Wholesome Adzuki Beans!

Looking for a protein rich, vegetarian food that makes an excellent snack, breakfast, or addition to any meal?

Adzuki beans fit the bill!

These small beans have nourished man and womankind for thousands of years.  In fact, it’s believed they were first cultivated during Japan’s Jomon period around 4000BC.  Though we’re most familiar with red adzuki beans, white, black, gray, and mottled varieties also exist.  In addition to being used in savory dishes, adzuki beans are frequently incorporated into Asian desserts. Ever had a red bean bun? That wonderful, earthy legume paste inside is made from sweetened adzuki beans.

Sans refined sugar, these little legumes are excellent for your health.  They’re loaded with protein, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, and folic acid.  In Chinese medicine, adzuki beans are believed to remove excessive “dampness” from the body, something commonly needed as we transition from winter to spring.  They’re a strong “blood builder” and good to eat if you feel like you’re coming down with a cold or simply need an energetic boost.  

One of our favorite ways to eat cooked adzuki beans is with a little bit of raw honey and a touch of sea salt.  Like all our recipes, however, we invite you to experiment.  Maybe try spicing them up with a little turmeric and cumin and serve them alongside brown rice and sautéed greens.  Throw some into a soup.  The list of what’s possible goes on and on!

Our hope is that this recipe will give you the basics so you can create away:

Cooking Adzuki Beans

Ingredients for Making about 2 1/2 cups of cooked beans:

    • 1 cup dried Adzuki Beans
    • Water
    • A little salt or kombu sea vegetable*

What to do:

    1. Rinse the beans well and then soak them in water for overnight.
    2. Drain the beans in a colander or strainer and rinse thoroughly.
    3. Place the beans in a pot and add enough fresh water to cover, plus 2 inches (about 4 cups).  Bring to boil and then reduce to a simmer.  Cook for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, depending on the constancy of cooked bean you desire.  During this time, stir the beans occasionally and add more water if necessary.
    4. When the beans are at their desired consistency, add the salt or kombu and cook for a few more minutes.  
    5.  If you cooked the beans so they’re on the firmer side, drain any extra water.
    6. Enjoy!  The beans will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-4 days.

Got a favorite adzuki bean recipe? Share it here!

*Kombu can further help reduce gas and bloating by breaking down culprit sugars
Recipe by Sophie Slater & Wei Bertram
Photos by Sophie Slater