A few years ago, if I said, “hey, wanna snack on some edamame before dinner”, you may have said “eda-whaty?”
Well, now everyone knows what these nutritional powerhouses are …but maybe many of you still don’t know how easy they are to make!!
Before I get into the simple way you can serve these up, let me give you a bit of background on these incredible beans. Edamame are young soy beans that are harvested before they have ripened or hardened and you can buy them shelled or in the pod, in the freezer section of your local grocery store.
They are naturally gluten-free, have a low calorie count, contain no cholesterol, and they are an excellent source of protein, iron, and calcium. They can be an important source of protein for those who follow a plant-based/vegan diet.
According to WebMD, a cup of frozen, prepared edamame beans have:
- 120 calories
- 11 g of complete protein*
- 2.5 g of fat
- 9 g of dietary fiber
- 13 g of carbohydrates (including 3.38 g of sugars)
- 98 mg of calcium
- 3.52 mg of iron
- 99 mg of magnesium
- 262 mg of phosphorus
- 676 mg of potassium
- 9.5 mg of vitamin C
- 482 mg of folate
- 41.4 mcg of vitamin K
* Like meat and dairy, it provides all of the essential amino acids needed in our diet that humans can’t make themselves (and that’s something that most vegetables can’t claim).
One cup of edamame provides 10 percent of an adult’s calcium needs, 16 percent of vitamin C, 20 percent of iron, 52 percent of vitamin K and 121 percent of the daily recommended amount of folate (and Vitamin K and folate are not that easy to get into our daily nutritional requirements).
So now that you’re all caught up on the low-down on edamame, let’s dive deep into how we are going to serve them.
They come frozen, in a bag, and I like to always have a bag with the beans in their pods and another with them shelled (they are great to add to soups). But, today we are going to use the ones that are still in their pods.
Place them in a microwave safe bowl and pop them into the microwave (you can also boil them on the stove top…instructions for both below).
In this recipe, we are going to get the smokey flavour by using bacon fat.
Yup, you heard me…bacon fat!
Now, if you’re vegetarian, you can use olive oil in a pinch (and then add some liquid smoke to get that smokiness) but I always have a jar of bacon fat in the fridge so I thought I’d make use of it here!
And if you haven’t thought about saving your bacon fat, take a peak here for the simple instructions and 18 ways you can use it!!
And, again, if za’atar (which I decided to use today because a good friend of mine sent me a wonderful care package with some fresh Palestinian za’atar!!) isn’t available, sub in any one (or combination of) your favorite spices.
And of course, freshly boiled edamame, whether or not you add anything else, always needs some flaky sea salt!!
This is fast, easy, healthy, and flavourful!
So, if you haven’t pulled out your cast iron pan yet, I have just one question… what are you waiting for??
- 1 bag (about frozen edamame (in their pods)
- 1 tbsp bacon fat (you can substitute olive oil)
- 1 tbsp za'atar (you can sub in any spice of your choice)
- 1 tbsp flaked sea salt
- Cook frozen edamame in the pods in salted boiling water until tender for 5 minutes; drain (alternately, microwave on high for about 4 minutes)
- Heat 1 tablespoon bacon fat (alternately, you can use olive oil) in a cast iron pan over high heat; add the drained edamame (being careful to keep your distance as the bacon fat may splatter a bit if the beans are moist) and cook, stirring often, to char the outsides.
- Sprinkle in your spices and stir the edamame to coat well; squeeze in some lemon juice and serve.