Dr. Lani Nykilchuk
Naturopathic Family Doctor
This is a great way to whip up a nourishing hot soup in minutes. The great thing about this recipe is that you can make as many servings as needed directly into each individual bowl. If someone has a specific like or dislike this version of miso is perfect since you can add individual ingredients to each. Great as a starter to get your digestive system fired up with that powerful umami flavour (try this recipe along with the spot prawn stir-fry). If you’re new to miso- it’s a fermented paste made from soybeans. It looks almost like peanut butter but has a super salty taste and a little bit can go a long way to add rich flavour to soups and sauces. Miso soup is a Japanese staple, often eaten for breakfast.
So what makes miso so special?
For starters, it’s a source of protein (~ 1g per tsp), contains minerals (including zinc, iron and copper) and B vitamins. Since it’s a fermented food it contains gut-friendly lactobacillus.
Miso is a rich source of isoflavones, which belong to the family of plant chemicals called phytoestrogens. Isoflavones act very similarly to estrogen but have a weaker effect when they bind to estrogen receptors, which can offer protective effects to breast tissue, bone and overall hormone health.
Minute Miso Soup
Ingredients -per cup
2-3 tsp organic, non-GMO miso paste - I use genmai (brown rice) miso
1 cup boiled water
Optional Add in’s
1/4 cup organic, non-GMO firm tofu, cubed
green onion or leek, finely chopped
finely chopped leafy greens- kale, chards, spinach
other veggies can be added-zucchini, carrots, cabbage, green beans, mushrooms, daikon radish would all be great options. Make sure to chop finely- try using a mandolin or a peeler for really thin slices.
Tamari to taste.
Fill kettle and bring water to boil
In the meantime, chop veggies and tofu.
Place veggies in bowl
a dollop of miso (~ 2-3 tsp per cup)
once kettle is boiled let sit for 1 minute* , then pour water over ingredients in bowl.
Give it a good mix ensuring miso is well distributed
Taste and add tamari to preference.
Because miso is a fermented food it is best to not pour boiling water over it to protect its health promoting properties.
This recipe works well for a to go lunch- just place all ingredients in a resealable glass jar and once you are ready to eat boil some water and pour over ingredients.
" Let thy food be thy medicine, and thy medicine be thy food" - Hippocrates
Food can be our number one immune system protector. By choosing foods that are immune boosting, rather than immune depressing you will have one up on both preventing and fighting infections this season.
Let’s take a quick look at the main foods that weaken our immune system:
• Sugar and refined carbohydrate
• Unhealthy fats, including trans fats and excess saturated fats
• Processed foods (or ‘fake foods’ as I like to call them)
• Pesticide laden foods
• Food sensitivities and allergies, which are unique to each of us.
Now, let’s take a look at foods that support the immune system:
• Warming foods such as ginger, cinnamon, turmeric, garlic, and onion.
• Eat all colours of the rainbow! What I mean by this is to eat a variety of fruits and veg to get all the nutrients you need.
• Focus on fermented foods: including yogurt,kefir, miso, kimshi, sauerkraut and kombucha- these foods contain beneficial bacteria that strengthen the immune system.
To get you started, I’ve included an immune-boosting soup recipe. Carrot ginger soup is a warm, rich and creamy meal that nourish the body and soul. Carrots and parsnips are packed with nutrients, which become easy to digest and absorb when made into a soup. Ginger warms you up from head to toe while supporting your ability to fight infections.
Carrot, Parsnip & Ginger Soup
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tbsp coconut oil
4 tbsp minced/grated fresh ginger
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp turmeric
a pinch of cayenne
8 large carrots, chopped
1 large parsnip, chopped
8 cups homemade stock or water
1/2 cup tahini-optional
1/3 organic lemon, juice and zest
1 tsp liquid soy
optional garnish- drizzle yogurt, top with pea shoots and fresh cracked pepper.
In a large pot, on medium heat, add coconut oil, onion, garlic, ginger, cumin, turmeric and cayenne and sauté until onions are soft (~10-15 minutes).
Add the carrots and parsnips and cook another 10 minutes, until carrots are slightly soft.
Add the stock or water, cover and allow to simmer for 30 minutes, or until carrots are soft.
Remove from heat and use hand –blender or transfer to blender and blend till smooth.
Add in tahini and lemon and liquid soy and mix well.
Serve with green garnish (such as pea shoots) and drizzle with yogurt for an extra creamy texture if desired.
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