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Food in focus: edamame


What is edamame?

Edamame (pronounced “eh-dah-MAH-may”) is the immature version of a soybean and has been around for almost 2000 years. First originating in China, the legume was introduced into Japan and has now made its way onto plates all around the world.

What makes edamame good for you?

These small green beans aren’t just trendy for being tasty, they also pack a nutritious punch, being both a source of plant-based iron and protein. As a product of soy, they also contain all the health creds of their super soy family, including high quality protein, being high in fibre, and containing protective phytoestrogens.

The protein found in edamame contains all 9 essential amino acids, making it a complete plant protein – just one cup of cooked edamame provides almost 20 grams of protein, and 20% of your daily recommended intake of iron.

The protein, fibre and isoflavones found in soy products like edamame can also help to keep your heart happy and healthy, protect against cancers of the breast, prostate and bowel, and can reduce symptoms of menopause.

Must have for bowls and salads

Adding edamame to your bowls is a great way to add fibre, iron, protein and a multitude of other nutrients including folate and manganese to your meal. Their nutty flavour and buttery but chewy texture is a compliment other flavours and textures.

How to buy edamame

The easiest way to buy edamame is frozen. Most local and Asian supermarkets will stock frozen edamame. To prepare, simply cook them inside their pods in a pot of boiling water for 3-5 minutes. Place the pods in ice cold water to cool and then drain the water, pop the beans from the pods with a simple squeeze (a great job for the kids) and serve either sprinkled through a bowl, in salads, stir-fries or simply tossed with olive oil and sea salt for a speedy yet delicious snack.