Miso soup has been eaten for around 2,500 years, and while it sometimes isn’t vegan (it can contain fish, called bonito or dashi), there are vegan versions of it. Vegan miso soup is typically made of fermented soybeans, koji (a yeast mold), and rice, barley, or wheat. Most Japanese begin their day with a bowl of miso soup for breakfast, and Okinawa boasts one of the lowest mortality rates worldwide–with the largest number of centenarians per capita.
Studies have linked miso consumption with up to a 50% risk reduction in breast cancer, and have shown miso beneficial for detoxing the body due to it’s zybocolin and dipiloconic acid content. There are more amazing benefits of miso :Miso fights radiation poisoning (looking at you, Fukishima!), contains antioxidants, and studies on Japanese adults show that the high sodium content in miso does not affect blood pressure and, in fact, lowers the risk of cardiovascular problems. Miso is a complete protein, and is filled with healthy probiotics, which aid in digestion. Look for unpasteurized miso in order to get the full benefits of live enzymes, and never boil your miso. Miso must be prepared in lukewarm water and then added to the cooked part of the soup to ensure the enzymes aren’t destroyed by heat.
Are you looking for a plant-based source of vitamin B12? Eat some miso! The live enzymes in this fermented bean paste actually form this important vitamin–and gives you something to tell non-vegans when they claim you can’t get B12 on a vegan diet!
There are myriad types of miso: Red (Aka), Yellow (Shinsu), White (Shiro), Barley (Mugi), Soybean (Hatcho/Mame), as well as variations within these groups.
Lighter colored miso contains less sodium than dark miso, but all have a creamy flavor, buttery texture, and have a deliciously rich flavor. I really enjoy white miso, because it isn’t too salty and has a lovely sweetness to it.
Vegan Miso Soup Recipe and Raw Wrap
To make 1 cup Miso:
Boil 1 cup water or vegetable broth. Pour into bowl/mug and add 1 tsp chopped green onion and 1 tsp wakame or dried seaweed. Dissolve 2 tsp miso in a small amount of water and add to other ingredients once they are removed from heat. Please do not boil your miso as it will kill the healthy enzymes!
Raw Wrap (inspired by this recipe):
Just over 3/4c Flax seeds, ground into a meal (will make about 1c flax meal)
1.5-2c grated carrot
1/2 red bell pepper
2 tbsp Coconut Aminos
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp dried basil OR 1 large handful of fresh basil
1.5-2c filtered water (possibly less)
1. Add all ingredients to blender, adding water 1/4 cup at a time, blending until the mixture is a gooey consistancy. It should stick to itself, but be spreadable and not too liquidy–a little thicker than pancake batter.
2. Pour some onto parchment paper, and spread into a circle. Keep in mind that the edges will cook first so try not to make them very thin. The thicker you make the wrap, the longer it will take to dehydrate, but this will also keep it pliable–just don’t make it too thick, it’s still a wrap!
3. Place in dehydrator, and dehydrate for 4-6 hours, flipping them once they are no longer sticky on top, and checking often to make sure they aren’t getting too dry. When they are easily removed from the parchment paper, they are done. For storage, you can place them in an airtight container or plastic bag. Storing them overnight will make them more pliable.
4. Put your favorite ingredients in your wrap and enjoy! I used sprouted hummus, red pepper, tomato, and spinach.
Also by Jessica: Benefits of Carob – plus Cherry Carob Brownie Recipe!
Photo: Jessica Ferguson