Sweet Adzuki beans

I cook Adzuki beans every week to eat with porridge or eat on its own as a dessert. They are good for the kidneys. If you eat them to help your kidneys, ideally, you should eat them without sugar. But I cook mine with sugar – I mean, Molasses (That’s the sugar I use for my cooking/baking). Because, I like my Adzuki beans sweet!

adzuki.jpg

Sweet beans are common in Japan, and this is how I cook my Adzuki beans. I use a pressure cooker.

Ingredients:

  • 200ml Adzuki beans
  • 80-100ml Molasses
  • pinch of salt
  • water

By the way, the quantity here is approximate… I measure them just roughly by a measuring jag. I don’t press the Molasses into the jag, so again, it’s a rough amount.

Method:

  1. Soak the Adzuki beans overnight, or up to 24 hours. I like my beans soft, so I often soak them for 24 hours. If you do that on a warm day, and if you see some bubbles on the surface, change the water after a half day. By the way, Adzuki beans from Japan do not need a soaking. Somehow, beans sold in the UK/Europe are tougher.
  2. Put the beans and water in the pressure cooker. Roughly, with three times more water than beans (in the volume). Bring it to a boil and cook it for two to five minutes without pressure.
  3. Drain the beans and rinse them. If necessary, rinse the pressure cooker too.
  4. Put the beans back to the pressure cooker, again, with about three to four times more water. I think that’s the water level about 1 – 2 inches above the beans.
  5. Cook it with pressure for 20 – 45 minutes. I use the highest pressure. 20 minutes would make the beans edible but the skin might be still a bit tough. 45 minutes would make the beans much softer, and I like it that way. If you cook for a longer time like I do, make sure the cooker has enough water throughout the cooking time.
  6. Let it cool for 15 minutes or until the pressure is naturally released.
  7. Stir in the sugar, and leave it for a while.
  8. Stir in a pinch of salt.

Sugar is absorbed into the beans while the beans are cooling (and salt would disturb the absorbing process). So let the beans absorb the sugar first, let’s say, for at least 5 to 15 minutes (I often leave it longer), and then add the salt.

Eat it as is (warm or cold), mix with porridge, or with milk/soya milk to make a drink, or use it for baking.

You can also use the cooked beans for savoury dishes (do that before adding sugar).

Enjoy your Adzuki beans!

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Raw local honey

I thought of starting a blog about ten days ago. Since then I’ve been wondering where to start, what to write…but I’ve got to start somewhere! So today I’d like to write about what I bought this weekend.

Row honey from a local beekeeper!

A couple of months ago, I learned how wonderful raw honey was, its magical properties and how it could be used for many different things, including, like medicine rather than food or sweetener.

At that time I thought any local honey would be naturally ‘raw’, means not heated or processed like mass-produced honey from a supermarket. However, it seems it’s not true – it seems like, not all the local honey is raw.

I didn’t know that until I met my local beekeeper, from whom I bought these lovely jars of honey, who is so passionate about his work and proud of the raw honey he produces.

rawlocalhoney

The left jar is from summer flowers, and the right one is from early spring flowers.

I tasted both, and they were both simply amazing. The honey has got soft creamy texture – at this time of the year, it is naturally ‘set’ (rather than ‘runny’), I heard.

I bought the raw honey not for a medical reason, but I’m excited that I’ve encountered this lovely honey and now I can enjoy a spoonful of raw honey every morning. It tastes like it is full of good energy too!

I am also so fortunate that this beekeeper lives within a walking distance from my home. I’ve been a big fan of local products, especially local honey. But above all, this honey feels so special, as it is produced by his great passion and love. I believe, anything produced with love and passion is great, radiating wonderful energy.

By the way, I Googled ‘local honey’ this time when my last jar of local honey finished. The Internet is truly great. I found this site; a non-commercial directory of local beekeepers in the UK:

http://www.honeybeehive.co.uk/honey/suppliers

I feel this site itself is made of love and passion too. Highly recommended if you are looking for local honey!

<update on 5th of December 2017>

Unfortunately, this web site has been closed down. But Anton, who supplies lovely local raw honey in my neighbourhood now has got his web site!

https://naturesrawhoney.com/about/