Edamame, the Overlooked Legume

Is Edamame A LegumeEdamame is immature soybeans in the pod and has a sweet, nutty and full flavor with a slightly crunchy texture. In Japanese, edamame means “twig bean” because of when and how it’s picked. In Chinese, its name is Maodou, which means “hairy bean”. They are often served in Japanese and Chinese restaurants as an appetizer.

Edamame is rich in carbohydrates, protein, dietary fiber, folates, and vitamin K. They are also high in Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids. On the Glycemic Index it scores a low six.  Edamame beans are the only commonly consumed plant protein that is complete, meaning it contains all of the essential amino acids in sufficient quantities to help meet the body’s requirements.  It is equal in quality to animal proteins and low in saturated fats.

Edamame is in season during the summer months, but can usually be found in the freezer section at the store throughout the year. To prepare it you can boil, or steam them in water and sprinkle with sea salt. They can also be roasted, added to soups, or blended to make delicious hummus and dips.  While on the Amino Diet you can have one serving of beans per day – this can include edamame. Check out this delicious Roasted Edamame Recipe! Enjoy!

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