Miso is a fantastic source of probiotics and gives foods an incredible flavor. I used miso and a few other highly nutritious ingredients to create this Sweet ‘n’ Spicy Miso Dressing that goes great with just about anything you can imagine!
I just love really simple meals based off whole foods as I’m sure many of you do, but I also value the importance (and convenience) of healthy condiments and sauces that take dishes to a whole new level.
When I was a kid, I dunked and drenched anything you can imagine into sugary ketchup, and I grew up using mustard on nearly everything in sight (which I still love today). And the salad dressings I used to use … I can’t even begin to describe how many of those bottled varieties I enjoyed. Caesar, Ranch, French, and Italian were some of my favorite dressing. But as we know, most bottled dressings and sauces sold at the stores are packed with oil, preservatives, sugar, artificial sweeteners, way too much refined salt, and some even have animal lard and cancer-causing chemicals in them!
Clearly, we need an alternative. Can I get an amen???
In my early 20’s while in college, I worked at a local restaurant and learned a lesson or two about condiments. I took note of how most of the most popular dressings and sauces they served were made with some pretty unique combinations I would have never guessed unless I saw the chefs make them myself. This taught me the value of playing around with ingredients in my kitchen to make healthy condiments right at home!
Some of my favorite healthy condiments are mustard (just about any type except honey mustard), salsa, nutritional yeast, plain tomato sauce, unsweetened ketchup, coconut vinegar, coconut aminos (a soy-free teriyaki style sauce), lemon juice and as of the last few months, miso.
I mentioned miso in my 5 Foods to Boost Your Gut Health a few weeks ago since it’s a fantastic source of probiotics. Miso is a fermented paste made of some type of legume and/or grain, it’s very easy to digest, and it’s also quite the tasty little condiment! Miso can also be used in anything from soups to salads, grain dishes, and used in place of any processed sauce or dressing when blended with a little liquid of choice. It’s a traditional food used in Japanese cultures and a prized staple in macrobiotic cooking due to its immense health benefits on the brain and digestive tract.
Mild, white, mellow miso has a unique umami flavor that is hard to describe, but let me tell you, it is one that makes you feel pretty fabulous and also tastes incredible! When I first started using miso, I had not a clue how to use it, so I just added a teaspoon or two to my nightly meal in a variety of ways to see which ones I enjoyed the most.
And that, my friends, is how this marvelous dressing came about. I combined some of my favorite ingredients in various measurements until I came up with a dressing that’s now my go-to for just about anything. This dressing is sweet, a bit spicy, and super smooth. You can even store it in the fridge to last all week for whatever use you please.
Miso can be found at any Whole Foods or natural health food store sold wherever the refrigerated produce items are such as kimchi, salad dressings, and tofu. It lasts a long time in the fridge because you only need a teaspoon or two at a time. For this recipe, I’ve only used 3 heaping teaspoons which go a long way towards the flavor and benefits this dressing has.
Other ingredients in this recipe:
The other ingredients I used in this recipe may sound odd at first, but I promise they taste quite yummy when you combine them all, surprisingly enough.
Nutritional yeast flakes have a nutty, almost cheesy flavor while also being high in Vitamin B12. Nutritional yeast is even a complete protein! The flakes can be used to make vegan cheese sauces, sprinkled onto anything, and are a common staple in many plant-based kitchens due to the high amounts of nutrients nutritional yeast has. You can find nutritional yeast in the baking aisle or where the vitamins are sold at health food stores and some supermarkets. When combined with the probiotics found in the miso, the nutritional yeast is especially great for your digestion!
*Note, this is not a harmful yeast like the types of yeasts found in beer known as brewer’s yeast that feeds unhealthy levels of bacteria in the body. Nutritional yeast is an inactive yeast and doesn’t contain any harmful byproducts of regular yeasts. The amino acids and B vitamins in nutritional yeast actually fortify the gut and supply good bacteria with nutrients it needs to thrive.*
Organic mustard adds a bit of spice with loads of antioxidants from the apple cider vinegar and turmeric used in the brand of mustard I used (Eden Foods brown and yellow mustards).
And, finally, a touch of sweetness from coconut vinegar (also high in probiotics), lemon juice, and a pinch of stevia really takes things to a whole new level. Coconut vinegar is high in enzymes and a bit more sweet and tart than apple cider vinegar, but you could sub that if you don’t have coconut vinegar and still get similar results. I also like to add black pepper because I’m obsessed with it, but you can leave it out if you like.
Oil-free, vegan, and high in B vitamins and Vitamin C, this Sweet ‘n’ Spicy Miso Dressing will make your taste buds sing, keep your belly happy, and won’t weight you down one little bit!
- 2 tablespoons coconut vinegar (you can sub apple cider vinegar or use 1/2 coconut and 1/2 apple cider)
- juice from 2 lemons
- 3 tablespoons cold water
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast- I like Bragg brand since it's fortified with B12
- 2 teaspoons organic yellow mustard- I like Eden yellow and Annie's horseradish varieties
- 1 teaspoon organic brown mustard- I like Eden's brown mustard
- 3 teaspoons mellow miso- I used Miso Master brand
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- tiny dash of dry stevia or very tiny drop of liquid stevia (1/8 tsp)- this brings out the spicy flavors and adds a sweet balance
- optional: Italian herbs, parsley, a tablespoon of your favorite ketchup for even more flavor (this is really good too!), cayenne, turmeric, or whatever else you want!
- In a small blender such as the Nutribullet or Magic Bullet, add all the ingredients starting with the liquids first.
- Blend, let sit for 30 seconds and blend again.
- Feel free to add any herbs like oregano, parsley, tarragon or your favorite all-in-one spice. I sometimes like to add a tablespoon of ketchup and Italian herbs to mine, but to each her own!
- Store any remaining amounts in the fridge. Will keep up to 1 week.
- I use about 2 tablespoons of this per serving but you can use more if you like. A touch of this dressing adds a huge dose of flavor and is so healthy!
- Feel free to make it as thick or thin as you want by playing around with the ratio of liquids used.
Here’s a great example of one of my favorite meals and how I use this marvelous golden dressing:
Ingredients: 1 full head of romaine lettuce tossed with roasted sweet potatoes, artichoke hearts, stalks of celery, Italian herbs, black pepper, kimchi, sometimes kale (not pictured here today), and about 1/4 cup of this dressing.
You can also check out my Herb-Roasted Potatoes, Autumn Harvest Kale Salad, and Oil-Free Oven Roasted Potatoes With Chili Flakes, Cumin, and Chickpea Miso Dressing for more ways to use miso in healthy recipes!
*Ingredients I Used*
- Coconut Secret Coconut Vinegar
- Bragg Nutritional Yeast
- Simply Organic Black Pepper
- Eden’s Organic Brown Mustard
- Eden’s Organic Yellow Mustard
- NuNaturals Stevia
- Miso Master Organic Mellow Miso
- Simply Organic Italian Herbs
Have you ever had miso? What’s your favorite way to use it?