Tuesday, May 18, 2010

MISO sick

I don't have strep throat, and I don't have mono.  Whatever virus I have, it's not very fun, and I don't know if I've ever seen my tonsils so large...it feels like the left and the right tonsils are rubbing against eash other and squishing my also swollen uvula when I swallow!  I can't remember the last time I've slept so much either.  I guess this is God's way of making me rest.

I've been doing all I can to feel better so I can get back to work, and this includes:
  • Coldbuster and Peach Passion with Immunity Boost smoothies from Jamba Juice.
  • Hot tea
  • Water
  • Tylenol
  • Zinc tablets (Zicam)
  • Gargling with warm salt water
  • Neti Pot (the issue is not in my nose, and it's viral not bacterial...but it couldn't hurt, right?!)
  • Miso soup
  • Rest
I was aware that miso soup is good for my immune system and have been eating it daily (plus, it's one of the only things I've had an appetite for).  So I thought I'd share some health benefits of miso with you.  It's delicious any time, but if you happen to catch whatever it is I have, this will be REALLY delicious and beneficial to your health.

What is Miso?

Miso is made by adding a yeast mold (known as "koji") to soybeans and other ingredients and allowing them to ferment. The fermentation time, ranging from weeks to years, depends upon the specific type of miso being produced. Once this process is complete, the fermented ingredients are ground into a paste similar in texture to nut butter.

Miso ranges in color from white to brown. The lighter varieties are less salty and more mellow in flavor while the darker ones are saltier and have a more intense flavor. Some misos are pasteurized while others are not.

This fermented soybean paste was introduced into Japan around the 7th century.  The creation of miso is very complex and is held as a high art in Asia, just as wine making and cheese making are revered in other parts of the world.

As darker color misos are stronger and more pungent in flavor, they are generally better suited for heavy foods. Lighter colored misos are more delicate and are oftentimes more appropriate for soup, dressings and light sauces. Miso should be stored in the refrigerator in a tightly sealed container where it can keep for up to one year.

Nutritional Benefits

Miso is a very good source of tryptophan and manganese; and is a good source of vitamin k, protein, zinc, copper, dietary fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids.

I bought packets similar to these.  Just add boiling water, and viola!  Miso soup with the tofu, green onions, and seaweed already included! 
I also bought this miso paste from my local QFC. It keeps up to a year in the refrigerator and it can be used in a variety of dishes. Go here to check out some recipes using miso paste.



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