Adzuki Bean Soup

Last Updated on Thursday, 8 December 2011 02:20 Written by Flax Sunday, 14 November 2010 02:01

Adzuki (aduki) beans are  small red beans that originated in the Far East.  They are one of my favorite beans as they are both delicious and cook relatively quickly.  Adzuki beans need as little as forty-five minutes to cook.  This is less than half of the time required to cook some of the larger legumes.  Adzuki beans are great sauteed with an onion and served on a bed of rice, or you can use them in the Asian fashion, ground up, sweetened and added to a dessert.  The recipe below uses them in a soup.
A lot of people tend to avoid eating beans due to a “certain reaction”, be aware that there are ways of avoiding this uncomfortable issue. Firstly, eat beans in small quantities. One of the main reasons for flatulence is that there are too many beans in one dish. Anyone who is not used to eating beans should start off  with small quantities until your digestive system adjusts to them.
Some people think that soaking the beans to remove the phytic acid helps and some people believe the opposite.  As with any machloket (difference of opinion) choose the opinion that you think is correct.   Personally, I have tried both ways and I don’t find either to be superior.  The best way to avoid bean-discomfort is to properly cook the beans. There are certain foods and spices that help to break down the phytic acid in the beans and to assist in their later digestion. These include, turmeric, cumin, bay leaf, and seaweeds. The recipe below uses an abundance of these methods, turmeric, cumin, and seaweed.  If unfortunately you find that none of the above methods work, try taking a pro-biotic before the meal, or  drink a cup of water with one drop of high quality lavender oil (while it is not the most palatable drink, it is certainly effective).
So, here’s the question, if beans are hard to digest and cause discomfort, why bother eating them?
Legumes, including, beans, peas and lentils are some of the best foods for you. They are the perfect food for people with a heat or damp condition. This means that if you are overweight, suffer from edema, or from a yeast condition, you should be eating beans. This is because beans help to regulate sugar, water, and other aspects of metabolism. To my mind however, their most important feature is that they tonify the kidneys.   Well functioning kidneys have a positive influence on proper growth and development of the body, as well as the brain. The kidneys are also responsible for any of the activities of the lower chakra, including sexual activity. The adzuki bean specifically is the bean that is most connected to female related sexual function. They help nursing mothers to produce more milk, they are tonifying for mothers after birth and they help to regulate periods. For extra long menses, it is recommended to chew five raw adzuki beans daily until the menses stop.


  • olive oil
  • 1/4 cups adzuki beans, soaked overnight
  • 1 square of kombu
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1″ ( 2 cm) ginger, chopped
  • 1 box shitake mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 kohlrabi, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 3 liters water
  • turmeric
  • cumin
  • salt
  • pepper


  • 1 cucumber, chopped
  • 1/2 bunch coriander, chopped
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk

Heat the olive oil in a soup pot, add the onion, garlic and ginger and saute until the onions are soft. Add remaining vegetables and spices (except for the salt) and saute for a few more minutes until the vegetables are a little bit soft. Add the water and bring to a boil. Drain the beans and add them to the pot along with the kombu. Simmer for one hour, add the salt. Puree, garnish and serve.

Note: I put the garnishes on the table and everyone put in their own.

Note: Cooking beans with salt prevents them from softening. It is recommended to add salt towards the end of the cooking process.

Sima Herzfeld Navon is a Nutritional Healer and she teaches Healthy-Cooking Classes.

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Hiziki, Sweet Potato Crunch

Last Updated on Thursday, 1 July 2010 01:21 Written by Flax Wednesday, 30 June 2010 12:07

This dish is based on a traditional Japanese recipe. It has the wonderful advantage of having it’s two main ingredients on my Top 10 food list.

Hiziki is a seaweed which contains more calcium than any other food. It has 1,400 mg of calcium per serving. Milk on the other hand, contains only 119 mg. per serving. That means that hiziki contains over 10x more the amount of calcuim than milk!

Hiziki, like any other seaweed is cooling in nature, helps the body the body to remove mucus, swellings and tumors, and is useful in the prevention and treatment of cancer. In addition seaweed lowers cholesterol and fat in the blood and is beneficial for weight loss.

Sweet potato’s are one of my favorite vegetables. Orange in color, sweet in flavor and shaped like they spleen, they are one of the best vegetables for strengthening the spleen. They are also wonderful for diabetics as they help in regulating sugar levels. (The stevia in this recipe also is good for diabetics.) It is also rich in vitamin A and helps with night-blindness. Like the hiziki it is also helpful in removing toxins from the body.

Overall that makes this dish a super healthy meal. Oh, and it’s also delicious.


1 tbsp hiziki, soaked in cold water for 10 minutes
1 small onion, slice on an angle into strips
2 medium sweet potatoes cut into “fingers”
olive oil
2 tbsp soy sauce
5 drops stevia or 1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tbsp rice vinegar

If you want to thicken the sauce you can add 1 tspn of kudzo (arrowroot). Soak the arrowroot in 1 tspn of cold water for 2 minutes and then add to the cooked dish. Of course a different alternative would be to add 1/2 tspn of ground flax seed. Either way would work.

Heat the olive oil in a wok or deep frying pan, add the onions and stir for one minute. Add the sweet potato and cook for 2 more minutes. In this recipe the sweet potato are only slightly cooked and should be crunchy. Rinse off the hiziki and add it to the pan along with the remaining ingredients.

Serve immediately accompanied by rice.

Serves 6


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