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.

Ingredients:

  • 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

Garnish:

  • 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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Triple Mushroom Sprout Soup

Last Updated on Sunday, 17 October 2010 01:03 Written by Flax Thursday, 7 October 2010 11:57

I love mushrooms. I love them raw, I love them cooked and I love how healthy they are for you.

While all mushrooms have health benefits, the Red Reishi mushroom, ling zhi for all you Chinese speakers, is the top of the top. A member of the shiitake family it has been valued for thousands of years for its medicinal properties.

Mushrooms are a source of interferon and germanium. The germanium enhances immunity and oxygenates the blood. The interferon is a protein which appears to fight tumors and cancers. The Red Reishi mushroom has the strongest effect against the tumors and cancers. In addition mushrooms decrease both fat and cholesterol in the blood and help discharge excess animal fats left in your body.

So if a mushrooms a day keeps the doctor away, what does a triple mushroom soup do?

Ingredients:
1 slice red reishi mushroom
3 shiitake mushrooms, sliced
3 oyster mushrooms, sliced
1/2 package mung bean sprouts
4 cloves garlic (smashed)
6 cups water
1/2 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp arrowroot, (kudzu), soaked in 2 tbsp cold water for 10 minutes.
soy sauce (to taste)
miso (to taste)
hot chilli flakes (to taste)
scallions, for garnish

Bring the water to a boil, add the mushrooms, garlic, chilli flakes, and sesame oil and simmer for 40 minutes. Add the sprouts and arrowroot and simmer for 20 more minutes. Adjust the flavor, garnish with chopped scallions and serve hot.

Enjoy!

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