One of the best cooks that I know is my mother (ok I may be slightly biased here), who spent hours in the kitchen creating not only traditional Chinese dishes, but also introducing my sisters and me to the culinary delights of so many cultures. For this I am grateful as this has taught me to be open minded and to have a thirst for exploring different cultures, as one of the best ways is through taste.
As I was growing up my mum use to make this deliciously, sweet adzuki bean (red bean) soup. Still to this day when I go to an Asian restaurant that serves an adzuki bean dessert I can not resist testing it out whether it be in the form of vegan ice cream, red bean pancake, and best of all…moon cake (hold the egg please).
Adzuki beans are widely grown in the Himalayas and also parts of East Asia. Similar to other beans, adzuki beans are full of nutrients and are quite unique in their health benefits. For myself some of the key health benefits that stand out are their high in protein (17.3g per 230g serving), high in dietary fiber (16.8g per 230g serving), low in fat, and high in minerals and vitamins such as magnesium and iron (New Health Guide, 2014).
Adzuki beans are great for detoxing, not just due to its high content of dietary fiber to assist with healthy bowel movements that keeps the digestive system moving smoothly, but these beans also contain an interesting and uncommon mineral known as molybdenum in high concentrations. Molydenum is a trace mineral that is not highly common in most foods, but plays a crucial part in the detoxification of the liver (all about ridding our bodies of those toxins so that we can create a space of health within our bodies). According to Organics Facts, 2015 ‘even a half-serving of adzuki beans provides 100% of the daily recommended intake of molybdenum).
Adzuki beans are a wonderfully nourishing food source, except when they are combined with a lot of other unhealthy ingredients such as sugar. The base of many red bean recipes is adzuki beans pastes include sugar as one of the key ingredients. In my Red Bean Paste recipe below I only utilize the natural sweetness of the red bean itself, enhanced by the natural sugar in dates. This recipe is so easy to make and only requires 2 ingredients. Yes, the adzuki beans do take a while to cook, but why not utilize this time efficiently and do your yoga practice, meditate, read…or even research new places to travel and explore, putting your taste buds to the ultimate test out on the road.
This recipe makes 2 1/4 cups
Vegan, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Wheat Free, Refined Sugar Free
Preparation & Total Time
Soaking Time – 8 Hours
Cooking Time – One and a half hours
- 1 cup of dried adzuki beans
- 1 1/2 cups of medijool dates, pitted
- 2 x small bowls
- 1 x food processor
- 1 x saucepan
- 1 x wooden spoon
- Pre soak the adzuki beans overnight for 8 hours
- Place the adzuki beans in boiling water and reduce to simmer, stirring consistently until these have softened (approximately 1 and a half hours)
- Pit and soak the medijool dates for 10 minutes
- Once the adzuki beans are softened place these and the dates in the food processor
- Blitz these until well combined into a nice paste form
- Keep this in a air tight container fresh in the fridge for up to a week
- Use this as a topping for ice cream, on pancakes, in savoury dishes, pastries…and watch this space for my upcoming recipes
- New Health Guide, 2014, “TAdzuki Beans“. Available from: http://www.newhealthguide.org/Adzuki-Beans.html
- Organic Facts, 2015, “Health Benefits of Adzuki Beans“, Available from: https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/other/adzuki-beans.html