Tag Archives: Saturated Fat

Feature Food: Edamame-The “Twig Bean”

14 Oct

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Beginning Old Post: As my first feature food of the month, I thought it appropriate to feature my favorite snack from the country I am currently calling home: Japan! A staple in Japanese bento lunch boxes, edamame translates into “twig bean”. By harvesting it with a small portion of stem at the end of the pod, it’s that much easier to hold when popping the beans out into your mouth.

Edamame comes with a satisfaction guarantee thanks to the whopping 6 grams of fiber per cup of edamame bean (hulled). Fiber is crucial to maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system as it helps flush excess cholesterol from the body. Cholesterol is a component of plaque, the “nasty” that likes to stick to the walls of damaged arteries, causing narrowing and constriction.

As a plant-based protein it is a great alternative to animal protein, helping reduce your overall saturated fat intake. 1 cup of (hulled) edamame contains 12g of protein which ranks well against other popular plant based proteins (chickpeas: 6 grams, black beans: 15 grams, and lentils 12 grams, per cup serving).

I am not a huge advocator of processed soy, so it’s important to make the distinction and recognize that edamame is the whole food, the unprocessed soybean. Buying organic edamame will also help to ensure the cultivation of the bean contains no added toxins (in the form of fertilizers and herbicides), and is not genetically modified. Soy is one of the most commonly genetically modified foods available today. Minimizing toxins in the diet helps to minimize the potential for arterial damage.

Happy tasting, and check out “The Hearty Heart” again soon, or subscribe via email for a few sample recipes involving edamame to come through out the month. To get your taste buds going, I’ll leave you with these teasers: edamame hummus; edamame & artichoke dip; edamame-feta-pesto and soba noodle pasta; edamame salsa; edamame spinach & egg scramble…I can’t post them all, so let me know if there’s one you really want to learn!

For edamame novices: It’s found in the frozen section of most chain grocers, Asian supermarkets, or natural food stores, you can buy it shelled or unshelled. Super simple preparation involves adding the desired serving size to gently boiling water, and continuing to simmer for a max of 5 min’s. The bean will be tender when ready, or the pod will begin to soften. Rinse, and try seasoning with a really light pinch of sea salt and/or pepper, or I like to dip mine in Tamari Soy Sauce. If you’ve never eaten it in the pod before, place the whole pod in your mouth-holding it by the “twig” or stem-and gently release the beans with your teeth.

Nutritional Information:

For a breakdown of all nutrients available from edamame, please visit the following link: