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The Humble Edamame

There is always a kind of food that you want on a rainy day, when you are feeling low or when you miss home. For me, edamame is definitely one of those foods. Eda-mame (meaning bean-branch in Japanese) - is basically the immature bean. Or you may simply call it baby soybean. It's such a humble food. I can easily recall those days craving snacks after school. Mum would boil me a big bowl of soybeans, sprinkled with sea salt. The best part was I could shell them myself and consume them in front of the TV. I’m glad we never had the choice of crisps or chocolate and my own children crave this healthy snack from time to time after school too. 

They don't look fancy but they are so super nutritious. Here's what you'll find in a half-cup serving of shelled edamame (or 1 1/8 cup edamame in the pods):

  • 120 calories

  • 9 grams fibre

  • 2.5 grams fat

  • 1.5 grams polyunsaturated fat (0.3 grams plant omega-3 fatty acids)

  • 0.5 gram monounsaturated fat

  • 11 grams protein

  • 13 grams carbohydrate

  • 15 mg sodium

  • 10% of the daily value for vitamin C

  • 10% daily value for iron

  • 8% daily value for vitamin A

  • 4% daily value for calcium

Just snacking on a handful of these little soybeans, you will have already taken a good portion of fibre, protein, iron and vitamins and minerals. A small serving of edamame gives you a bunch of fibre - 9 grams – nearly the same as 4 slices of wholewheat bread. It also has as much protein as it does carbohydrate.  And for a plant food, you won’t believe that the iron level equals a chicken breast.

We had a taster session in Bridges yesterday with staff and customers. Some people will know edamame well, especially if you’ve been to Japanese restaurants; this is normally the starter put in front of you when you are waiting for your main course. But some customers were unsure how to eat it. Well, just a reminder - you are not supposed to eat the pod, only the beans. We all burst out laughing when the beans were squeezed and flew out of the pods and landed on the floor – guaranteed to give you a smile. The challenge is to learn the skills to squeeze all beans into your mouth without dropping any.

Although we normally consume them in their natural state, we also decided to create a recipe that fits in with Bridges' healthy lunchtime choices.  So except to see edamame on the menus as a side dish or buy individual portion of pods to snack on or take away. We have also created our own ‘Edamame Hummus’ for our customers to enjoy on our artisan bread.

The Bridges Hummus unique to us and we will improve the recipe based on your feedback.  Please give it a go and let us know what you think!

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