Adzuki Beans: Cooking And Baking With Adzuki Beans

Yummy Red Bean Paste Pastries!

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Adzuki beans: do you want to know all about them? Or maybe just what the heck they are! Adzuki beans belong to the pulse family and are also known as aduki beans (just to confuse you). They are a rather attractive dark red, and are quite a small bean (about the same size as mung beans i.e . perhaps a third of a centimetre). They have a small white and black patch on one side where they were attached to the mother plant.

Sprouting Adzuki Beans

What can you do with adzuki beans? As with many beans you can sprout them, to produce a sweet adzuki bean sprout that makes a good adzuki bean salad ingredient, with adzuki beans and greek halloumi cheese, cherry tomatoes, broccoli sprouts, whatever you fancy. How do you sprout beans? Just put them in a jar, cover them with water and leave them to soak overnight in order to activate them. Then in the morning pour the water off, cover the mouth of the jar with a piece of cheesecloth or muslin, fix it on with a rubber band or some elasticated tape tied around, and turn it upside down and rest it on another container. (Make sure to allow for a free flow of air or your sprouts are liable to go manky). You need to rinse them and leave them to drain again for a minimum of two times a day, morning and night, to get yourself some delicious adzuki sprouts.


Adzuki Beans Cooking


Once you have sprouted your adzuki beans (leaving them for several days first to grow), then they are great in a salad or sandwich. I have found them a little harder to grow than mung beans (which is why I usually buy mung beans in preference for sprouting), I.e. if you have not got a very fresh batch then they are a little reluctant to sprout, but they are worth persevering with. Just be careful where you buy adzuki beans: make it somewhere with a frequent turnover and nice fresh beans in regularly.


Alternatively, if you prefer your beans cooked, then you can treat cooking aduki beans pretty much like any other pulse or dried beans types. How to cook adzuki beans? An overnight soaking, at least a ten minute fast boil to begin with and then cooking until tender, according to taste. I find they go well in a vegetarian pasty or bake, which is how I prefer them as opposed to in an adzuki bean soup or stew, when it comes to adzuki bean recipes. If you want to cook adzuki beans, this is the way to do it. I also sometimes make cookies with well-cooked (soft) adzuki beans in.



Red Bean Paste & Adzuki Beans


Especially in Asian cultures, adzuki beans are a traditional component of sweet dishes and baked goods, rather than savoury ones. A good example of this is in red bean paste, or adzuki bean paste, which is basically a sweet paste made of adzuki beans which have been pureed and cooked, and sugar. This ingredient is very widely used in baked goods in Japanese cooking. It is also very very cheap and good value, especially if you have a good Asian supermarket close by!



Nutritional Information For Adzuki Beans


What is the nutritional information for adzuki beans? The Nutritiondata.com website gives the adzuki beans nutrition details for a 230 gram portion of cooked beans as being fifty-seven grams of carbohydrate, seventeen grams of protein and zero grams of fat! (So, obviously very good indeed for a low-fat diet!) The site's info also suggests they make a good contribution to your daily iron and calcium needs. Their contribution to fibre requirments is assessed as seventeen grams, or 67 per cent of daily requirements. Like most beans, they are high in valuable dietary fibre, adding to adzuki beans' health benefits.1



References


1. NutritionData. "Beans, adzuki, mature seeds, cooked, boiled, without salt." 2009. (23/02/2010). <http://www.nutritiondata.com/facts/legumes-and-legume-products/4273/2>



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