I heart edamame!

Edamame has a lot of benefits. It's versatile and can be eaten fresh or roasted. It makes a great snack-on-the-go. And it's heart-healthy!

So I decided to make a dip with these cute little pods. My friend Laura makes a great edamame hummus which I adore. I omitted some of the ingredients because I like simple recipes. To boost the nutritional value of this dip, I also added almonds. I wanted to use an avocado too to make it creamy, but it didn't work. Turns out, you can't add everything just because it goes with the color scheme!

Without further ado... Edamame Hummus! Here's to lower cholesterol, glowing skin, radiant hair and happy little brain cells!

1 cup shelled organic edamame, cooked and cooled

1/2 cup almonds

1 1/2 cup fresh spinach, stems removed

2 tsp garlic

3 tbsp sesame oil

1/2 cup tahini

1 tbsp chili garlic sauce (you can use more or less, depending on your taste buds)

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Place almonds in food processor and blend until fine powder. Add remaining ingredients and puree until it becomes a paste.

Serve with chips or veggie sticks!

Just to add a little education and positive message, I buy organic edamame because soybeans are considered an "at risk ingredient" for genetic modification. Genetically modified organisms (or GMOs) are made by combining genes of one species into another. Now, we're not talking about harvesting plums and apricots to make pluots (which, on a side note, was ingenious in my opinion). It's when they take genes or bacteria/viruses, for instance, and put them into a food crop. The result can be that the crop produces its own pesticide (and then the farmer doesn't have to spray it themselves) or that the crop becomes tolerant to the herbicide (so that when the farmer does spray the weed-killer on the crop, it won't kill it.) It doesn't sound too appealing.

Sure, it's a good idea to buy organic most of the time, but I realize that it's not always economically feasible for some. So, here are some of the top "at-risk ingredients" that contain GMOs: corn, soybeans, canola, cottonseed, sugar beets, some zucchini and yellow squash. In terms of sugar, I use evaporated cane juice or vegan sugar in my recipes. Not only have these not been processed via bone charcoal (and therefore are animal-friendly), but in general, sugar is usually a combination of sugar cane and genetically modified sugar beets.

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