[dropcap style=”font-size: 60px; color: #9b9b9b;”] N[/dropcap]ow that I have a toddler in the house, I’m very well acquainted with the degree of difficulty involved with getting said toddler to eat anything green.
Fortunately Fergal loves peas, so I always keep our freezer well stocked. But there are only so many times you can serve up peas each week. So I’ve been on the lookout for a Fergal-friendly green veg alternative.
And I’ve found a real beauty!
Yep. Edamame are our new family favourite veg.
What are edamame?
Basically they’re fresh soy beans still in their pod. I always have some when I go to Japanese restaurants. They’re usually served in their pods and you just pop out the little beans inside and discard the pods.
They’re a vibrant bright green and have a lovely sweet, mild fresh beany flavour. Fergal loves them and so do my Irishman and I. So they’re definitely for adults too!
Where can I get them?
Try your supermarket freezer near the frozen pea section. My local supermarket stocks them but it’s pretty large. The next best place to look would be an Asian or Japanese grocery store.
What can I substitute if I can’t find them?
Frozen peas or broad beans would be the closet thing. Or I guess fresh snow peas or sugar snap peas where you eat the pod as well.
Are frozen veg as good for you as fresh?
Absolutely! Freezing is pretty good for keeping most of the nutrients intact. I’ve even seen studies where the nutritional content of frozen veg was better than unfrozen veg that was getting on the ‘old’ side.
What about you?
What’s your favourite frozen veg? I’d love to hear in the comments below.
This is really more of an idea than an actual recipe. I usually make these for Fergal (and me!) to snack on while I get dinner ready.
Enough for: 1-2 as a snack
Takes: 5 minutes
1-2 handfuls frozen edamame
1 handful grated parmesan
1. Bring a small pot of water to the boil (I usually use the kettle).
2. Add edamame straight from the freezer. Simmer for 2 minutes.
3. Drain and pop in a serving dish (if you want them to cool down quickly for small hungry mouths run under the cold tap for a bit).
4. Remove edamame from their pods and discard pods. Sprinkle with parmesan and enjoy!
different veg / no edamame – broad beans are great (remove from the pods, simmer 2 mins and peel papery skins before eating). Or try parmesan peas (I just heat in a pan with a little butter until no longer frozen).
dairy-free / vegan – serve edamame with sea salt flakes instead of the parmesan.
more substantial – you can use the podded edamame anywhere you’d normally use frozen peas such as in soups or salads or fried rice. But since they’re a bit labour intensive I just stick to using them as a snack.
herby – add a few torn mint or basil leaves.
short on attention span – I often just cover the frozen edamame with boiling water from the kettle and leave to stand while I do other things.
For the next update in the Jules & David project:
Menu 8. Slightly All-American
And on ‘The Yellow Bench’ What I Eat, by Fergal 18 months old.
I thought I would share, I use frozen shelled edamame, frozen cut green beans, frozen corn and cut up fresh tomatoes with some olive oil (or sesame), salt and pepper, and garlic powder. Cook til veggies are done, rinse in cold water,add seasoning and chill or serve at room temp. Enjoy!
Thanks for sharing Dori!
I haven’t ventured into the frozen corn or beans yet… Will have to try them! I’m curious.. Why do you rinse the veg before seasoning?
My 21 month old daughter loves frozen edamame because she is teething. No cooking, just out of the bag!
Great idea Katie!
My new favourite frozen veg is fava beans. The grocery chain where I live in California sells them already cooked and shelled, so it’s easy to add them to stir-fry or salad. Makes a nice change from edamame, and without the childhood nightmares of lima beans.
I love fava beans too Rae!
We call them broad beans here in Oz. I find they’re even nicer if you peel the papery skins.
I also like the shelled frozen edamame; generally the same cost, with less work (spent too many weekends as a kid freezing corn, beans, tomatoes, etc., etc. to enjoy that part of the preparation!). I microwave it per package directions, drain any remaining water, and season with a bit of olive oil, a nice shot or two of balsamic vinegar (white or regular will work) and sea salt to taste. Good hot, but I especially like it chilled from the refrigerator for a quick snack or even a meal when I haven’t time/motivation for other preparation.
Yum Becky! Will have to keep an eye out for shelled edamame Jx
I would love to try them, but my concern is the fact that most soybeans are GMO.
Thanks for your comment Char!
You know I hadn’t even thought of the soy bean GMO link because as far as I know they aren’t permitted in Australia.
But certainly in the US soy and genetic modification go hand in hand. I just checked my edamame and they’re from China so I need to investigate further.
Thank you so much for making me think about this!
My boys LOVE eating the frozen peas, carrots and corn blend straight out of the freezer. I’ve always got edamame, shelled and in pods, love throwing a handful into stir fries, Asian style soups, etc. I’ve got a freezer full of frozen veg of all sorts, gets me out of a bind when I don’t have time to get to the grocer, something has become not-so-fresh or extend a meal. Although, I really don’t like frozen broccoli, too soggy.
