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You will occasionally see me use chickpea miso in some of my recipes. I don’t consume soy products and after testing many different ones, I favor the ones made from chickpeas, it is also gluten-free. This is my favorite brand (South River). Feel free to use the brand that you enjoy.
I use it for the not only the flavor component but also for the nutrition that it brings to a recipe. Miso offers a nutritious balance of natural carbohydrates, essential oils, minerals, vitamins, and protein of the highest quality, containing all of the essential amino acids.
Miso is often times made from a base of ground soybeans and rice and then cultured. Many other varieties can be found as well such as miso made from chickpeas, azuki beans, millet and barley. Soy and barley miso tend to be darker, richer and more salty, whereas chickpea miso is sweeter, much less salty and works great in salad dressings, dips, marinades, and raw vegan cheeses.
Miso has an unmistakable flavor and is very salty, so when adding to a recipe, hold back on adding salt.. taste test as you go. It can be used to enhance savory raw food dishes and a little goes a long way. The general rule is… Less is more. When seasoning soup, begin by adding a small amount of miso -one to two teaspoons per cup of liquid- adding more as needed to achieve individually desired taste. The miso should mingle with the flavor of the soup and enhance, but not overpower it.
When using dark miso, less will be needed; more miso will be needed when using the light and lower salt varieties to achieve the desired seasoning. Dark and light varieties of miso can also be mixed together for a seasoning blend of both.
Look for unpasteurized, very high quality, organic (non-gmo) miso paste. Naturally fermented miso in the refrigerated section of your local Asian market, WholeFoods or your local health food store. No matter the variety of miso you choose (as long as it’s unpasteurized and additive free) you’re bound to enjoy the health benefits.*