I came home from my workout hungry today, and since I promised yesterday to share my recipe for miso tahini dip, I thought, Why not just whip up a batch? It took me less than 5 minutes, and in all its cool, creamy, savory goodness, really hit the spot! Even better, it was nutritious and kept me away from the dried fruit in the pantry.
In addition to regular consumption of kefir, kombucha, cultured vegetables, raw apple cider vinegar, and probiotic supplements, I try to incorporate unpasteurized miso into my diet as a delicious source of beneficial bacteria. Although I generally avoid soy products because of soy’s goitrogenic and anti-nutrient properties, I make an exception for fermented soy foods. Long, slow fermentation breaks down soy’s phytic acid, makes its protein easy to digest, and brings out its life-giving benefits.
Donna Gates, founder of the Body Ecology Diet, writes, “While it was once thought that soy was the reason for the low rates of heart disease, breast and prostate cancer in Asia, more evidence is now showing us that it is the consumption of traditional fermented soy products (usually eaten every day) that are providing the real benefits.” I have read several other nutrition experts who agree.
So, if you want to get some of those health benefits imputed to soy, and you want to add more good bacteria to your body, you might consider adding miso to your diet. There are several varieties of miso, some made completely of soybean paste, and some made with rice and/or barley. (If you’re allergic to gluten, like me, avoid those made from barley.) The pastes vary in color — white, yellow, red, black — each with a unique flavor, though I’ve only experienced with red miso so far. I really like its pungency. Always buy organic, unpasteurized miso to make sure that you’re getting all of the probiotics and none of the negative health effects of GM foods. Miso Master organic miso is a great choice.
I realize that, to many westerners, the thought of consuming fermented soybean paste can be unappealing, to say the least. I do encourage you to give it a try anyway, and this veggie dip is the perfect way to ease into miso. It is flavorful, delicious, and very healthy. I love to dip carrots, celery, cucumbers, bell peppers, and especially lightly steamed (and chilled) broccoli into this dip. If you can eat crackers, this makes a great topping.
To read more about miso’s health benefits, check out this article. For information about Miso Master miso or to order some online, go here. You can also check for unpasteurized miso in your local health food store, most likely in a refrigerated section.
Magic Miso Veggie Dip
(recipe by Amy Steeves, who distributed it at a raw food demonstration)
2 tablespoons unpasteurized red miso
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup tahini
chopped chives (optional)
Use a wire whisk or a fork to blend the miso paste into the water until completely dissolved. Then add the lemon juice and tahini. If you wish, top with chives. Simple, right?
One batch serves 2 hungry snackers.