The other morning, my 5 year old son woke up with a sore throat. He didn’t want anything to eat because his throat was so sore. The night before, we had ordered Japanese food and we had left over miso soup. I heated it up and offered it to him and to my surprise, he at the whole thing! He said, “Mommy, the Chinese cheese (aka tofu) is helping my tummy.” He drank all of the liquid and afterwards asked for more.
Miso soup is commonly seen at the breakfast table in Japan but not so much in the states. Let me break down all of the good reasons to have it for breakfast. First of all, warm foods are better for you than cold foods. Check out my blog “Warm foods vs cold foods” that I posted earlier this week to understand why warm foods are better for your system. Secondly, the ingredients of miso are amazing:
– Wakame, an edible seaweed, is not only highly nutritious, containing high levels of omega-3 fatty acid, calcium, magnesium, protein and iron, but it has fat burning qualities as well.
- Miso is made from fermented soy beans, This fermentation process helps preserve the food, and helps create beneficial enzymes, b-vitamins, Omega-3 fatty acids, and various strains of probiotics. It has also been shown to preserve nutrients in foods, as well as breaking the food down to a more digestible form. This, along with the bevy of probiotics created during the fermentation process, could explain the link between consumption of fermented foods and improved digestion.
- Tofu, made from soybean curds, is naturally gluten-free and low calorie, contains no cholesterol and is an excellent source of protein, iron, and calcium. The isoflavones (a type of compound called phytoestrogens) in soy foods have been linked to a decreased risk for osteoporosis, while the calcium and magnesium in soy may help to lessen PMS symptoms, regulate blood sugar and prevent migraine headaches.
There are many health food market that sell miso paste, wakame and tofu so you can make your own miso soup. Otherwise, there are instant miso packages that Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods sell. Try it on a cold winter’s day with your kids for breakfast, lunch or dinner!
MISO SOUP RECIPE
Servings: 4 Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 5 minutes
This miso soup recipe can be made in 10 minutes! Remember, you don’t want to boil the miso paste — add it at the end with the heat off to avoid a gritty texture.
8 cups water
1 1/2 teaspoons instant dashi granules (or vegetable stock diluted – 30% stock to 70% water)
1/4 cup miso paste
1 tablespoon dried seaweed (for miso soup), soaked in water
1/2 cup cubed tofu
2 tablespoons chopped green onion
1. Pour the water into a pot and bring to a boil. Add the instant dashi and whisk to dissolve. Turn the heat to medium-low and add the tofu. Drain the seaweed and add the seaweed to the pot. Simmer for 2 minutes.
2. In the meantime, spoon the miso paste into a bowl. Ladle about 1/2 cup of the hot dashi broth into a bowl and whisk with chopsticks or a whisk to mix and melt the miso paste so that it becomes a smooth mixture.
3. Turn the heat off, add the miso paste to the pot and stir well. Taste the soup – if it needs more flavor, whisk in another tablespoon or two of miso paste. Top with green onions and serve immediately. (I skip the green onions for the kids)
(original recipe from steamykitchen.com)
Photo. Paul Downey. Flickr