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Cooking Edible Soybeans

by Natalie Smith

If you are looking for another option for a fresh, healthy snack or food, soybeans may be your answer. Fresh yellow or green soybeans, also known as edamame, have been enjoyed as a healthy snack for centuries in Japan. Your family will love their fresh, savory taste, and you can feel confident that you are serving them a snack that is nutritious.

Nutritional Value

Soy beans are nutritious as well as flavorful. Soybeans and soybean products such as tofu are a complete protein, which means that they can be substituted for meat in a meal. Soybeans are a rich source of potassium, calcium, magnesium, sulfur and phosphorous. Soybeans also contain vitamins A and E, as well as a variety of B vitamins. In addition to all of these benefits, soybeans are also low in fat. All of this translates to good nutrition for your family.

Options for Cooking

You can prepare soybeans in a variety of ways. This versatility is especially beneficial for children, who become tired of eating the same snacks. You can boil fresh soybeans either in the pods or you can boil them for three minutes and then remove the beans from the shells. You can cook soybeans in salted water to make soy nuts, which can be enjoyed like peanuts. Soynuts can be enjoyed as is or roasted for a crispier finish. Dust roasted soynuts with a light coating of dry dressing or dip mix for a flavor jolt.

Serving Suggestions

Cooked soybeans can be served in a variety of ways. Enjoy the soybeans straight out of the pod as a healthy snack, or combine them with rice or lentils to make a hearty side dish. If you prefer crunchy soy nuts, bake them for a few minutes in soy sauce or in a light coating of olive oil and garlic powder for an added punch of flavor. Be careful not to add too much oil or salt or you may add unneeded fat or sodium to your family's diet.

Storing

Cooked soybeans can be refrigerated and covered for up to three days or frozen for up to six months. They lose some of their crispness after thawing, but you should still be able to use them to make a bean salad with creamy light dressing or in a dish that combines them with other foods. Store soy nuts in a resealable plastic bag or airtight container. They will keep fresh for up to six months if they are stored in a cool, dry place.

About the Author

Natalie Smith is a technical writing professor specializing in medical writing localization and food writing. Her work has been published in technical journals, on several prominent cooking and nutrition websites, as well as books and conference proceedings. Smith has won two international research awards for her scholarship in intercultural medical writing, and holds a PhD in technical communication and rhetoric.

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