I agree with you about the texture of frozen broccoli but it can be lovely in curries and soups
We love the podded edamame, served as my daughter does. She leaves them in boiled water till the are no longer cold, drains them and dresses them with sea salt and olive oil. We eat them with our fingers, popping them out of the pods with our teeth.
Edamame are the only frozen veg. I buy. However, I only buy organic as they are one of the most GM foods, (along with corn) out there. I live in Canada where frozen veg.are a no-no due to modification to so many varieties. Despite our climate we manage to get locally grown, fresh, organic veggies most of the year, at least in our major cities. I started my children off on broccoli, avocados, cauliflower and brussel sprouts and hummus and organic tofu. They progressed to fruit only after eating veg. Legumes, cheese and meat followed. They still eat the same way today, up to 30 years later.
Sounds like you raised them well Christine! Thanks for sharing
Jules — we looooove edamame at our house. It was our boys first real veggie. They are now 13 and edamame still rule our table at least once a week. Our favorite way to have them is with lime juice freshly squeezed all over them (enough to create a tiny pool of juice at the bottom of the bowl); then sprinkled with chili powder (we use a Mexican brand that includes salt). You can grind some sea salt if the chili powder is too spicy for your taste. A chilled glass of white wine and edamame equal a most perfect, happy meal in my book. Thanks for your post. I’m eager to try edamame the Fergal/Jules way. Cheers!
Ooh Lizzie! I love you lime & chilli combo…. definitely on my list to try :)
I find frozen spinach really useful. Especially the spinach that comes in separate frozen portions. I add some to sauces, soups etc. It’s a good way of sneaking in vege fibre for my youngest son’s meals. He’s nearly 24 years old, but some things never change. :)
I had forgotten about frozen spinach.
I usually like broccoli and green beans. Boring, I know. Also like edamame when they’ve been shelled for me (I actually can find them that way in my local grocery now, which was a surprise to me). I love how you do these with parmesan cheese. I’ll have to try that.
Not boring at all Susan!
I’m a big fan of celebrating the simple things :)
I find frozen peas or corn very useful. I haven’t seen frozen edamame beans but will be looking for them next shopping trip.
Thanks for sharing Kendra-Lois!
You can get them frozen pre-shelled/out of their pods, too. That way you can defrost or heat and immediately throw them into things, like soup, stir fry, salad, etc. Super easy.
I’m going to go looking for them shelled now Mrs Mack… Would be so great!
Does anyone know definitively if using olive oil to roast vegetables at 400 degrees or higher causes the oil to break down so it could actually be harmful to eat?
Tough question Steve!
There are a few things to consider… The type of olive oil makes a difference. So more refined (cheaper) olives oils tend to be more stable and have a higher smoke point than extra virgins. So using a cheaper oil will help.
Also just because your oven is at 400F doesn’t mean the food will be that hot.
For me personally when I’m using olive oil I keep the temp at 350F (180C). And if I want to roast something hotter (like spuds) I use a more stable oil like duck fat or rice bran oil.
Oddly enough peas are about the only veg that really don’t do anything for me. Fresh out of the pod perhaps but other than that I can pass on them. However, my youngest daughter is such a pea fan that I swear if I served them for breakfast she would eat them up without question!
I’m with you on taking or leaving (actually more on the leaving) with peas Gillie!
It’s probably a good thing food preferences don’t seem to be hereditary
I was going to mention the same thing about them being GMO. I have avoided eating them for this reason. Can anyone clarify this for me?
If you’re in North America Yvette, they are probably GM.
But in Europe or Australia they’re probably not unless labelled so. But I’ve just realised mine are from China so I need to investigate further.
It’s a tricky one!
I avoid soybeans and soy products as much as possible. They have been linked to thyroid problems and estrogen/hormone issues. Some studies say it’s not meant for human consumption. Please be wary of this, especially if feeding it to children.
Another angle I hadn’t thought of Carol! Thankyou
Thanks for this brilliant idea. I’ve found that using raw cut-up veg works wonders to stave off the pre-dinner hunger demands of the littles. I’m definitely going to try this one too – I especially appreciate your “short on attention span” tip!
Also, because I can’t help myself: http://the-toast.net/2014/09/04/eighteen-kinds-people-comment-recipe-blog/
Sid, I read the link you posted and it made me laugh so hard! Thanks for sharing.
Jules, this has just appeared in my Facebook feed. I’m not sure why. I think you decided in the end that these beans were not such a good idea – is that right?
If you can get non Chinese ones they’re great Trish! The problem is around not being able to get non-GMO soybeans from China :)
Sorry, wrong email address in last.