Monday, March 4, 2013

Azuki Bean Smoothie

I'm so excited about my latest breakfast smoothie; it's almost chocolatey and down right delicious! 
I've ventured into the world of the azuki beans for a couple of reasons.
I've always loved them in Asian desserts as sweetened red bean paste and I've been meaning to experiment with  them.
They are a legume, therefore great for you.
Introducing another legume to my repertoire = more variety.

My main driver, however, was my back. Azuki beans (also known as adzuki and aduki beans) are identified as a special bean for draining dampness in the body. "Dampness" is a term used in traditional Chinese medicine. I recently started getting acupuncture for my back issues (that I've had for years) and was told the excess "dampness" in my body was a strong contributor to my aches and pains.
I'm always sceptical of this kind of talk, but after just two acupuncture sessions, there has been a noticeable improvement. So I'm will to try anything (except supplements).
It takes a little planning and preparation the day before, when you soak and cook the beans, but the cooked beans will last 3-4 days in the fridge and you can even freeze them if you like.
Soak 1 cup of beans in plenty of cold water for 6-8 hours. This will make about 4, 1/2 cup serves of cooked beans.

Place your soaked beans in a saucepan on the stove and bring to a simmer for about 5-10 minutes, until foam develops on the surface of the water.
Strain the beans, discarding the cooking water, rinse off the foam and clean out the saucepan (all website recipes I looked at include this step and I can't find an explanation why).
Add 2-3 cups of cold water to the beans and bring back to a simmer for 1 to 1 & 1/2 hours, until they are soft enough to break with your tongue.
While boiling, keep the temperature low because if they boil to rapidly they tend to break up a little.
When they are done, strain and put in the fridge to chill.

Azuki Smoothie
1/2 cup chilled, cooked azuki beans
1/2 cup unsweetened natural yogurt
1/2 cup almond milk (rice, oat, dairy milks are also fine)
1 banana (mango works well too)
A generous spoonful of honey or sweetener of your choice.

The beans require a fair amount of added sweetness. The exact amount will depend a lot on the natural sweetness of your fruit and milk choice (the almond milk I used is not very sweet), you can always add more honey.

I used a hand blender, it takes a couple of minutes to break down the beans and make it nice and smooth.
I really hope you enjoy it!


  1. Looks good! I love how simple this is

  2. Thanks for the post... I'll try this!

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