Chef Aran's Featured Item of the Week
Edamame is a green vegetable commonly known as a soybean. The word Edamame means "Beans on Branches” and was first introduced into the English language in 1890 when C.C. Georgeson, Professor of Agriculture at Kansas State University, used the term to describe this product being imported.
Soybean domestication first occurred in China during the Zhou Dynasty in 664 BC, yet there are over 40 varieties of Edamame grown in the United States today. Though similar to common soybeans, Edamame differs in many ways.
Edamame is harvested at the peak of ripening. They are sweet in flavor, yet they taste crisp and fresh. Edamame is often eaten as a snack, a vegetable dish, or used in soups or other dishes where its sweet flavor and ripe texture can enhance the dish. The edible part of the plant is the seed which is encased in an inedible pod. To remove these sweet tasting beans, you lightly squeeze the pod open and the beans will pop out.
a great amount of Nutrition in such a little package
Edamame is very nutritious and is one of the few vegetables known to contain all the essential amino acids and Omega 3. It contains calcium, which not only builds strong bones and teeth, but also helps prevent heart disease and colon cancer. A serving of Edamame contains 130 mg of calcium, nearly as much as 1/2 a cup of milk.
Other nutritional information for a serving of Edamame:
- Iron = 22% of a man’s recommended dietary allowance, and 15% of a woman’s. Carries oxygen throughout the body so the brain and muscles work optimally, preventing fatigue.
- Potassium = 485 mg. Makes for a regular heartbeat and normalizes blood pressure.
- Folate = 25% of the adult recommended dietary allowance. Folate is a B-vitamin that helps fight heart disease and prevent certain birth defects.
- Magnesium = 62 mg
- Phosphorus = 170 mg
- Vitamin C = 27 mg
- Edamame also contains Niacin, Beta Carotene, Folic Acid, B1, B2, B6, Vitamin E, and Vitamin K.
Some people are allergic to soy products including Edamame. Up to 8% of children in the United States are allergic to soy proteins. The major soy allergen has been identified by scientists at the USDA, and soybean varieties without the allergenic protein have been developed.
In Dining Services, we use Edamame not only on our Salad Bar as a topping for salads, but also in vegetable dishes, soups, entrees, and side dishes. Look for them on the menu throughout the semester and this week at the Salad Bar at Tobey-Kendel Dining Room & Holmes Dining Hall!
Executive Chef Aran Essig, CEC, CCA
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