|Umami Edamame Dip|
It was that magical hour of afternoon photography lighting. For once, the animals were relaxing sleepily by the fire instead of attempting to eat my creation. I picked out the perfect bowl and unearthed a fabulous wooden spoon. I congratulated myself on remembering to save some fresh chives as topping.
Under these conditions, I began the shoot for my Umami Edamame Dip.
Fifteen minutes and a light sweat later, I realized the hard truth…there is no way to make this stuff look close to as good as it tastes.
I crafted this recipe to add some variety to my hummus addiction. Lately, I’ve found myself eating hummus by the container-ful, loving how it can be a dip or spread depending on the mood. I've been making lots of little veggie/crackers plates with some lovely humus smack in the middle and enjoying the combination of textures.
This Umami Edamame dip offers an easy, high-protein alternative to hummus, and I daresay it's even more delicious. The word "umami" refers to the 5th taste, along with sweet, sour, salty and bitter and is has cultural, sensorial and scientific applications. For our purposes, umami foods are those that trigger a certain "meat like" satisfaction without the use of actual meat. Mushrooms are a classic example of umami. In this recipe, soybeans, walnuts and miso paste all offer hints of umami, making this dip more satisfying than hummus. I found that I could really treat this dip like the protein in my meal and be pleasantly full afterwards.
Even though I'm not a fan of excessive soy in one's diet, quality whole-foods soy product have great health benefits in moderation. Whole soy products are fantastic sources of fiber, folate (key for nursing and pregnant moms), protein, iron and other crucial nutrients. It's pretty easy to find frozen, organic edamame in grocery stores, but if you can't spot miso paste, you can absolutely leave it out and sub 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce.
As we head into the holidays, consider this dip for any potlucks or parties you're contributing to. Umami is a great, sneaky way to make food taste rich even when it's healthy, so this should be a crowd pleaser amongst the pigs in a blanket and cheese plates!