Edamame is hard to say but easy (and nutritious) to eat

Edamame is a fun to eat snack or a great addition to a meal. This superfood is high in protein, fiber, and several nutrients which makes it a healthy choice.

Edamame (pronounced ed-ah-MAH-may) is becoming more popular in the United States as a snack food, vegetable side or part of the main dish. It originates from the Japanese culture where edamame means “beans on a branch”. They may also be called green soybeans in the U.S. because essentially that is what they are: soybeans that are picked while still green. This gives them a sweeter taste and different flavor than mature soybeans.

No matter what you call it, edamame is a healthy choice for a snack or part of a meal. It is often referred to as a super vegetable because it is the only vegetable that has all nine of the essential amino acids that the body does not produce. It is low in calories (about 110 calories for one ½ cup serving), low in fat and sugar, cholesterol free, and high in protein, fiber and many nutrients.

Generally edamame is available still in the pod in the frozen food section of the grocery store. You may also find dry roasted edamame or even shelled edamame in the frozen food aisle. To eat as a snack, simply thaw the edamame in the refrigerator overnight, defrost in the microwave or boil on the stove (follow the directions on the package). Pop the beans out of the pod to eat. They can be eaten warm or cold, whatever you prefer. The shell is not edible. You can also add edamame to soups, casseroles or even salads. Because edamame are so high in protein, this is a delicious and easy way to provide protein in a meatless meal. The Soy Foods Council has a recipe database where you can find recipes that include edamame.

For more information on the background, nutrient content and methods of preparing edamame you can view this short educational video or check out this fact sheet. Try adding edamame to your diet as a healthy and fun to eat snack or as a great addition to meals. Enjoy!

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