Cucumber and Carrot Miso Salad

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Yields:  about 3 cups             Prep Time:  15 minutes       Total Time:  15 minutes

 

Probiotic rich miso brings a deep and savory flavor to this simple and refreshing salad. 

 

Ingredients

3 cups cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced*

1/4 cup carrots, peels

4 teaspoons miso (Genmai)

1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

1/2 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

 

 

Directions

1. Place 1 tablespoon of sesame seeds in a pan and heat over medium heat.  Stir lightly with a spatula, as seeds will begin to brown.  This happens quickly, so don’t leave them unattended.  Remove from heat when they reach the desired doneness, or else they will continue to cook.  *You can skip this step and just use toasted sesame seeds.  However, freshly toasted seeds add quite a bit of flavor.

 

 

2. Place toasted sesame seeds in a bowl.  Add miso and toasted sesame seed oil.  Mix gently with a spoon.

 

3. Peel and thinly slice* 3 cups of cucumbers (about 1 and 1/2 medium cucumbers).  Place in a bowl with miso mixture.

*To reduce the water content in this dish, simply scrape out the center of the cucumber prior to slicing.  Peel the cucumber and cut it lengthwise in half.  Using a spoon, scoop out the center, and slice.  The cucumber slices will resemble half moons.

 

4. Peel the skin off a carrot with a vegetable peeler.  Continue using a vegetable peeler to peel the carrot.  Chop the peels into smaller bits for easier consumption.  Add carrots to cucumber and miso bowl.

 

5. Mix everything together consume immediately. 

(Cucumbers release water over time, and the salt from the miso only increases this release.  See note above about reducing water.)

 

 

My mother-in-law’s garden is still at it, producing pounds of fresh veggies.  Cucumbers are probably the most prolific, as we are easily picking a half a dozen a day.  While time has been more absent than usual lately, I have been trying to brainstorm ways to use these refreshing summer vegetables.

 

While I do have some concerns about soy and foods containing soy, there is a soy product that I feel more comfortable using and that is miso.  Miso is fermented and is often made from soy and or a combination of soy, rice and sometimes barley.  The fermentation process deactivates the enzyme inhibiting components found in unfermented soy products.  Additionally, the fermenting of miso adds nutrient rich enzymes and microorganisms that help assist digestion.  These probiotics (good bacteria) help keep the intestinal flora healthy, which is an incredibly important aspect to overall health. 

 

 

It is important to look for a quality miso product.  Some companies use harsh chemicals in the fermenting process.  Additionally, soybeans are one of the highest crops that have been grown with GMOs.  I prefer to avoid these crops as much as possible, so looking for certified organic miso or miso that is affixed with the Non-GMO project label is a good start.

 

 

As for this salad, it is incredibly simple and equally delicious.  Miso is very salty, which works well with cucumber.  If you leave it sit for too long, the water from the cucumber will water it down quite a bit.  Salt tends to pull water from vegetables anyway, and cucumbers have much to give!  So, I would recommend eating immediately, or be prepared for it to get watered down a bit.

 

My kids love salty foods, and this is one I am more than happy to have them gobble up!

 

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