In Japanese, edamame means “beans on a branch.” These small, bright green veggies are actually soybeans, harvested before they’ve reached full maturity. Edamame has been a part of Asian cuisine for centuries, but it’s recently become wildly popular here in the United States. And for good reason!
Edamame isn’t just tasty, it’s also packed with protein, fiber and healthy fats—and it contains good amounts of vitamin A, vitamin C and iron.
Best of all, edamame is versatile and easy to prepare. You’ll find it in the freezer section of your grocery store, along with the vegetables. It comes in pods (which are pre-boiled and salted) or shelled. If you pick pods, simply thaw the package in your refrigerator overnight, break and squeeze the pods, then pop the beans right into your mouth. Frozen shelled edamame is prepared by boiling for several minutes.
Edamame is also available dry roasted, in plain or flavored varieties. With a crunchy, nutty flavor, dry-roasted edamame is a yummy snack on its own, but it also makes a great addition to soups, salads or casseroles.
Here’s a recipe for a Quick Edamame Snack Mix that’s easy enough for the kids to prepare. Add your favorite snack-mix ingredients to customize it for your family!
Quick Edamame Snack Mix
2 cups dry-roasted, lightly-salted edamame or wasabi edamame
2 cups sweetened banana chips
2 cups unsweetened coconut flakes
2 cups raisins
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup shelled, lightly salted sunflower seeds
Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Package snack mix in ½-cup portions in small, resealable bags.
The Kitchen Diva is Angela Shelf Medearis, a regular guest chef on “The Dr. Oz Show” and “The Today Show.” She is the author of many cookbooks, including, “The Kitchen Diva’s Diabetic Cookbook.” She writes “The Kitchen Diva” blog for Vitacost.com on a weekly basis.