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Tradition Miso - Miso FAQs

Miso FAQs

Miso as a Food
Soybeans are a treasure trove of high-quality protein and other nutrients, only a portion of these are available to the body when the whole beans are served in their baked, boiled, or roasted forms. However through the process of natural fermentation, soybeans undergo a total biochemical transformation in which virtually all of their complex protein, carbohydrate, and lipid (oil or fat) molecules are broken down into readily digestible amino acids, simple sugars and fatty acids. Most important, the process of leisurely fermentation unfolds a panorama of delicious new flavors and aromas.

Brown Rice Miso
Ingredients: Organic soybeans, organic brown rice, unrefined sundried sea salt, deep well water, culture (aspergillus oryzae).

Barley Miso
Ingredients: Organic soybeans, organic barley, unrefined sundried sea salt, deep well water, culture (aspergillus oryzae). Non GMO

A powerful protein booster
Miso has long been considered an important nutritional complement to rice in East Asia's grain-based diet. Similarly, the use of miso with whole-wheat bread in the form of a spread, for example, or with noodles, pizza, bulgur, or other Western-style grain dishes, can increase the sum of the protein available by as much as 30-40 percent.

Aids digestion
Only the very heartiest microorganisms are able to survive the rigors of several years' fermentation in the presence of salt. Thus they and their enzymes are well suited to continue their work in the large and small intestines where they break down or digest complex proteins, carbohydrates, and fats into simpler, more easily assimilable molecules.

To cook or not to cook
That is the question. Because enzymes are destroyed at temperatures above 104F. and lactic acid bacteria by several minutes of simmering, only unpasteurized miso which has not been overcooked can create within our bodies a living digestive culture.

Adds flavor to low-salt diets
A growing number of Western doctors and nutritionist are coming to favour a relatively low-salt diet as one of the simplest ways to combat high blood pressure, hypertension and, in some cases, obesity. Most people use salt to accentuate the flavours inherent in foods. Natural sea salt supplies us with an abundance of trace elements so essential for good health and metabolic balance. Moreover, recent experiments suggest that the fermentation process actually changes the effect of salt on the human body. Since salt is mellowed by the presence of amino acids and natural oils, miso does not taste particularly salty.

Low-fat cookery
Miso contains an average of 5 percent natural oils
mostly unsaturated and completely free of cholesterol. And because they are primarily soy oils, unrefined and unprocessed, they are rich in lecithin and linoleic acid which help disperse accumulations of cholesterol and other fatty acids in the circulatory system.

Vitamin B-12
B-12 is one of the vitamins most commonly deficient in the diets of those vegetarians who exclude dairy products as well as meat from their diet. Recent research, however, has shown that there are a number of excellent vegetarian sources of vitamin B-12 including fermented soyfoods (tempeh, natto, miso, shoyu) and sea vegetables. Vitamin B-12 is produced by certain bacteria or molds.

Storing Miso
All varieties should be stored in a cool, dark place. Also refrigerate miso in order to prevent the growth of surface mold. A thin layer of harmless, almost tasteless mold may form on the air-exposed surfaces of unrefrigerated natural misos (those which contain no preservatives and are not pasteurized). Don't worry; simply scrape off the mold and discard it just before use or mix it into the body of the Miso.

Is it vegan?
Miso in itself is vegan. There is no animal products in it. However, miso soup prepared in commercial establishments may be based with stock made with bonito flakes (fish). Vegetable broth can be used as a base for a miso soup or simply use boiled water.

Shelf life
Miso that has been fermented for two years or more will keep forever if kept refrigerated. It will become darker in colour and develop a richer, deeper flavour with aging. Older misos are prized for their medicinal qualities.
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