Azuki beans, also known as Asian red bean, is an extremely palatable representative of the Fabaceae family. In Japan, they even call it the king of legumes. Azuki is a major crop in China and Japan that is collected during the months of November and December.
In Japan, the small red beans are extremely popular and occupy second place to soya consumption. Azuki beans have a strong and sweet flavor, and are also very useful.
Composition of Azuki beans
Azuki beans are a good source of magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc, copper, manganese, and vitamins such as niacin, thiamin and riboflavin. The red beans are high in potassium and low in sodium. Among the different types of beans, Azuki beans have the highest content of proteins and the lowest content of fat.
Approximately 200 g of Azuki beans contains 294 calories, 57 g carbs, 17 g fiber, 4.6 mg iron, 4 mg of zinc, 119 mg of magnesium, 1.2 g potassium.
Selection and storage of Azuki beans
Azuki beans can be purchased from specialized, and organic shops. In most Asian markets, red beans can be purchased in powder form. Azuki beans can be stored for 6 to 12 months in a dry, cool place.
Azuki beans in cooking
Azuki beans are excellent for salads and dishes with rice. Japanese use them for the preparation of a red bean paste. Before heat treatment, Azuki beans need to soak for 12 hours in a sufficient amount of water.
The water is then changed, beans boiled 30-40 minutes and then the salt added. The rapid boiling of Azuki beans is one of its biggest advantages.
Azuki beans are used to prepare amazing patties, and in Japan are a very popular ingredient in confectionery. Azuki beans have a strong and specific taste, which makes them suitable for sweets.
We offer you a great recipe for patties with Azuki beans.
Ingredients: 1 egg, 200 g of Azuki beans /pre-cooked/, 1 onion, salt, cumin, parsley, breadcrumbs, pepper.
Preparation: Blend the egg, onion and beans. Season them to taste with spices and, if necessary, add breadcrumbs for better solidity. Form patties and arrange them in a baking dish with baker paper and bake them in a moderate oven for about 20 minutes.
The next recipe that we will offer you, is the famous red bean paste.
Ingredients: For this, 300 g Azuki beans are necessary, 300 grams sugar and ½ teaspoon salt.
Preparation: Rinse beans and place them in a large bowl with water to cover them. Must soak for 3 to 8 hours. The water is then discarded and the beans are placed in a saucepan with a sufficient amount of water.
Allow to boil. After the boil, they are rinsed thoroughly with running water and the water in the pan is changed. The beans boil again. This step is repeated once more. This time, add less than 5 cups of water and bring to the boil. Reduced the plate’s heat and cover the pan with a lid. Beans simmer for about 2 hours until very tender. At the end, stir often.
When the beans are completely soft, add the sugar and salt. Allow to simmer, stirring until the mixture becomes more dense. The paste is allowed to stand in a refrigerator overnight.
Benefits of Azuki beans
Consumption of legumes helps to reduce levels of bad cholesterol. Azuki is low calorie and helps to shed the extra pounds. It is known for its healing properties on the kidneys, bladder and reproductive functions. Diuretic effect strengthens the kidneys and consequently prevents voiding dysfunction and infections of the bladder.
The high fibre, low fat content and the presence of the phytoestrogens are an excellent prevention of breast cancer by reducing the levels of estrogens in the organism.
Phytoestrogens in red Asian beans act to weaken estrogens, which can unblock the receptors that might otherwise be occupied by the stronger estrogens. As is clear, the estrogen plays a major role in the development of breast cancer due to its ability to form estrogen-produced tumors.
To take full advantage of Azuki beans, experts recommend eating at least half a cup a week. For people with pre-existing problems, this amount should be doubled.