The Best Adzuki Beans and Brown Rice Recipe
When most people think of beans and rice, they envision a bland meal that can later cause unpleasant gas. Adzuki beans will not give you gas and this recipe is not only inexpensive but it's delicious.
I served this recipe with gluten-free and fat-free pumpkin muffins (I'll give that recipe later) for a complete balanced meal.
Some of you may wonder where you get these beans and some of you may be paying too much for them at a health food store.
You won't find them in most regular grocers but Asian markets carry them for a fraction of the price you pay in health food stores.
Sometimes they are with the Japanese foods and sometimes they are with the other dried legumes and pasta.
The beans you get at an Asian market are the same you buy anywhere else and are grown in the same places; health food manufacturers just put them in a fancy package and charge you more.
Some Asian packaging simply call them "red beans." Just look for a tiny red bean with a cute little white line along the seam. It has a mild, sweet flavor.
If your taste buds aren't very sensitive, you may not think they have much flavor, but you can add spices and vegetables to give them a delicious taste.
Adzuki or aduki beans are very good for us, better even than pinto or some of the other legumes you may have grown up eating. They improve your circulation, heart health, and they aid in digestion. It's a wonderful source of protein and iron for vegetarians and vegans.
Why Is This Recipe the Best?
I named this the "best" recipe for two reasons.
- Most recipes tell you to soak overnight, drain, and add new water. When you do that, you are losing valuable nutrients. The reason people normally drain off the old water is to get rid of the gassy effects of legumes. Adzuki beans don't do this so no need to worry about any musical affects.
- The ingredients in this recipe give a nice mix of flavors you won't find in any other recipe. Finely chopping the vegetables helps hide them from any finicky eater as well as add delicious flavors to the dish.
- 1/2 cup dried adzuki beans, sort and wash
- 1/2 cup brown rice
- 4 1/2 cups water
- 1/2 inch piece fresh ginger, wash, peel and finely chop
- 2 cloves fresh garlic, peel and finely chop
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, (you can add more if your family likes it more spicy just don't get carried away)
- 1 green onion, finely chopped
- 1 carrot, scraped, ends cut off and finely chopped
- 1 small stalk of celery leaves and all, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon sea salt (you can use regular salt)
Clean and sort your adzuki beans just like you would any other legume. Throw out any pebbles, wrinkled or bad looking beans, and wash thoroughly.
I cook mine all day in the crock pot. You can boil it on the stove top for about 45 minutes if you don't have a crock pot or want it in less time.
When your beans are tender, it's done. It may take more water, just watch it to make sure it's not sticking. Don't add too much water or you'll have soup.
- Put your beans and rice in your crock pot.
- Cut up all your vegetables according to directions. I don't like to peel carrots because it takes too much of the vegetable away. Instead, I take my knife at an angle and scrape down the sides. This will scrape off the outer layer and imbedded dirt. Remove the ends and cut up in fine pieces.
- Add your spices
- Pour in your water and turn on your crock pot. Nothing worse than to come home only to find you forgot to turn it on. Yes, I've done this before.
- When you come home from work your dinner is ready.
When cooking other beans (not adzuki), add a tablespoon of baking soda before cooking and you will take the gassiness out of your meal.
Soaking, draining and adding new water loses nutrients down the drain.
You can prepare this ahead of time the night before so all you have to do is take it out of the refrigerator and turn on your crock pot.