Edamame soybeans or unripe soybeans is a legume that is filled with good nutrients like phosphorus, calcium, and Vitamin A. If you have a kitchen garden that you harvest from, on a daily basis, not having this crunchy delicious legume around to be eaten in the winter could be unpleasant. So how do you preserve this legume to be enjoyed all year round?
Can you freeze edamame soybeans? Yes, you can. Freezing Edamame soybeans will prolong their life span from mere days to about 12 months. The freezing action helps to keep the nutrients, taste, and flavor intact.
However, there are special processes that need to be carried out, to ensure that you freeze the soybeans in the right manner.
Most vegetables or legumes undergo a process called Blanching. We would describe this process better as we get to the steps that comprise the entire freezing process.
Edamame soybeans have to be harvested at the right time. As soon as they are cut from their plant, the reduction in quality begins. Over time, the soybeans would turn yellow and dry up as they ripen. So, you cannot harvest the beans too early or too late. You can identify soybeans that are okay to harvest by feeling the pods. Freezing edamame soybeans is very easy, You don’t need special skills or equipment to freeze them.
How to Freeze Edamame Soybeans
Always try to cook your edamame beans immediately after harvesting or buying them. The same goes for freezing too. If you are skeptical about how much of the soybeans you could eat, you should immediately freeze the leftover. Or you could refrigerate for two days before carrying out the freezing process if you are not sure.
Step 1: Preparation
There isn’t much to this. Pick the soybeans, and rinse them to wash away any dirt or debris.
Step 2: Blanching
Blanching is a process carried out on vegetables, legumes, and even fruits. It helps to stop the ripening process and also slow enzymatic processes that can make them rot. Blanching in some places is known as parboiling. It is vital to greens that are about to be frozen as it increases their freezing period. Here is how to blanch your edamame soybeans:
Put a pot of water on a stove, and add a little bit of salt, very slightly. While the water boils, prepare a cold bath. This can be done by putting large chunks of ice into cool clean water inside a fairly large bowl.
When the water boils, throw in your edamame soybeans and boil for 2 to 3 minutes. The color should change into a lighter green shade. Don’t cook the soybeans for too long, so it doesn’t cook entirely or get mushy.
With a slotted spoon, get the edamame soybeans from the boiling water into the cold bath. The cold bath is to help halt the cooking process. Wait until the edamame soybeans cool and then drain the water away with a colander.
Step 3: Storage
Ensure that the soybeans have cooled down to room temperature. Pat them down or blot them with a kitchen towel to dry them. Then, pack the soybeans into airtight freezer bags or Ziploc bags. Suck out all the excess air with a straw before sealing the bags.
Step 4: Freezing
Meal prep is important to maintaining a healthy eating habit and helping you save time cooking. Labeling the bags before storing them would go a long way in helping you plan around them. When labeling the bags, state the date of the freeze and its contents. This would help you keep track of what you have stored and when to eat them.
If you have a food calendar, records should go in there too. After labeling the bags, place them into the freezer to freeze.
How to Thaw Frozen Edamame Soybeans
Frozen edamame soybeans can be left in the refrigerator to thaw overnight or be cooked frozen. Put a little bit of water or olive oil in a pan, salt the beans and throw them in, pods and all.
Edamame soybeans can be accompanied by soy sauce as a great snack. When you want to eat the beans, crack the pods with your teeth. Then spit the pods out. Do not eat the pods of edamame soybeans as they are too fibrous and could cause a lot of stooling.
How Can You Tell if Frozen Edamame Soybeans is Bad?
Spoiled frozen edamame soybeans will be discolored. This discoloration is usually black or dark brown. Freezer burn can also cause the soybeans to darken. If you notice this discoloration in your frozen soybeans please discard them.
Expired or spoiled edamame soybeans can give you minor food poisoning if you eat them. The food poisoning is usually similar to the one that can be gotten from drinking expired soy milk.
Is Edamame Soybeans Good for Weight Loss?
Yes, eating Edamame might just help you combat that weight gain. Edamame soybeans are rich in antioxidants that have been known to cause weight reduction and lower blood sugar. It is also rich in other minerals like Manganese, Magnesium, and Iron.