SHAZAM! After eating a bowl of fresly-picked Edamame for breakfast yesterday, my body hummed with energy for the next 6 hours. And no wonder — these deliciously sweet, crunchy, nutty soybeans are powerhouses of nutrition:
Serving Size: 1/2 Cup
9 grams fiber
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
My trial crop of Edamame ‘Be Sweet’ was easily achieved. In early June, after the ground warmed to about 70 degrees (soybeans dislike cold soil), I planted seeds 4 inches apart in a raised bed. Now, at summer’s end, and about 85 days after planting, these have grown into 8-inch tall plants, each bearing about 75 pods. You want to harvest the pods while they are still green, and the beans within are plump, like those pictured up top.
If you can’t grow your own soybeans, by all means seek them out at farm stores and farmer’s markets. Buy only those which have been kept under refrigeration; they perish rapidly after harvest. Harvest time is late August through September.
To prepare pods for eating, blanch them whole in boiling, salted water for exactly 5 minutes. Then transfer to a cold water bath for 1 minute. Next, pull the nub on the stem-end of a pod to releasing a locking string. Once opened, beans are easily dislodged with a flick of the thumb.
Fresh soybeans are wonderful when turned into salads, pasta-sauces and dips. But if you want a long-lasting energy bang, one that alleviates your desire for between-meal snacking, it’s probably best to enjoy them in their natural state. Trust me, they are delicious all on their own. I plan to eat them for breakfast every day until my harvest runs out, or at least until I’ve lost 10 pounds!
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