Top 5 Ways to Use Edamame

You probably know edamame as one of your favorite starter courses at a Japanese restaurant, but it’s so much more than that! Essentially the fresh green soybean, edamame is a wholesome, versatile food packed with star nutrients. The soybean originated in Southeast Asia, and was cultivated by the Chinese as early as 1100 BC. Soybeans quickly became a key food in traditional Japanese, Chinese, and Korean diets. You can find edamame in the shell or shelled at most supermarkets (fresh or frozen), and it makes a fabulous, nutrient-rich ingredient in so many dishes, such as stews, salads, curry dishes, stir-fries, pasta dishes, veggie burgers, grain bowls, hummus, and more.

Frozen edamame in the shell.

Soybeans contain a bounty of vitamins, minerals, and important nutrients. A one-cup serving has just 189 calories, but packs a hefty 32% DV (based on 2,000 calories per day) of dietary fiber, 34% DV of protein, and an impressive 121% DV of the B vitamin, folate. A number of studies have found that soyfoods are beneficial for health. One reason is soy’s ability to lower cholesterol and promote heart health. Soy also contains isoflavones, a type of phytoestrogen that has been researched for its benefits for bone health and osteoporosis, certain cancers, and hot flashes in postmenopausal women. While some previous animal studies associated soy intake with breast cancer risk, newer research has been favorable. The American Institute for Cancer Research reports that consuming up to two or three servings per day of soy products is safe for everyone, including breast cancer survivors, and may even be protective.

Check out how to make this Green Goddess Bowl with edamame here.

Edamame Nutrient Buzz

1 cup edamame
Calories 189
Dietary fiber 8 g (32% DV)
Protein 17 g (34% DV)
Vitamin K 41 mcg (52% DV)
Thiamin 0.3 mcg (21% DV)
Folate 482 mcg (121% DV)
Iron 3.5 mg (20% DV)
Manganese  1.6 mg (79% DV)

DV=Daily Value, g=grams, mcg=micrograms, mg=milligrams

I have so many recipes starring edamame on my blog, such as Mediterranean Edamame Quinoa Bowls and Edamame Bok Choy Brown Rice Bowl. And I’m excited to share with you one of my latest recipes on edamame: this aromatic, flavorful Edamame Masala Brown Basmati Rice Bowl. Don’t forget to check out my video on how to prepare this recipe here.


Top 5 Ways to Use Edamame

Sesame Red Chard Salad with Edamame and Brown Rice  

1. Toss into Salads. One of my favorite ways to use edamame is in salads. It goes well with any plant-based ingredients—try a variety of fresh greens, seasonal veggies, and whole grain favorites, like farro and brown rice. Edamame is also my absolute go-to way to up the protein in salads. One cup of edamame packs 17 grams of protein!

Mediterranean Edamame Quinoa Bowl

2. Build a Bowl. One of the simplest and most creative ways to serve a meal is in a bowl! The possibilities are limitless, the ingredients are for the taking, or not—each one is completely personalized and made to order. Edamame is the ideal component for any kind of bowl, especially those with global flair. Try them in a burrito bowl, my Edamame Bok Choy Rice Bowl or my spin on the Indian dish Chana Masala—Edamame Masala Brown Basmati Rice Bowl.

Blend edamame into a classic hummus.

3. Whir into Hummus. I love stirring up new flavors of hummus. Edamame is a great way to expand beyond the chickpea because it has a greener, brighter flavor and an absolutely gorgeous pastel green hue. Start with a basic hummus recipe swapping out part of the chickpeas for edamame and using tahini, lemon juice, and garlic—then taste and adjust as you go. I like to throw in a little parsley or cilantro or other garden herbs. Serve as a dip for cut veggies or whole grain crackers, or as a spread for sandwiches.

Edamame Ancient Grain Veggie Burgers

4. Put it in a Patty. Home-made veggie burgers are the way to go. Not only are you serving a patty filled with nutrient-rich whole plants—try quinoa, walnuts, oats, carrots, flax and of course, edamame!—but you control exactly what you put into them. What’s more, they’re super easy, can be made ahead, and they fit right into the lunchbox all week long. Serve with dipping sauce, and your family’s favorite burger accompaniments—lettuce, tomato, pickle, onion, and avocado.

5. Serve ‘em Straight Up! As much as edamame will enhance the meal you serve it in, there is nothing so perfect as eating them straight out of the shell. Boil, steamed, or even microwaved, all you need is a bag of frozen edamame, a pot or bowl with water, and a little salt or seasoning of choice. Serve warm or at room temp and enjoy the easy shelling and pop-able deliciousness of these little soybeans.

Get to know more about how to use plant foods in the following guides:

Top 5 Ways to Use Sweet Potatoes
Top 5 Ways to Use Quinoa
Top 5 Ways to Use Brown Rice

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