Azuki bean sprouts are a healthy and nutritious plant food, which contains substances capable of improving the body's well-being. Azuki bean sprouts are obtained from the seeds of an annual cycle plant belonging to the Fabaceae (or Leguminosae) family, whose botanical name is Vigna angularis.
Originally from Asia, the plant has been cultivated since ancient times in China and Japan and today its reddish seeds are among the most consumed legumes in the East, after soy. Specifically, Vigna angularis appears as a small shrub, which does not reach one meter in height, which offers fruits formed by bacilli up to 10 cm long, inside which are contained seeds similar to dark red beans with a small white eye of approximately five millimeters.
The latter are used not only for sprouting, but also to prepare desserts or infusions.
A curiosity about beans concerns the term azuki, which means "good luck" and which may be linked to the Italian tradition of eating lentils on New Year's Eve as a good omen for the new year.
Azuki bean sprouts have high nutritional value and low calorie content. In fact, 100 g of product allows you to provide the body with 25 g of vegetable proteins, as well as fibre, lecithin, vitamin A, many of the B complex (B1, B2, B3, B6), vitamin C and vitamin E.
Furthermore, they are a rich source of essential amino acids, enzymes, mineral salts, such as:
The sprouts, like the plant, have a high molybdenum content, so much so that 25 grams provide the total daily requirement of this oligonutrient, essential for the production of sulphite oxidase.
Azuki bean SPROUTS: THE USES IN THE KITCHEN
Azuki bean sprouts grow in 4-6 days, are crunchy, have a sweet, delicious flavor, and are easy to digest. In Japanese and Chinese cuisine they are used to prepare desserts and cakes, but also excellent infusions. In general they can be consumed raw to make a salad or fill a sandwich, while if you want to cook them, steam is preferable to preserve their nutritional and organoleptic properties. In this case, just leave them in the basket for a few minutes to make them tender and then season them with olive oil, salt and pepper.
The adzuki bean sprouts help give substance to the dish and pair perfectly with cucumbers, peppers, herbs and spices. Furthermore, they are suitable for accompanying white meat, fish and tofu as a side dish. A delicious way to enjoy them is to fry them or sauté them in a pan, perhaps creating sticks with mixed vegetables, to bring to the table with a tofu sauce.
The method to obtain optimal azuki bean sprouts is to take well-dried seeds, immerse them for a whole day in plenty of water, to be changed every 12 hours. Once the sprouts break the seeds and begin to emerge, it is necessary to drain the seeds and place them in a tray, avoiding water stagnation.
Generally, they can be harvested after 4 days, but always before the foliage develops. While to keep them fresh and crunchy it is advisable to grow them in the dark. Sprouts can be stored in the fridge for up to a week.