Skip to Content

Can You Eat Edamame Shells? (Yes, But Why You Shouldn’t)

Quick Answer

You can eat edamame shells if you want to, but we don’t recommend doing it. The skin is tough on the shells, making it harder for you to chew. It will take your body longer to digest these shells too.

Instead, you should cook your edamame in their shells and use your front teeth to grasp the bean and free it from the shell. This way, you get all the flavor the shell has been cooked in, without the tough and chewy texture!

Are you unsure if you can eat edamame shells? Maybe you have been preparing your favorite snack and want to know if you can eat the edamame shells or if they should be binned?

Or do you want to know more about edamame? No matter the reason that brought you here, we have the answer for you!

Edamame is a popular snack or addition to meals across the globe. The soybean product is harvested when it reaches 80% maturity and is the perfect snack to enjoy or add to your stir fry or salad. 

Can You Eat Edamame Shells

But should you eat the shell or cast it aside as you usually do? Knowing the answer to this question can be tricky. After all, everyone online seems to have a different opinion. What are you supposed to do?

Well, you can turn to us for help! Today, we are here with a complete guide that will tell you if you can eat edamame shells and how best to prepare your favorite snack! Just keep reading to find out more. 

Can I Eat Edamame Shells? Are They Toxic?

Let’s dive straight into it! While you can eat edamame shells if you want to, we don’t recommend it! Sure, these shells aren’t toxic and shouldn’t harm your body, but they aren’t going to do a lot of good for you! 

Why? Because edamame shells are incredibly tough. The texture makes them almost inedible, you will spend ages chewing them before they feel anywhere near ready to swallow them. 

When you swallow these shells, your digestive system isn’t equipped to deal with them.

We aren’t able to fully digest the pods and make use of the nutrients they have, so you aren’t providing your body with the health benefits you think they are! 

Chewing edamame shells feels a little like chewing gum. You can find yourself chewing it for ten minutes before they feel ready to be swallowed.

Who wants to spend all the time chewing when you could simply shell and enjoy your edamame?

How To Avoid Eating Edamame Shells

Now that we have covered why you should avoid eating edamame shells, let’s look at how you can avoid them!

We have some handy tips that you are sure to enjoy, whether you are a novice or an experienced edamame eater! 

First, you will want to take your time when eating your edamame. Start with the unshelled snack and pop it in your mouth. 

Using your front teeth, grasp the pod to remove the cooked edamame bean. You can then discard the pod (in your food bin or compost) and enjoy the tasty edamame bean! 

Now, you might be wondering why we suggest this method rather than shelling the bean before popping it in your mouth. Wwii, all the seasoning used to cook your edamame bean will be on the outside! 

If you shell the bean beforehand, then you won’t get to experience all the great seasoning! By placing it in your shelled mouth, you can taste the flavors and seasoning used, before shelling it to enjoy your cooked edamame. 

We know this can sound a little fiddly, and might even be tricky at the start, but once you have mastered this method, you will never eat edamame another way again! 

What Are The Health Benefits Of Edamame?

We mentioned how your body cannot absorb the nutrients of the edamame when the shell is on, so let’s look at what these nutrients and other health benefits are! 

Edamame is a plant-based protein, perfect for vegans to snack on!

You get plenty of nutrients and protein, without needing to worry about carbohydrates! If you are trying to reduce your carb intake, then it’s a fantastic snack for you. 

Edamame is also considered a superfood, thanks to its amino acid content! Edamame is also low in carbs, so you don’t need to worry about any spikes in your blood sugar.

Instead, glucose is released slowly into your bloodstream as your body digests the edamame. 

If you have diabetes or insulin resistance, this makes edamame a wonderful snack for you! Plus it tastes good too!

Edamame is also wonderful to add to your meals if you are trying to lose weight. As we mentioned earlier, they pair wonderfully with a leafy salad or stir fry!

Edamame is known to lower cholesterol and leaves you feeling fuller for longer.

They can provide your body with good levels of protein too, which keeps you full and can prevent late-night snacking – ideal for anyone that is trying to make healthier choices or cut down on snacking! 

In terms of nutrients, edamame is packed full of them! You can enjoy folate, copper, manganese, iron, and vitamin K all in one bite-size bean!

All of these nutrients are necessary for a healthy and functioning body, you don’t want to be without them! 

What’s more, these nutrients are necessary for anyone pregnant, especially in the first 12 weeks of their pregnancy.

Folate helps develop the fetus’ brain and can present neural disorders, while iron will help to maintain recommended blood levels. 

If you are pregnant and have any questions about this, be sure to speak to a medical professional. They can help create a diet that will allow you and your unborn baby to get the nutrients you need! 

The list doesn’t end there though! Edamame also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that work to prevent diseases.

There have even been studies that link edamame with reducing the effects of breast cancer and menopause. 

Of course, edamame should not be considered a replacement for any medical treatment, but rather incorporated as part of a healthy and balanced diet to keep your body as healthy as possible.

We recommend incorporating edamame into your diet where possible weekly!

How To Prepare Edamame

So how do you prepare a tasty edamame snack to enjoy? Well, you can eat them on their own as a snack or toss them in with your favorite salad or stir-fry.

No matter how you enjoy them, they need to be properly prepared to help you enjoy the most taste and flavor. 

To start, you will want to cook your edamame. You can boil them for five minutes in unsalted water, pan-fry, or even microwave them! It is best to do this in their shells. 

We recommend adding salt to season them at the very least. You can then add any other seasoning or flavors you like! We love adding some crushed chilies and garlic to our edamame while we fry them. 

Can You Eat Edamame Shells

When using garlic you want to use powdered garlic or ensure that your fresh garlic is completely crushed and mixed well with your edamame before eating. 

You can even make an avocado dip or puree with your edamame! 

To make an avocado dip, clean your avocado and cut it into small chunks. Shell your edamame and serve alongside the avocado.

We recommend seasoning both your avocado and edamame with some salt, black pepper, and other spices you enjoy! 

Don’t forget to add a squeeze of lemon juice to your avocado before mashing the chunks to make a smoother dip!

Lemon will enhance the flavors of the avocado and can make even the most adamant avocado haters avocado lovers! 

To make a puree, you will want to mix your shelled edamame with some cheese to create a delicious snack that you and your family will enjoy!

You can make this puree vegan too, by using vegan cheese and adding a sprinkle of nutritional yeast to enhance the cheesy flavor! 

Final Thoughts 

And there you have it, edamame should be shelled before you eat them as their shells are extremely hard to chew and digest.

You should use your front teeth to pull the bean from the shell, leaving you with an edamame that is easy to chew and full of flavor! 

Don’t forget to use our recipe ideas to create tasty edamame dishes that are packed full of flavor and nutrients!

Jess Smith
Latest posts by Jess Smith (see all)