Azuki Beans are
good for you!
Azuki beans (aduki, adzuki) are a very special little gem of a bean! They are a treasured culinary and medicinal food in Japan. Small, reddish-brown in color with a white line down one side with a slightly sweet and nutty flavor. For such a tiny little bean, azuki beans are big on nutrients and high in fiber and protein. Azuki beans are high in B vitamins, iron, zinc and magnesium and low in fat!
I learned to cook azuki beans from Aveline Kushi as her assistant in cooking classes back in 1977. Her husband, Michio Kushi recommended that I use aduki beans regularly in my natural daily cooking to help regulate my hypoglycemia. In Aveline Kushi's Complete Guide to Macrobiotic Cooking, she says that "Traditionally in the Far East, red is the color of happiness, and these tiny red beans have always been considered lucky." In Japan, azuki beans are a popular dish for special occasions such as holidays, birthdays, graduations and other joyful events. They are often combined with sweet rice and served during festivals in a traditional dish known as "Red Rice."
In The Miso Book by Jan and John Belleme, they state that "In Japan, azuki beans have long been highly regarded for their nutritional and strengthening qualities, For centuries they have been used in the Far East as a folk remedy for kidney problems. To help restore and maintain proper blood sugar balance, traditional medicine recommends eating azuki beans with pumpkin or squash."
Azuki beans are also used in Chinese medicine to benefit reproductive and kidney functions and help with bladder infections. They are also highly regarded in Chinese folk medicine to treat the emotion of fear.
Azuki beans can be prepared and enjoyed in a wide variety of dishes including desserts! Add them to rice and quinoa, make into savory soups, dips and spreads. Cook with sweet vegetables such as sweet corn and sweet winter squash.
We carry two kinds of azuki beans, Hokkaido beans which are grown in Hokkaido, Japan. While they are more expensive, they are a culinary delight, slightly larger and sweeter than traditional azuki beans. They are prized for their exceptional flavor and rich nutrients due to growing in Hokkaido the northernmost island in Japan with its rich volcanic soil.