This nutritious, colorful and delicious edamame salad is especially popular during the summer! The craisins and balsamic vinegar give the salad a wonderful sweetness, and the carrot a bit of a crunch. We love the different textures in this salad! This dish is great for parties since you make it the day before to allow the flavors to blend overnight in the refrigerator. You might want to double the recipe as this edamame salad goes fast!
Edamame, Chickpea and Craisin Salad with Feta Cheese
- 2 cups frozen shelled edamame Defrosted in the microwave and cooled completely
- 1 15 oz can chickpeas
- 2 cups dried cranberries (craisins)
- 1 large carrot, chopped into small pieces
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar more if desired
- 1 1/2 cups fresh feta cheese
- salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Combine edamame, chickpeas, craisins, carrots, olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
- gently break up feta cheese and add to salad. Toss altogether
- Refrigerate overnight to allow flavors to blend
- Add salt and fresh pepper to taste.
- Add additional balsamic vinegar if desired.
- Serve and enjoy!
Interesting Facts About Edamame
Edamame are young soybeans that are harvested before they fully mature and are a popular and nutritious snack. Here are some interesting facts about edamame:
- Ancient Origins: Edamame has been cultivated in East Asia for over two millennia, with origins traced back to ancient China.
- Nutrient-Rich: They are a nutritional powerhouse, packed with protein, fiber, vitamins (such as folate and vitamin K), and minerals (like manganese and iron).
- Complete Protein Source: Edamame is unique among plant-based foods because it contains all nine essential amino acids, making it a complete protein source.
- Low in Calories: They are relatively low in calories, making them a healthy snack option. A one-cup serving of cooked edamame contains around 188 calories.
- Heart-Healthy: Edamame is known for its heart-healthy properties. It contains a high amount of soy isoflavones, which may help lower cholesterol levels.
- Antioxidant-rich: These young soybeans are rich in antioxidants like flavonoids, which help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals.
- Vitamin K: Edamame is an excellent source of vitamin K, which is essential for blood clotting and bone health.
- Phytoestrogens: Edamame contains phytoestrogens called isoflavones, which are thought to have potential health benefits, including a reduced risk of certain cancers and menopausal symptoms.
- Versatile: Edamame can be enjoyed in various ways, including boiled, steamed, sautéed, or even roasted. They are often served as an appetizer in Japanese restaurants.
- Sustainability: Soybeans, the main ingredient in edamame, are considered a sustainable crop due to their ability to fix nitrogen in the soil, reducing the need for synthetic fertilizers.
- Culinary Uses: Edamame pods are typically steamed or boiled, and once cooked, they are often sprinkled with salt. The beans can be popped out of the pods and eaten as a snack or added to salads, stir-fries, and other dishes.
- GMO Concerns: There has been some controversy surrounding genetically modified (GMO) soybeans in recent years. However, most edamame on the market is non-GMO, and organic varieties are also available for those who prefer them.
- Allergenic Potential: Individuals with soy allergies should exercise caution when consuming edamame, as they can trigger allergic reactions in some people.
- Global Popularity: Edamame has gained popularity worldwide and is not limited to East Asian cuisine. It is often found in health-conscious and vegetarian dishes.
- Variety: While edamame is typically associated with green soybeans, there are also other varieties, such as black and yellow edamame, which have slightly different flavor profiles.
Remember that edamame is a healthy addition to your diet, but like any food, it should be consumed in moderation as part of a balanced and varied diet.