Adzuki beans, also called azuki, aduki, or mung, are a small bean grown throughout East Asia and the Himalayas. Though they come in a range of colors, red adzuki beans are the most well known. Like most beans, adzuki beans are loaded with fiber, protein, complex carbs and beneficial plant compounds. They are linked to several health benefits, ranging from heart health and weight loss to improved digestion and a lower risk of diabetes. Plus, they are easy to incorporate into a variety of dishes. (Soaking, sprouting, and fermenting makes it easier to absorb their nutrients.)

Because they are rich in soluble fiber and resistant starch, adzuki beans may improve your digestion and gut health and even contribute to a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. What’s more, some studies report that protein found in adzuki beans may block the action of intestinal alpha-glucosidases, an enzyme needed to break down complex carbs into smaller, more easily absorbable sugars. Therefore, blocking their action may reduce blood sugar spikes. They are also rich in antioxidants which may have anti-inflammatory effects.

Ayurvedically speaking, adzuki beans are great for imbalanced kapha (excess earth and water) that can present itself in the form of excess weight. Adzuki beans are astringent and cloy excess earth and water from the body. Energetically, adzuki beans are cooling, yet they possess a special effect of being pungent in their post-digestive state.

The high fiber and protein content of the beans can reduce hunger and increase fullness—this bodes well for weight loss! Our recipe for warm adzuki bean, fennel, and broccoli salad is a great start—we hope you’ll be inspired to find more ways to incorporate these beneficial beans into your diet. Enjoy!

Recipe: Warm Adzuki Bean, Fennel, and Broccoli Salad

Ingredients
1 c. adzuki beans soaked overnight, rinsed and drained
2 cups hot water
1 1/2 tbs. ghee
1/2 c. finely sliced fennel (fronds reserved for garnish)
1 tbs. finely chopped ginger
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. ground cardamom
1 tsp. mineral salt
3 c. broccoli florets cut into bite sized pieces, steamed and set aside
2 tbs. finely chopped parsley for garnish
Wedges of lime

Directions

  1. Heat ghee in a medium size pot, add ginger and fennel and sauté until soft and fragrant.
  2. Stir in cumin, coriander, cardamom, and salt.
  3. Add adzuki beans, stirring to coat in ghee and spices.
  4. Add hot water, bring to a boil, cover, and cook on low to medium heat until beans are soft and water is absorbed, about 20 minutes.
  5. Stir in broccoli florets to heat through.
  6. Remove from heat.
  7. Garnish with parsley, fennel fronds, and lime wedges.

Serves about 4

Adzuki beans can also easily be sprouted! Soak and then place the soaked beans in a glass jar. Cover the mouth of your jar with a piece of cheesecloth secured with a string, rubber band or the lid band of a Mason jar. Then, invert the jar and secure at an angle to let the water drain and the air circulate between the beans.

Rinse and drain the beans twice daily for 3–4 days, replacing the jar in the same position as before. Once the beans have sprouted, rinse them well and store them in a sealed jar in the fridge. Eat your sprouted beans within 2–3 days.

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