We Heart Miso — Especially When It’s Chickpea Miso. Here’s Why

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Why Is Chickpea Miso So Good For you?

Miso is now finding its place next to the ketchup and sriracha bottles in some home kitchens. We’re not surprised that the fermented soybean paste, which has long been a staple in Japanese cuisines, is now enjoying its day in the sun. Miso seemingly has magical powers for transforming a dish from just ho-hum to totally amazing. Though it’s traditionally been used in Japanese cuisine, it has made its way across the Pacific and landed on our fusion-forward shores. Miso is making its way into everything from nut cheeses to meat rubs and we recently discovered how amazing chickpea miso can be.

“It’s quickly turning into a staple of food professionals and enthusiasts everywhere who rely on it for the much sought-after umami factor, otherwise known as the fifth, savory, taste,” reports Mind Body Green. “The umami flavor is present in foods like Parmesan and tomato paste (and, interestingly, breast milk, which might be one of the reason’s babies always look so gastronomically satisfied)—and miso.”

Why We Chose Chickpea Miso

1. Chickpeas are not a genetically modified crop

2. There’s less concern about food allergies

3. Chickpea miso tastes very similar to miso made with soybeans

4. It still possesses the gut-health benefits of traditional miso

Let’s break these down a little.

Is Miso Genetically Modified?

That’s right, unless the miso you’re buying s certified organic, it’s most likely made with genetically modified soy. As you know, we are not fans of genetically modified foods for several reasons including their impacts on our health and that of the planet. Read more about GMOs here.

Chickpeas Aren’t a Common Allergen.

If you’re trying to cut food allergens out of your diet, soy should be on your list. Soy is one of the more common food allergies, especially for babies and children.

Chickpea Miso Tastes the Best.

In our humble opinion, chickpea miso tastes like the real deal.

When you’re buying miso, you may have noticed that there are three different kinds: white, red and barley miso. Essentially, the differences here are in the ratio of soybeans to other ingredients and the length of fermentation. White miso ferments for the least amount of time and has a sweet and mild taste. Red miso contains more soybeans and ferments between 1 to 3 years. Its flavor is much stronger. Barley miso is miso made with soybeans and barley. It is very dark in color and has a richer flavor than red miso.

Chickpea miso is made from brown rice and chickpeas and is typically aged for 1 to 3 months. Its flavor is stronger than that of white miso but not quite as rich as red miso. We find it’s well suited for most American palates and terrific in dips, spreads, soups.

It’s Still Great For the Gut.

Just like soybean miso, chickpea miso is fermented. That means it contains all the gut-healthy probiotics that naturally occur in fermented foods. These good bugs help to heal and balance the microbiome, which we continually hear is a really good thing. As with all probiotic-rich foods, you get the most benefits by eating them raw or minimally cooked.

Ready to Dig In? Here Are Our Favorite Recipes Featuring Chickpea Miso.