20181211_174029This week in Eating through the Alphabet we have finally come to the letter E: edamame!

Edamame is something I first became familiar with through my daughter (funny how that happens). She went off to college and got exposed to a little culture. She started dropping the word edamame into our conversations. Eda what? What is that? She didn’t really know. She only knew that everyone else at school was eating it and that it was good. Soon, I began to hear about edamame everywhere. Like name-dropping, if you even mentioned that you had eaten edamame it elevated you to “cool status”. You might even be revered as a “foodie”.

Shelled edamame is pretty; which is usually enough for me to consider trying a food. But shelled edamame also looks like lima beans. I don’t like lima beans! So as the years went by, I passed up edamame whenever I saw it and I ignored the conversations. But slowly the conversations started to include all of health benefits you gained by eating it. Now this got my attention! So much so that I decided to give it a try. Not only is it nutritious (it is high in protein and fiber, as well as copper and manganese ) but it is also delicious!

You can eat shelled edamame as it is, or you can use it in a multitude of dishes. It’s great in a salad or stir fry, or you can have it seasoned and roasted in the oven. My favorite way is just right out of the pod. Simple, natural, and so good! This week I had it with my spaghetti squash and chicken. I’m on a spaghetti squash kick. I’ve been eating it every week since it came in season–but that’s a topic for another day!

However you chose to eat it, shelling the edamame is an activity the kids are going to love helping with. Cook your pods either by boiling, or steaming in the microwave if you have a mircrowaveable package. Then when they are just warm to the touch, let the fun begin! With a little squeeze, the beans will simply pop right out of the pods. Just be warned, you could have edamame beans flying all over the kitchen!

I am headed to a holiday party this weekend and I am hoping to make an edamame dip to take along. It looks a little like guacamole and if it tastes just as good, I know it will be a hit. Check back next week and I will let you know how it turns out!

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