Make Your Spring Soy Easy

They taste and cook like a frozen lima bean. They are the only beans that provides a “complete” protein and have as much fiber as four slices of whole wheat bread. Whoa, now this is nutritious powerhouse! I’m talking about edamame. This superstar bean is a fresh soybean, harvested while the beans are still green and tender. They’re a special bean variety bigger and sweeter than the soybeans grown in most fields here in the great state of Iowa.

In addition to edamame providing fiber and heart-healthy protein, a serving provides vitamins A, B and C and disease-fighting isoflavones. Studies are finding that even one serving of soy per day may help protect a person against many diseases, including heart disease and cancer.

The ease of preparation and flavor of this soy product make it easy for consumers to consider as a side dish in any meal. The flavor of edamame is slightly nutty, similar to a lima bean. Shelled edamame cook like a frozen vegetable, something most consumers with a microwave have cooked already.

Find edamame in the frozen vegetable or produce section of your grocery store available in the pod or shelled. They’re even found in frozen vegetable blends, a great way to introduce the tiny bean and increase protein in your meals.

Try one of these soy delicious sides or the recipe below using edamame:

  • Combine edamame in rice, pasta or vegetable dishes.

  • Add edamame to a three-bean salad.

  • Substitute part edamame for green peas in a pea salad.

  • Add shelled edamame to your favorite jarred salsa.

  • Blend with your favorite ready-made hummus.

  • Toss onto lettuce or spinach salads.

  • Blend cooked edamame with basil, garlic, olive oil and parmesan to make pesto.

Spicy Edamame Hummus


  • 2 cups frozen shelled edamame

  • 4 garlic cloves, un-peeled

  • 1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped

  • 4 Tbsp. olive oil

  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice

  • 1/4 tsp. ground cumin

  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder

  • Dash of salt & pepper


  • Roast garlic in a skillet over medium heat, turning often, for about 15 minutes (or until it turns a golden brown color). Remove cloves from skillet and let cool. Peel off skins and set aside. Meanwhile, bring 8 cups of water to a boil in a large pan. Add frozen shelled edamame to the pan, bring water back to a boil and cook for 5 minutes. Save and set aside 3/4 cup of the water before draining the edamame. Let the edamame cool.

  • Coarsely chop the garlic cloves in a food processor. Add the cooked edamame, cumin, chili powder, salt, and pepper to the food processor and blend. Add the cilantro, lime juice, and olive oil to food processor and pulse to combine with the other ingredients. Add the cooking water that was set aside a little at a time, and process until smooth. *Note: you may not need to add all of the water.

  • Makes 10 servings.

  • NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION Nutrition per serving: 85 calories, 4g protein, 4g carbohydrate, 1.5g dietary fiber, 7.5g fat (1g sat. fat), 4mg sodium

  • Recipe adapted from Sunrich Naturals/National Soyfoods Council:

Blog provided by: Anne Elizabeth Cundiff, RD, LD, FAND


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