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Recipe: Spicy Edamame

Soybeans growing on the Angel Family Farm in Goshen, NY

Workin’ the fields of the Black Dirt Region of Orange County, NY and picking soybeans on a rainy August day in 2010 made me think about the thousands of farmers in Asia who have been growing soybeans (edamame) for thousands of years.  Picking soybeans is not easy work – they grow on stalks in clusters of dense, bushy plants.  I would have been better equipped with a flashlight and machete.

Soybeans have been touted in recent years as a nutritional powerhouse, a “superfood” if you will.  I strongly dislike the term superfood.  Mostly because it’s vague, undefined, and its use is unregulated (in other words, it doesn’t mean a thing).

Anyway, don’t get me wrong, nutritionally soy is great – it’s a complete protein with healthy fats, lots of vitamins and minerals.  It’s a lean source of vegetable protein so I’m 100% on board of incorporating soy as part of a healthy diet.  Research indicates that soy may have lots of potential benefits, but let’s be realistic: just like there’s no exercise pill, there’s no superfood.  Just eat ‘em cause they’re delicious (and healthy)!

Spicy Edamame

Serves 3

  • 1 16-oz. bag frozen edamame (in the pod)
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt (choose a colored or flaky salt for this recipe)
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh garlic
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil or toasted sesame oil
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • White or black sesame seeds

Bring a pot of water to boil.  Place the edamame inside a steamer basket and steam for about 4-5 minutes.  While edamame steams, lightly sauté=e oil, garlic, and ginger over medium heat.  Add red pepper flakes and remove from heat.  Shock edamame briefly by running under very cold water.  Place in a bowl with the garlic-ginger oil, sea salt, and toss.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds and a little extra salt.

NUTRITION INFORMATION (in ½ cup of shelled soybeans prepared): 140 calories, 8g fat, 10g carbohydrates, 5g fiber, 13g protein.  This contains no trans or saturated fat.  Edamame is an excellent source of vitamin K, folate and manganese.

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