Snack time...poppers!

>> Tuesday, January 13, 2009

My son is pretty picky - especially when it comes to vegetables. He would rather be hungry than snack on raw carrots. He would rather go without dinner than face a stick of raw celery. But one vegetable he happily snacks on - even asks for - is edamame.

For those of you who haven't experienced edamame before, it's a simple but wonderful thing. Edamame is young soybeans - soybeans harvested before they start to harden when they are but wee babes - that are typically boiled in water, maybe with a little salt added.


Soybeans are an excellent source of molybdenum, and a very good source of manganese and protein. They're also a good source of iron, omega 3 fatty acids, fiber, magnesium, riboflavin, and potassium - just to name a few. Soy may have other health benefits as well, such as helping to maintain a good cholesterol level and keeping bones strong and dense, though it's doubtful that snacking on a handful of edamame alone is going to have a significant effect on your cholesterol level or bone density.

I'd be remiss if Ididn't mention concerns about excessive soy consumption - such as increased levels of phytoestrogens, or isoflavones (found in abundance in soy foods), in infants consuming soy formula and isoflavones' effect on thyroid function. Again, those may be valid concerns if soy is a big portion of your diet, but a snack of edamame every now and then isn't likely to impact your thyroid function.

We call edamame "poppers" because you pop the beans out of the shell straight into your mouth. Poppers is a lot easier for a little one to say than edamame, and it makes eating beans a lot more fun.

You can boil, microwave, or steam edamame for a tasty treat. I like to buy plain, no-salt added, frozen edamame in the shell and boil for 5 min. I used to add salt to the pods at the end, but I've discovered that we all like it just as well without the salt. It is good with a light sprinkling of flaky sea salt, but I leave that to our visits to the sushi bar.

If you have a picky eater - adult or child - give these a try! They're fun, tasty, and good for you to boot!

21 comments:

MizFit January 13, 2009 at 6:09 AM  

we adore those around here too.
I like mine with too much salt---but youll have that :)

laura January 13, 2009 at 6:52 AM  

This takes me back to shelling peas as a kid, one of my favorite things ever. I had no idea you could buy the whole edamame pods frozen, will definitely look for those.

Meg January 13, 2009 at 7:12 AM  

I love edamame! Love the name "poppers"!

Blake January 13, 2009 at 8:06 AM  

been awhile since I had any of these. Thanks for the reminder of how they can be an easy snack.

James Hubbard M.D. M.P.H. January 13, 2009 at 10:42 AM  

My wife loves them. Me? not so much.

Super Healthy Kids January 13, 2009 at 11:26 AM  

We actually haven't tried these. I have been wanting to. Thanks for the reminder. I'll put them on my grocery list today.

Mark January 13, 2009 at 12:21 PM  

Yummy! Even my kiddos love those! Thank you!

Anya January 13, 2009 at 1:36 PM  

I just discovered edamame last year. It is so delish!

TwinToddlersDad January 13, 2009 at 4:18 PM  

Edamame is our favorite too, though we haven't yet tried them for our twins. We like them very much in our salads. We will definitely give it a shot!

Are you worried about a choking hazard with them? We keep a close eye on our twins when we offer them peas, and grapes.

Lori January 13, 2009 at 8:45 PM  

I love edamame. A friend of mine lives in a smaller city outside of where we lived in KY. She had a farmer in town that would bring her the pods still on the plants. I love them fresh like that and boiled with salt water.

Dare you to say molybdenum three times fast. Ha, ha! I hadn't seen much of that nutrient in a while. It made me laugh with thoughts of trying to say it in my nutrition courses. Never could get it right.

cathy January 14, 2009 at 11:41 AM  

Laura - I shelled peas as a kid, too. I can't say it was one of my favorite pastimes, though! :)

TwinToddlersDad - I wouldn't have DREAMED of giving edamame to my son (now 5) before he was 3. My daughter (now 2.5), though, has handled foods better at an earlier age and being the second gets to do things earlier than my son. She does fine with them. You have to decide what your comfort level is for your own kids!

Lori - fresh edamame? Yum! My father grew up around soybeans - they grew them on my grandfather's land - but they would never have dreamed of eating them the way we eat edamame. He had some for the first time last summer. He liked it but wasn't blown away by it.

Jenna January 14, 2009 at 4:08 PM  

the boys both love edamamme! great post, they are so nutrient dense and have tons of kid appeal. kids love opening their food, i think that's part of the appeal with processed food/candy. bananas, eggs and edamamme are all great natural foods to unwrap!

Sagan January 14, 2009 at 8:36 PM  

Love edamame! My favorite sushi place gives them as a free appetizer. Mmm.

fatfighter January 15, 2009 at 8:25 AM  

For some reason, I always love these when I have them at a restaurant, but not when I make them at home. Don't know why - maybe I don't use enough salt.

Mom and Kiddo January 19, 2009 at 11:35 PM  

Kiddo also loves Edamame! I think it is the popping action!

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