Have you ever wondered what to do with the bags of frozen bean pods in your supermarkets freezer? One bag says “in the pod” and the other contains the shelled beans? Known as Edamame they are the immature soybean harvested before it hardens. One cup yields 16.9 grams of easily digested protein. These bright green beans are high in fiber and deliver adequate amounts of magnesium, phosphorus, copper and thiamin. The beans in the pod can be boiled in salted water then popped from the shell right into your mouth. A great snack or appetizer and kids love the flavor. The hulled Edamame beans can be tossed into soup, used in stir-fries, or made into a delicious spread.

Here’s an easy recipe to make, and one that can be used in a variety of ways; as a topping on toasted or steamed bread, as a party dip with crackers, in a wrap with roasted vegetables, over salad greens or to top an open-faced Veggie burger. One of those multifunction recipes that come in handy when you are too busy to fix a big meal.

One word of caution: Make sure to buy organic, non-GMO soybeans when purchasing Edamame or ask your local Community Supported Garden to plant them as part of your share. Best to be safe with the food you put into your body; plus what you buy with your money always speaks loudest in the market place.

Edamame Bean Spread

2 cups frozen shelled Edamame beans
2 cups broccoli florets
1 shallot
2 tablespoons soy sauce
¼ cup Vegenaise
Salt to taste
Dense whole grain bread
½ avocado
Roasted red pepper
Baby arugula
Lemon slices

1. Bring a pot of water to a boil and add the broccoli and simmer for 30 seconds, add the Edamame, cover, turn off heat and let sit for 3 minutes.
2. Drain in a colander and run under water to cool.
3. Place Edamame, broccoli, shallot, soy sauce, salt and Vegenaise in a food processor and pulse to chop to a pate consistency. You can make it smooth, or leave choppy with small pieces.
4. Set aside or refrigerate to let the flavors meld. When ready, serve on a slice of lightly steamed bread, and top with sliced avocado, sliced red pepper and baby arugula. Squeeze some lemon over the top and serve.