Edawhat? Edamame! And it is time you try some! Okay, so snobbish foodies are known for giving things fancy names. Edamame is no exception. They are simply green soybeans. Or more accurately, young soybeans. As asian staple for centuries, their popularity is picking up here in the good old US of A. Which is great news for us!
Soy beans are a fruit that grow in a pod and considered a protein. They are a legume. Besides soy, other legumes include peas, lentils, and beans. They pack a wonderful nutritional punch. And they are very versatile. Soy beans, or edamame, can be prepared in so many ways! But first, back to the nutrition.
Edamame can be beneficial to our health. They are low in calories, and high in fiber. Half a cup has about 9 grams of fiber (we should shoot for about 20-25 grams of fiber daily) and less than 8 grams of fat. They are a good source of folate, vitamin k, manganese, and many other essential vitamins and minerals. They are also low in sodium. Fabulous news, right?
Now even more good news. They can be prepared a million different ways! They can be enjoyed “naked”, simply shelled and out of the package. This is a fresh healthy way to eat edamame. They can also be steamed with a little salt and used as a good plant protein for any meal. Simple, quick and delicious.
Bring something new to your next get together. Make a dip using edamame. Introduce your friends to it, and become a hero with a savory new party food! Alton Brown has a fabulous dip. Here it is:
12 ounces shelled, cooked, and cooled edamame, about 2 cups, recipe follows
1/4 cup diced onion
1/2 cup tightly packed fresh cilantro or parsley leaves
1 large garlic clove, sliced
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice
1 tablespoon brown miso
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon red chili paste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
5 tablespoons olive oil
Place the edamame, onion, cilantro, garlic, lime juice, miso, salt, chili paste and pepper into the bowl of a food processor and process for 15 seconds. Stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl and process for another 15 to 20 seconds. With the processor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Once all of the oil has been added, stop, scrape down the bowl and then process another 5 to 10 seconds. Taste and adjust seasoning, as desired. Serve with chips or crackers. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
I have played with that recipe a little, and it is yummy! I have also made an edamame cold dish for a dinner party when I was having both “meatatarians” and vegetarians at the same table. I like to have several protein as well as vegetable options at my parties. And it is easy peasy! Here it is:
10 – 12 ounces shelled edamame (I buy them in the refrigerated produce section)
1 roasted red pepper (I have used these from a jar to save time)
1/4 cup each olive oil and vinegar of choice (i prefer balsamic, but your favorite vinegar will certainly do!)
1 clove fresh garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste.
Cut the red pepper into thin strips, and mix all ingredients together. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Enjoy!
Like roasted chickpeas, edamame is also savory when roasted and makes a great snack. Thaw some frozen edamame, drain on paper towels, toss them on a baking sheet and sprinkle a little olive oil over the top. Next, add your favorite spices (but don’t forget the salt and pepper), and toss into a 400 degree oven for 40 minutes, stirring 2-3 times during roasting. Warning: these are addictive!
As you can see, edamame will make a great addition to your diet. Go ahead. Try it. And let me know your favorite way to enjoy this nutritionally packed food!