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Add Some Adzuki Beans

By Alana Sugar, March 8, 2010  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Alana Sugar
adzuki_saladBeans are good for you! How many times have you heard that? Well, it's true. Beans are full of fiber, important minerals, vitamins and plant protein. When most people think about beans, they remember the classics: white beans, black beans, kidney beans and maybe garbanzos, right? Well, there are a lot more varieties than those. From time to time, we'll introduce you to a type of bean you may not be familiar with - like adzuki beans, a great little treasure. Also known as aduki or azuki beans, these tiny reddish-brown beans have a thin white ridge that runs down their side, giving them their own special style. Traditionally used in Japanese and Chinese cuisine, they are a popular food for festive occasions. Unlike most other beans, adzuki beans are often sweetened and used in desserts. But don't be fooled, they are definitely dual purpose and equally delicious in savory dishes. Nutritionally speaking, you can't go wrong with adzuki beans. They deliver plant protein, soluble fiber, iron, magnesium, zinc, potassium and folic acid. If you're watching your weight or your cholesterol, soluble fiber is a good idea. It helps keep you fuller longer and keeps cholesterol levels healthy. Not only that, but fiber is important for a healthy gut. Adzuki beans are tasty, low in fat and have a low glycemic index so they help keep your blood sugar balanced. When it comes to cooking beans, I'm in favor of overnight soaking and adzuki beans are no exception. Here's a simple cooking method: Soak a cup of beans in water overnight or for about eight hours. Discard the soaking water. Rinse the beans and fill a pot with fresh water. Add the beans and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook until tender, about 45 minutes to an hour. To help them become tender and manage the potential digestive upsets that can come from eating (any) beans, try adding a strip of kombu seaweed to the beans while cooking. For more information, check out our guide to beans. Once cooked, you can keep those adzuki beans for up to five days in the refrigerator. Or you can keep them up to six months in the freezer. Now the fun part! Here are some ideas for adding cooked adzuki beans to your favorite dishes:
    adzuki
  • Throw a handful into prepared vegetable soup before you heat it up
  • Make a bean salad with diced veggies and your favorite salad dressing. Here is a Zesty Adzuki Bean Salad.
  • Heat them up and spoon over hot cornbread
  • Add to any favorite stew
  • Stir them up with chopped, cooked winter squash such as butternut
  • Make bean tacos with corn tortillas, mashed or whole adzuki beans, shredded lettuce, tomatoes, salsa and cheese
  • Serve them hot with steamed brown rice, tamari, ginger, garlic and a drop or two of toasted sesame oil. Be sure to garnish with slivered scallions!
  • Try them hot with quinoa, millet or any whole grain pasta. Try this recipe of Quinoa with Oyster Mushrooms and Adzuki Beans.
  • Mash them up and make bean dip
  • Substitute adzuki beans for other beans in your favorite recipes
  • And yes, they are even great in chili!
  • Here's a festive recipe for Adzuki Bean Cake
If you don't have the time or desire to cook your own adzuki beans, you can find them canned by Eden Organic brand at many of our stores. I have used these many times; they're perfect in a pinch and the good news is they have kombu seaweed cooked right into them. It's a delicious double whammy! Have you ever tried adzuki beans? Do you have a favorite recipe? I'd love to hear!

 

15 Comments

Comments

Tomus says ...
Give these a try!
03/14/2010 9:18:48 AM CDT
Trishkie says ...
Read about these beans and noticed the canned variety so picked it up. Just added to green salad and liked them. They are very mild. I will try the dried (once I find) though as some of the beans in the can I had were a bit mushy. Thanks for all of the other recipe ideas! Trying to go vegetarian and need to find more ways to eat beans. Also prefer adding a variety of beans to my diet instead of sticking with the 'basics.'
03/17/2010 10:53:11 PM CDT
nicole ray says ...
Adzuki beans are the secret ingredient for my moist and light cinnamon rolls. The rolls still taste great the day after baking, too. Check 'em out: http://savortheearth.wordpress.com/2010/03/14/beany-rolls/
03/18/2010 7:45:42 AM CDT
Nicola says ...
I love adzuki beans. Typically I soak overnight, drain & rinse and cook in water for an hour or until soft with a bit of kombu. Then I have over whole grain rice or quinoa with some of the cooking water. It is simple and delicious just as is but you can add steamed veggies and some miso if desired.
03/08/2010 9:55:34 AM CST
screwdestiny says ...
Never tried these before, but now I would like to. I like this idea of introducing us to beans we may not have heard of. Thanks.
03/09/2010 1:35:15 AM CST
Kelly says ...
I was attracted to the contrasting colors of these beans but have not searched for a recipe yet. The article makes it sound like after soaking overnight, add some broth and Nicola's suggestion of fresh veggies for a typical bean soup with fantastic colors.
03/10/2010 10:06:08 PM CST
Liz Wellbeloved-Stone says ...
Our favorite dish using adzuki's is one we call "bowl"...we actually had it last night for dinner! It is rice, adzuki beans, steamed greens (last night we used dinosaur kale), arame, lettuce, avocado, goddess dressing, sesame seeds and a dash of Season's Dulse with garlic...all served in a bowl! YUM!!
03/11/2010 2:10:09 PM CST
Rosina Walker says ...
Iwunder if you are able to help me.Im looking for a recipe for Adzuki Been cake,some years ago i joined a slimming groop,and they bhad a Adzuki been cake recipe which i used to make, it was so delicious,i remember it had ,carrots courgettes,and eggs added to the beens ,and it was oh so tasty,but th trouble is i am unable to find the recipe book.It must have been lost on our last move,And i do wish somebody could tell me as i would so like to make one,Thank you for your time. Your Sincerely, Rosina Walker
06/24/2010 5:49:23 AM CDT
Sabra Worst says ...
Nice read, I just passed this onto a friend who was doing a little research on that. And he just bought me lunch because I found it for him smile Thus let me rephrase that: Thank you for lunch!
07/23/2011 5:02:56 PM CDT
EBRAHIM WADVALLA says ...
source in south africa for adzuki beans ans recipes for beans salad
01/13/2013 2:39:28 AM CST
Jorge says ...
Where the Whole Foods' Adzuki beans are imported from?
05/30/2013 9:20:20 AM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@JORGE - Our products and vendors vary between locations. Check with your local store to see where the beans are sourced from.
06/03/2013 11:51:30 AM CDT
yasmin says ...
thanks I am treating my IBS and heard these would good for me.
06/04/2013 2:27:54 PM CDT
Rose Fields says ...
Do you sell the adjuki beans at your store?
06/09/2013 7:57:22 AM CDT
Angélica - Community Moderator says ...
@ROSE FIELDS- Each of our stores carry different items, so we suggest you contact your local store to make sure! This is a product we generally carry though (Adzuki beans)
06/10/2013 12:51:39 PM CDT