Foodcycling & Healing with Adzuki Beans
Beans, beans, beans! Easily overlooked and abandoned. For convenience sake, we have been tempted and have oftentimes replaced beans with pseudo or processed foods. They may not have as much appeal compared fresh, colorful greens or peppers.
As ancient as grains, beans have been a staple in many cultures and for good reason. Dried beans are not only a cost-effective approach to eating well, it’s a way to control the amount of additives and preservatives, such as salt in our food. It’s also a way to get the right amount of soluble fiber, protein, iron and energy.
Beans and I have a long history. Growing up it was all about the pigeon peas, which my kids now call “vovo” (grandmother in Creole) beans. Pigeon peas are a common bean used in many island dishes and paired with rice, the body’s protein needs are met. Still among my favorites, however, when I was introduced to adzuki beans, as a healing and weight loss bean, I was hooked.
Adzuki beans, originally cultivated in Asia, is one of the most popular beans, after soy, particularly in Japan. They are low in calories, high in soluble fiber, protein, iron as well as minerals such as copper and zinc, to name a few. Not only are adzuki beans one of the easiest beans to digest, they are cancer preventative, and supporters of bladder, reproductive, and kidney care and function.
They are also easy enough to cook in advance and store or even freeze for busy nights or restful weekends. Yes, beans are great a way to reinvent leftovers and make the next meal simple and nutritious.
I have on more than one occasion turned a bowl of left over beans into a bean sauce instead of gravy for potatoes or to give the classic rice and beans dish a twist. Bean puree is so simple and will take on the flavor of just about anything. In determination to eat more beans, I was led bean cheese, instead of the common nut cheese. It is a favorite among Real Food Works meal delivery service subscribers, as I use it in vegetable fajitas instead of processed non-dairy cheeses.
On this particular occasion, I was in need of a quick, but healthy meal that everyone would love, and TACOS were it! With a little tomato paste and of course spices, you have a tasty high-fiber, low-fat protein source that works well with almost any condiment.
A taco (made with non-gmo corn) can be a complete meal rolled into one. Adzuki beans combined with any grain, gives you a complete protein. You can include salad fixins as well as guacamole and non-dairy sour cream. And there you have it!
How do you like your beans? What have you created with adzuki beans? Foodcycling ideas are always welcome!