There are days that I just crave something salty (although truthfully most days if I have cravings, they’re for something sweet). These cravings are often related to feelings of stress. Anyone else have this experience? Sometimes a few non-GMO organic corn chips will do the trick to satisfy the desire for salt, but other times I need something far more substantial to curb the craving. I know this is a sign that my adrenal glands are working overtime to regulate the stress hormones in my body, because stressed adrenals are linked to a craving for salty food.
One of the best ways to satisfy a salt craving is with the earthy, umami taste of Mushroom, Miso and Bok Choy Soup.
Mushroom, Miso and Bok Choy Soup does much more than just satisfy a salt craving. This earthy, warm soup has a number of health supporting properties. Mushrooms contain compounds, including beta-glucans, that boost the immune system and help protect the body from carcinogens (1). Mushrooms are also rich in B vitamins, which are necessary for nervous system health (nutrients for the brain), selenium to support the thyroid and, when they are exposed to the sun, they become a good source of vitamin D.
Miso offers probiotic benefits to help rebalance gut bacteria. Did you know that soy sauce is made from miso, and that miso is made from soybeans? Miso is made with soybeans, salt, a grain (usually barley, rice or sometimes seaweed) and a fungus called Aspergillus oryzae, also referred to as koji in Japanese (2). Miso is fermented for anywhere from 3 months to 3 years and contains millions of beneficial bacteria to support good gut health.
The liquid that comes off the miso as it is fermenting is soy sauce. Barley is a gluten containing grain, so if you want gluten free soy sauce, look for tamari soy. Gluten free tamari soy is made with rice or seaweed, and not barley.
In Japan it is traditional to begin the day with a bowl of warm miso soup to stimulate digestion. With the high rate of digestive issues in our population, beginning the day with miso soup would be a beneficial practice for many of us. Mushroom, Miso and Bok Choy Soup is a great choice.
Mushroom, Bok Choy and Miso Soup
- 1 oz dried mushrooms
- 2 cups boiling water
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
- 1 onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 16 oz. mixed mushrooms chopped (cremini, shitake, button or mixture)
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 1 tablespoon tamari soy
- ¼ cup miso paste
- 5 cups chopped bok choy
- 5 green onions
- Place dried mushrooms in a large bowl. Boil water and pour over dried mushrooms to hydrate mushrooms and infuse water. Cover and let sit for 10 minutes.
- Chop onion and garlic. Heat avocado and sesame oil in large saucepan. Add onions and garlic and sauté for 3 minutes, until onions begin to soften.
- Add mushrooms and cook until they begin to release their juices, about 5-7 minutes.
- Drain rehydrated mushrooms, saving the stock for the soup. Chop the rehydrated mushroom and add to the saucepan. Add mushroom stock, vegetable stock, miso paste and tamari soy. Stir in miso paste until dissolved. Bring soup to boil. When it reaches boil turn the soup down to simmer, add the bok choy and simmer for 5 minutes, just long enough to wilt the bok choy. Garnish with chopped green onions and serve.