Immature soy bean, usually still in the pod but can also be found hulled. They are actually quite soft to eat and easy to chew, unlike the mature soybeans that are hard. Mature soybeans are used to make tofu and soy milk.
Like these ones, you can find them already hulled and frozen in most grocery freezer sections. These are great for a quick protein and fibre source. You can add them to salads, soups, rice/quinoa dishes, as a snack by themselves!
But is there anything good in there? Yes! In ½ cup of hulled edamame you can find: 120 calories, 9 g fibre, 2.5 g fat, 11 g protein, 13 g carbohydrates and 10% of your daily value of iron. That’s quite high in fibre and iron!
But is soy good for me? There has been a lot of research on soy and here are some of the possible health benefits. Soy protein may help reduce insulin resistance, kidney damage and fatty liver in people with diabetes. Soy proteins contain isoflavones (phytoestrogens) that have been shown to help reduce overall and LD (“bad”) cholesterol and increase the HDL (“good”) cholesterol.
But is it safe? There are a few different guidelines for the upper range of intake for adults. There still needs to be long term studies in order to really know actual safety. However, short term studies show that about 25 g of soy protein per day or 100 mg of isoflavones/day. Which is quite a large amount of soy. You must however take caution if you have a history of hormonal or gynecological disease, if you have liver disorder or if you are taking hormone replacement therapy or blood thinners.
Into hummus? Here’s a tasty recipe on edamame hummus you should definitely try from @ohsheglows
Makes 2 heaping cups
· 1 (500g) bag frozen organic shelled edamame (equal to 3 cups thawed/drained)
· 2 garlic cloves, peeled
· 3-4 tbsp fresh lemon juice (I used 4T)
· 1/4 cup tahini (stir well before measuring)
· 2-4 tbsp water, to thin as needed (I used 3T)
· 1/2-1 tsp fine grain sea salt, or to taste (I used 3/4 tsp)
· 1/4 tsp ground coriander seeds, optional
· 1/8th tsp cayenne pepper, optional
· To garnish: smoked paprika, freshly ground black pepper, extra virgin olive oil, edamame
1. If starting with thawed edamame, rinse and drain before using. If starting with frozen edamame, simmer in a pot of water until edamame is heated through. Rinse and drain before using. You can also remove the skins of the edamame for a slightly smoother spread, but I didn’t bother. Set aside a handful of edamame beans for garnish just before serving.
2. With motor running on food processor, drop in 2 garlic cloves to mince.
3. Next, add edamame to processor and process until somewhat smooth, stopping to scrape down the side of the bowl as necessary.
4. Add in the lemon juice, tahini, and water and process again until smooth. Don’t be afraid to let the processor run for a few minutes and get it really smooth!
5. Add salt to taste along with optional cayenne pepper and ground coriander. Process again until combined.
6. Scoop into a serving bowl. Garnish with smoked paprika, freshly ground black pepper, a generous drizzle of olive oil, and reserved edamame. Serve with crostini, toasted pita chips, crudités, and/or crackers.
* to make a lower FODMAP version, omit the garlic cloves
How do you like to use edamame?
There are a few different types of Omega fatty acids. You’ve probably heard of omega-3, omega-6 and omega 9. There a lot of good reasons why we need omega-3 fatty acids. Some of which are for their anti-inflammatory properties and they also might have some cardiovascular function. There are 3 different types of omega-3 fatty acids; Alpha-linoleic Acid (ALA), Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) and Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA). ALA is found in plant based sources such as flax seed, walnuts, and vegetable oils. EPC and DHA can both be found in fish, seafood and marine algae sources. More specifically, fatty or cold water fish have the most omega-3. ALA are considered essential as the body is unable to make them, so you need to consume them. Our bodies can make EPA/DHA, but in such small amounts that we need to eat them too. You need to note that the benefits from omega-3 fatty acids are usually seen with the consumption of EPA/DHA and less with ALA. How much do you need? Men 19 years and older 1.6 grams per day and women 19 years and older 1.1 grams per day. If you were to have 2 servings (75 g) per week of fatty fish, you would meet your needs for the week, especially if you were to have some ALA sources too!
Can’t eat seafood or fish? Aim to get some ALA sources and/or you can take the fish oil supplements. Just remember, you can go over the limit easily with omega-3 supplements; do not go past 2000 mg/day.
Here’s a quick oven baked fish recipe that you can try next time! How do you like to prepare your fish?
Herbed Oven Baked Salmon
Cook Time: 10-15 minutes
12-16 oz Salmon Fillet, cut into 2-3 pieces
1-2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Chopped Fresh Italian Parsley leaves
1 pinch Salt
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1 tsp lemon juice
Pepper to taste
1 – Preheat oven to 400°F
2 – Combine the oil, parsley, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper in a small bowl.
3 – Place cut salmon fillets on a lined baking sheet and spoon on the mixture.
4 – Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until fish can be flaked with a fork.
5 – Serve and enjoy!
I work as a Dietitian and definitely walk the talk. I love to cook and help people get back to being healthy again.