipe to avoid killing these helpful bacteria. For example, do not add your miso to boiling water!
Other Health Benefits of Miso
Miso contains a wide range of helpful vitamins, minerals and nutrients like sodium, manganese, vitamin K, copper, zinc, calcium, iron, protein and the list goes on! Studies have shown that some of the bacteria in miso even produces some vitamins, mainly vitamin K and B12.
Miso is rich in antioxidants like vitamin E, isoflavones and saponins. These protect the body from free radicals, which reduces signs of aging, and cell damage linked to some cancers.
Studies suggest that the risks for certain types of cancer, such as stomach cancer, can be reduced when ingesting miso. Researchers believe it is due to healthy compounds found in soy, that can then be better absorbed thanks to miso’s anti-antinutrient properties. More research suggests that even risks of breast and liver cancer can be reduced by 50-54%.
SBS Asked Me About My At-Home Miso-Making Method
I was recently interviewed by SBS about my miso recipe. For those of you who don’t know, I run cooking classes in Sydney, and one of the classes I offer teaches you my practical method I’ve developed for homemade miso. With just 3 ingredients: salt, koji and soybeans, and equipment you already have in your kitchen, this method gives students a more practical way to make their own fabulously nutritious and tasty miso.
You can read the full article at their website for my tips and advice on how to make this amazing immune boosting miso.
Watch a Sneak Peek of My Miso Class on Instagram:
[screenshot of insta reel and LINK]
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