Adzuki beans are annual legumes, small dark red beans that have been cultivated since 4000 BC. They contain up to 25% protein which makes them a delicious super food that is easily digested. Adzuki beans grow on a vine, up to 60cm, with yellow flowers that form long green pods. They can be used in sweet and savory dishes, used fresh, dried (soaked before cooking) and sprouted.
Adzuki beans should be planted during frost free periods in rich, loamy and well drained soil. They enjoy sun and can tolerate cooler evenings and partial shade.
How to Plant
Beans are planted about 20mm deep. Plants should be 10cm apart in rows that are 40cm apart. Soaking the beans overnight in water prior to planting will reduce the germination time
How to Water
Water daily until the beans have emerged, then every other day until they are about 10cm tall. After that they should be watered at least once every 5 days if there is no rain. In general, be generous with water but make sure they are well drained, they do not like sitting in wet soil for prolonged periods.
Like other beans, they can fix nitrogen in the soil. Their vining nature covers the ground, sheltering moisture and thus providing a humid, cooler microclimate for surrounding plants such as carrots, celery, chards, corn, eggplant, potatoes, brassicas, beets, radish, strawberry and cucumbers.
How to Propagate
Saving some of the beans for next season is the best way to ensure a steady supply. Let some of the pods dry on the vine towards the end of the season, harvest them when they are dry or let them dry out for a week before breaking open the pods and saving the beans in a cool place in an airtight container.
How to Harvest
Adzuki beans can be harvested when they are still young or when they are mature and dry, usually about 120 days. During the growing season you can harvest the green beans when you can see the beans outlined in the pod, about once a week is sufficient.
They can be used in sweet and savory dishes, used fresh, dried (soaked before cooking) and sprouted.
Incorporate the Adzuki beans as a regular item in your diet as a mineral rich source of protein.
Adzuki beans are a good source for a variety of minerals, with 1 cup of cooked beans providing an estimate of 4.5 mg of iron, 119 mg of magnesium, 1.2 g of potassium, 4 mg of zinc and 278 μg of folic acid.
Minerals are essential for a healthy mind-body. With up to 25% protein, Adzuki beans are a super food.
According to foodnutritionresearch.net Adzuki beans have been used in a rat study as a possible treatment for obesity with success. (27)