You can blame out-of-whack hormones for everything from causing breakouts, irregular periods, and even snapping at your partner for no reason (hello, mood swings). The good news: You actually have a lot of control over leveling things out—no prescription needed.
Magdalena Wszelaki, health coach and author of new cookbook, Cooking for Hormone Balance is a firm believer in using the power of food to attain optimum balance. One of her fave go-to ingredients: miso, which pulls double duty by also benefitting the gut.
The fermented soy miso is actually made to support hormone balance, rather than the hormone disruption usually associated with soy products. "This form of soy is high in phytoestrogens, which are naturally occurring estrogens that can have hormone-balancing effects," Wszelaki explains. "Many women report less hot flashes and reduced PMS from fermented soy."
Keep this recipe handy for when you start to feel a little off—and, hey, some dark chocolate won't hurt either.
Keep reading for Wszelaki's hormone-balancing miso soup recipe.
Hormone-balancing miso soup
For the mineral vegetable broth:
4 large unpeeled carrots, coarsely chopped
2 unpeeled yellow onions, quartered
2 large unpeeled parsnips, coarsely chopped
1 leek, including the green parts, coarsely chopped
1 bunch celery, coarsely chopped
1 unpeeled sweet potato, coarsely chopped
1 fennel bulb, coarsely chopped
3 cloves peeled garlic, crushed
3- inch fresh ginger root, crushed
8- inch kelp strip
8 black peppercorns
8 whole allspice or juniper berries
1 tsp sea salt
1 bay leaf
6 1/2 quarts cold filtered water
1/2 bunch of curly leaf parsley
For the miso soup:
2 Tbsp dried wakame
2 Tbsp dried arame
1 cup hot water
1-quart mineral vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups sliced shiitake mushrooms
1 kelp sheet
3 Tbsp sweet white miso paste
9- to 12 oz. black codfish fillet, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 cups firmly packed leafy greens such as kale, spinach, or collards
1/2 cup fresh broccoli sprouts, for garnish
2 Tbsp finely chopped scallions, for garnish
2 tsp roasted sesame oil, for garnish
For the mineral vegetable broth
1. Put all of the ingredients except the parsley in a stockpot, cover, and bring to a boil.
2. Reduce heat and simmer covered for four hours.
3. Add parsley ten minutes before finishing.
5. Allow the broth to cool to room temperature before refrigerating or freezing.
6. This broth will keep well in the refrigerator for up to ten days and in the freezer for up to six months.
For the miso soup
1. In a medium bowl, soak the wakame and arame in the hot water. Set aside.
2. Place three cups of the broth and the mushrooms and kelp in a medium saucepan. Cover, bring to a boil, and simmer for ten minutes.
3. In a small bowl, whisk the remaining broth with the miso paste until fully dissolved. Set aside.
4. Add the cod to the saucepan, turn off the heat, and cover for three minutes. Gently fold the greens into the saucepan and cover again for another three to five minutes or until the greens have withered.
5. Gently stir the miso paste into the saucepan. Remove the kelp sheet before serving.
6. Ladle into bowls and top with the drained wakame and arame and sprouts, scallions, and sesame oil. Serve and eat right away.
Note: To retain the probiotic potency of miso, never add it to a boiling broth.
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