As I had told before, Japanese cuisine is my latest gastronomical crush and one of my favorite appetizer to order is a bowl of steamed "Edamame in the pod". "Edamame"- the name itself sounds fancy and delicious. I bet nobody would be excited to try "unripe soy beans, still in their pods". But call them "Edamame", and people would at least be curious to try them. They look similar to the sweets pea in a pod that we find back in India but they are crunchy, nutty and oh-so-buttery!
And wait till I tell you about its nutritional value. Here's what "diabetes.about.com" has to say: "What's notable is that the protein and carbohydrate content are virtually equivalent, the fat is low, and the fiber is high. And while the protein profile of edamame doesn't include all nine essential amino acids (most vegetarian protein options don't), as far as total nutrient balance, edamame is a nearly perfect food choice for anyone. It is a great meal component or snack food choice for diabetics who need to be especially mindful of nutrient balance."
How's that for starters! Wait there is more; a half-cup serving of shelled Edamame or 1¼ cup Edamame in the pods has:
9 grams fiber
2.5 grams fat
1.5 grams polyunsaturated fat (0.3 grams plant omega-3 fatty acids)
0.5 gram monounsaturated fat
11 grams protein
13 grams carbohydrate
15 mg sodium
10% of the Daily Value for vitamin C
10% Daily Value for iron
8% Daily Value for vitamin A
4% Daily Value for calcium
"As you can see, that little serving of Edamame gives you a bunch of fiber: 9 grams, about the same amount you'll find in 4 slices of whole-wheat bread or 4 cups of steamed zucchini. It has almost as much protein as it does carbohydrate. It contains around 10% of the Daily Value for two key antioxidants; vitamins C and A. And for a plant food, it's quite high in iron; it has about as much as a 4-ounce roasted chicken breast." Source here.
To conclude: Edamame or any Soy product for that matter is extremely heart healthy and good for you. However anything, even good stuff, in excess is not good. Too much of soy product in your diet has been linked to thyroid disorder and thyroid cancer. So moderation is the key.
I have penned down my RnD about Edamame, in case you wish to know more about this yummy legume, there is a whole world of Google Search waiting for you!
Now, lets discuss the delicious aspect of the Edamame. As I told before, they are crispy, buttery and has a nutty flavor. They are found in the frozen section, both shelled and in the pods. Personally, I like to buy them in pods, and then steaming them and squeezing beans out of pods with fingers, straight into my mouth. They are a great as it is but when added to stir-fries, salad, soups and stews, they boost up the protein and fiber factor and takes the dish to another level
Few days ago I made this simple Lo Mein/ Noodle dish with whole-wheat thin spaghetti, red pepper and Edamame and it was delicious. Here is how I made it:
As told in the beginning of this post, this recipe is packed with loads protein, fiber and good carbohydrates, not to mention tonnes of flavor and deliciousness and low on saturated fats. What more can you expect from your lunch/dinner!