Edamame is the funny sounding food chosen for this week’s 38 Power Foods blog group. I had been calling it “eda-meem” for at least a year before realizing that it’s pronounced more like “Etta Mom-eh” —eh-dah-ma-meh (e-də-‘mä-mā). This legume is as new to me as it may be to some of you. It has been in the supermarkets for some time now, but somehow it has escaped the fate of my cooking pots. Like peas, it comes in a pod, and some people eat the pod shell as well. It tastes like a cross between a pea and a lima bean, but with a firm bite. You can find edamame in the produce and frozen sections of the grocery market.
You may already know that edamame is the fresh version of a soybean, but you might be wondering, “What makes this legume so good that I should make it a part of my healthy eating habits?” Edamame, or soybeans, contain all the essential animo acids making it a great meat substitute. George Mateljan at WorldsHealthiestFoods says it is considered “meat without bones.” It’s high in protein, iron, tryptophan, omega-3’s, fiber, vitamin K, magnesium, and vitamin B2, as well as other key nutrients.
The evidence isn’t yet in regarding its cancer prevention benefits, and the downside of soy is that 90% of the soybean production in the United States is GMO (genetically modified organism), but you can find non-gmo in the market. Overall it can be intriguing new addition to the dinner table served steamed and sautéed, or added to salads or casseroles. You might really like edamame with spicy pepper and garlic, in the recipe below.
¼ to ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, (depending on your tolerance for heat)
1-½ Tablespoons lemon juice
Salt to taste
1. Place the edamame in the top portion of a double boiler and sprinkle it with ¼ teaspoon of salt, and stir it in well. Place it over the bottom portion of a double boiler filled with water about 1-1/2 inches high. Cover the boiler and cook the edamame 6-8 minutes, or until it is tender.
2. About two minutes before the legumes are ready, get out an 8-inch frying pan and heat the pan to medium high. Add the olive oil and when it is hot enough, add the garlic and cook it for 1 minute, without letting it burn. Add the cayenne and stir it in well, and then add the lemon juice and the edamame. Stir it well, check seasonings and serve it up.
Serving Suggestion: as a side dish to accompany chicken, pork or beef.