I had an amazing 4th of July with friends in New Jersey this past weekend, and per usual I came equipped with snacks. I brought Persian cucumbers, mixed greens, Greek yogurt, bananas, dry roasted edamame and almonds. Oh and two hard-boiled eggs of course. If you know me you know I almost always carry around hard-boiled eggs, but that’s another topic of conversation. So, when I busted out the edamame everyone questioned what it was. I was surprised; I thought most people knew about dry roasted edamame. Turns out no, but everyone liked it! I was happy to introduce my friends to a new, tasty, and heart-healthy snack. Perhaps many others out there don’t know about dry roasted edamame or soy nuts, so figured I’d blog about it.
Why I love soy nuts and roasted edamame.
Soy nuts or roasted edamame are at the top of my snack list, especially when traveling or out all day. They are a dream snack for busy, on-the-go health nuts. Speaking of nuts, soy nuts aren’t really a “nut,” so don’t be fooled by the name. I like the taste of these roasted beans, but what really draws me to them are their high fiber and protein content, having 14 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber per ¼ of a cup. The protein to fiber ratio is almost 2:1! That means every bite you take is loaded with fiber, almost double the protein, and pure deliciousness.
To add to the awesomeness, the protein content contains all nine essential amino acids, making it a complete protein. Not that you can’t get your nine essentials from other healthy foods or combinations of foods, but for the busy bee, with limited food options and limited time, this can be extremely helpful and beneficial. Furthermore, because the food is high in fiber and protein it is also extremely satiating and filling. It is a slow burning food, meaning it fills you up and keeps you filled for a pretty loooooong time. It’s already difficult enough to find non-processed wholefoods that you can carry and store with you (even for a few hours), and these little nuggets can easily go days and weeks.
How I learned of this wonderful nut.
I was introduced to soy nuts when I visited Iran about 6 years ago. A year later my father brought a container of dry roasted edamame home from Costco. I took a look at the nutritional profile, did some research, and discovered they are basically soy nuts. There are definitely differences between soybeans and edamame, but they are few and far between. If you really want to know the intricate details, this article is helpful.
So today, soy nuts and dry roasted edamame are a household favorite. I also like that they have lower fat content than standard nuts and seeds (e.g., sunflower seeds, flaxseed, almonds, cashews, walnuts, peanuts, etc.). I absolutely love nuts, but a little goes a long way, and I tend to overdo it…oops! I discovered dry roasted soy delights satisfy me just as much as nuts and seeds do; and when I mix them, I not only create a great snack, but also a great way for me to enjoy and control my nut and seed intake.
Ida’s ultimate travel mix.
I love mixing different snacks together, especially crunchy things. The concoction I create usually depends on what’s around the house and my craving or mood on that particular day. Here are common ingredients I love to combine. But, get creative and design a mix that suits your palate and personality!
Common Ingredients in My Mix: Soy nuts or edamame, oatmeal, cereal of some sort (usually cheerios or multigrain puffins), sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, almonds, walnuts, some sort of dried fruit (dried cranberries, tart cherries, dried blueberries, or raisins), and pretzels or crackers (recently digging Mary’s Gone Crackers).
Some cautionary advice.
There are a couple of things you want to be sure to do when it comes to consuming soy nuts or edamame. First, careful how much you eat, as the high fiber can cause bloating or gas if too much is consumed, or consumption is not balanced with water/fluid intake. This brings me to the second suggestion – drink lots of water! It is a dry, high fibrous food, so you must balance this out with moist, hydrating foods and fluids.
Additional information for you curious cats.
If you desire to learn more about soy products and their health myths and facts, here are references from two of my favorite MDs – Dr. Andrew Weil & Dr. Mark Hyman.
- Q&A with Dr. Weil: Crunch Soy Nuts for Good Health? and How Safe is Soy?
- What the Data Says About Soy: “The dangers of soy are overstated. The Benefits may be too.”
Time to purchase…I know you are hungry for dry roasted soy now.