An “All You Can Eat” to be proud of…

21 Oct

Please Note: This site has moved to it’s own home at: http://www.theheartyheart.com/

You can find this article in it’s new home here

Beginning Old Post: Last weekend, at a Staff Appreciation Party here in Tokyo, much to my delight there was an “all you can eat” menu item to make a Nutritionist proud! It was this month’s feature food: Edamame.

Being full of fiber, edamame is beneficial in flushing excess cholesterol from the body. It is also capable of amping up key antioxidants that promote the repair of damaged arteries. Edamame contains 16% of your daily vitamin C, a great antioxidant and also 11% of your daily zinc intake, a great detoxifying mineral.

Edamame is also high in folate (vitamin B9), crucial for regulating homocysteine levels in the blood. Homocysteine is an amino acid of which high levels have been implicated in cardiovascular disease and stroke. Edamame contains 91% of your daily folate needs. Click here for expanded nutritional information.

During the party a colleague of mine let me in on her favorite way to prepare edamame and it sounds delicious, (“Oishi”). She recommends tossing your steamed (in-pod) edamame in a bit of oil as a base, some crushed or chopped garlic, a bit of dried red chili peppers, and perhaps a light sprinkle of sea salt. I can see licking my fingers clean after that!

 

A note on the ingredients above, and those listed in the recipe links to follow:

  • Using sea salt (lightly) has amazing nourishing properties. My friend and fellow runner Christy, introduced me to Himilayan Sea Salt, it’s a front runner (excuse the pun) in my cabinet. Salt is a crucial electrolyte for transmitting nerve impulses (like a heart beat) properly. It works in synergy with potassium. (http://www.naturalnews.com/028724_Himalayan_salt_sea.html)
  • Garlic is a fantastic immune boosting herb, is anti fungal, anti bacterial and a great detoxifier.
  • Spicy/hot peppers, even in moderation, are great for boosting circulation.
  • Any oils you consume should preferably be unrefined. Sesame oil would be a traditional variety, great for edamame. When choosing oils in general, always favor oils stored in dark, glass bottles to avoid rancidity.

I thought of a few more combinations for this simple toss and serve preparation. Let me know if you try out any other winners!

  • Maple syrup and cinnamon
  • Ground sesame seeds and nutritional yeast flakes
  • Ginger with lemon or lime juice
  • Tamari soy sauce (wheat free) and umeboshi plum paste

Thanks to some reader requests, and with the addition of a few of my favorites too, I’ve included below a few more creative ways to incorporate edamame into your diet:

Edamame Hummus:

C/O: http://whatscookingamerica.net/Appetizers/EdamameHummus.htm

*Remember to use unrefined oil, sea salt (instead of table salt) and I would nix the microwave and opt for the stovetop preparation of the edamame beans.

 

Black Bean and Edamame Salad:

C/O: http://www.wellfedheart.com/2010/black-bean-and-edamame-salad/

*I personally would trade the sugar for a whole food sweetener like maple syrup or honey. Don’t forget to use unrefined oils and sea salt instead too. I love that they recommended rinsing all the canned beans in the recipe too. There’s a lot of excess sodium in canned products, I always rinse mine. This website is another great resource for heart health advocates to bookmark.

 

Edamame & Pesto Pasta:

C/O: http://www.thekitchn.com/thekitchn/main-dish/quick-supper-chewy-farro-pasta-with-edamame-pesto-114591

*To make this recipe even more Japanese, you could use soba or udon noodles. I like soba, as it based from buckwheat flour (a whole grain). Alternatively a whole grain/whole wheat pasta noodle of your choice would be great!

 

Edamame Veggie Burger:

C/O: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/edamame-veggie-burger-recipe/index.html

*The ingredients may not be those you tend to have on hand, but some high quality additions to your pantry if you do source them out. An Asian supermarket would have most of these (i.e. mirin, sea salt etc…), if not your local natural food store.

 

If you’re just joining “The Hearty Heart” and you missed the original juice on why edamame is a “Hearty Food”, have a look at the first post for the background flavor…Click here.

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