Edamame is the Japanese word for “stem bean” and is an unripe soybean picked and sold with the stem on it. Sounds like it would be unappetizing right? Well, in the case of edamame, the unripe soybeans are packed with flavor and nutrition. Edamame is picked early because while it’s younger it has more unami, meaning it is more savory in this state.
Soybeans are a great source of nutrition
Soybeans are a go-to staple at my house and for good reason. Unless you have an allergy or intolerance to soy, Edamame is a great food to have on hand. Here is why:
Edamame is an excellent plant based source of protein, containing all 9 essential amino acids. Edamame is considered a low glycemic food and a good source of fiber, making it a great snack or food choice to help keep you satiated throughout the day.
Now, let’s talk about the nutritional punch edamame swings! Edamame is rich in vitamins and minerals essential to optimal health including: vitamin k, vitamin B, iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and manganese.
Research has shown a correlation of soy consumption with the following health benefits:
- Decreased LDL or “bad cholesterol” in the blood
- Decreased risk of depression
- Decreased risk of Type 2 Diabetes
- Increased fertility
- Decreased inflammation
- Increased energy
Let’s get this straight … Edamame is a low calorie, high protein, fiber rich, nutrition packed snack? Yes. And there are many ways to enjoy edamame aside from steamed in a bowl with some sea salt you got at the sushi bar you went to with your bestie last weekend.
3 Edamame Recipes to Shake Things Up:
2 ripe avocados
½ c thawed soybeans (unshelled)
½ jalapeno pepper, minced
¼ red onion, finely chopped
⅛ cup cilantro, finely chopped
2-3 tbsp. Lime juice
Salt and pepper to taste
Directions: In a molcajete or small mixing bowl add avocado and lime juice. Mash the avocado with lime juice until you get a smooth guacamole dip consistency. Add in red onion, jalapeno pepper, salt and pepper and mix till combined. Lastly, fold in edamame beans and cilantro. You can leave a small pinch of cilantro to garnish the top. Serve with whole wheat pita or tortilla chips.
Edamame Thai Pasta Salad
2 servings of lentil pasta (4 oz dry)
½ cup shredded carrot
½ cup red onion, chopped
½ cup shredded purple cabbage
¾ cup unshelled edamame beans
⅛ cup green onion, chopped
For the Thai peanut sauce:
¼ cup of peanut butter
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp coconut aminos
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tsp sesame oil
Directions: In a medium saucepan bring 4-6 quarts of water with a pinch of salt to a boil. Once water reaches a boil, add in 2 servings of lentil pasta and cook for 8-10 minutes. While the pasta is cooking, prepare the Thai peanut sauce by combining all ingredients in a large mixing bowl or blender. Blend or whisk until peanut sauce is thoroughly combined. Drain pasta and add peanut sauce stirring till the pasta is coated. Put in a storage container and set aside to begin cooling. Chop and shred the remaining ingredients. Once all ingredients are prepared add the carrot, red onion, cabbage, and unshelled edamame beans to the pasta. Mix the pasta salad till well combined, cover and store in the fridge up to 5 days.
Edamame and Pea Breakfast Tacos
½ cup unshelled edamame
½ cup cooked peas
3 tbsp of tahini
½ lemon juiced
1 clove garlic
1 tsp onion powder
¼ tsp sea salt
4 corn tortillas
2 tbsp cilantro (optional)
Directions: In a blender add edamame, peas, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, onion powder and salt. Blend until you get a pureed consistency. In a medium non-stick pan on low-medium heat, add 4 eggs preparing them over-easy or over-medium depending on your preference. While eggs are cooking, heat tortillas in a non-stick pan until warmed. Remove tortillas from heat and spread edamame puree mixture evenly over each tortilla. Top with the eggs once cooked. Garnish with cilantro and enjoy immediately.
Written by: Lexi Nazzaro, Dietetic Intern Sources: Material adapted from Medical News Today medicalnewstoday.com