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🇯🇵 Miso means “fermented beans” in Japanese, and although it is traditionally made from fermented soybeans, it can be made from other beans.
🔬 Miso is made by inoculating beans with a mold called koji (the mold’s official name being Aspergillus oryzae) that is cultivated from rice, barley, or rye, and let to ferment for a minimum of 1 month to up to 3 years! – the gluten-🆓 version MUST use koji grown in rice.
🗓 The length of fermentation time determines the flavor; ranging from sweet and mild to salty and rich (like the one above).
Like other fermented foods, miso contains millions of beneficial bacteria (i.e is a probiotic!) that can help remodel the microbial ecosystem in the GI tract , positively impacting your blood sugar balance, mood, immune system function, and more. 👏
The fat-soluble vitamin, K, exists naturally in two forms: vitamin K1 (phylloquinone) and vitamin K2 (menaquinones). Miso paste and other fermented foods are rich in vitamin K2 [2, 3], so crucial to bone health, growth, and development.
Vitamin K1, primarily required for blood coagulation, is abundantly present in green leafy vegetables. This is the predominant form of vitamin K in our daily diet .
🆘 In contrast, Vitamin K2 is not as easily obtained from the diet; it is found primarily in the fat from animal products and is synthesized by certain bacteria present in fermented foods. 
Vitamin K2 helps prevents osteoporosis and osteopenia, but also prevents calcium from attaching to soft tissues such as the arterial walls (I.e. it reduces the risk for atherosclerosis and heart attacks). 😱
㊗️ This protein-rich paste adds saltiness and an instant ‘umami’ yumminess boom 💥 to all sorts of dishes — soups/broths, salad dressings, stir-fries, dips, marinades, or crispy apple slices! (my favorite way btw) 🍎.