SOS: Three sweet ways to eat more beans

March 24th, 2011 · Lisa · gluten-free, Recipes, Snacks, sugar-free, Sweet, Uncategorized · Comments
I was so overwhelmed with your response to my last post. From the bottom of my heart, thank you!
Today, I have three new recipes to share with you created specifically for the SOS kitchen challenge hosted each month by Ricki and Kim. I wasn’t able to participate last month while I was at the 105 Academy and living out of a hotel room, so I was anxious this month to get back on board.
When Kim and Ricki announced that the recipes for March would highlight the lovely Adzuki bean, I started planning right away. I have never cooked with Adzuki beans before and couldn’t wait to explore their versatility.

Instead of simply replacing more familiar beans in my standard fare, I wanted to create some sweet recipes that employed adzuki beans for their unique, subtle flavour, as I’ve seen often in Japanese cuisine.

Wandering the aisles of Toronto’s Asian markets is a great source of unique recipe inspiration. On a recent trip I noticed a pint of Red Bean Ice Cream in the cooler. Since the commercial varieties are far from vegan I’ve never tasted it myself, but I’ve always been intrigued. I’ve certainly tried my fair share of soybean ice creams so why not red bean.

With that in mind I churned up a batch of mostly raw (except for the red beans) vegan ice cream that truly tantalized my taste buds.

Blood Orange and Red Bean Ice Cream in a Raw Chocolate Cone with a Chocolate Butterfly Friend
Sometimes I go a little overboard with these challenges.

I decided that I had to make a raw chocolate ice cream cone to hold my red bean ice cream (makes sense right?). Luckily, there are lots of chefs out there crazier than me. I found a recipe in Matthew Kenney’s Everyday Raw Desserts and now have a big batch of ice cream cones ready to use.

I also decided that the perfect garnish for red bean ice cream would be a little chocolate butterfly. I think I was dreaming of spring at the time. I simply melted a chocolate bar and piped little butterflies on a parchment sheet placed on top of folded cardstock that would keep the wings bent as they set in the freezer.

Then I made my own red bean jam. Don’t feel pressured to do the same. You can easily buy red bean paste. If you go that route just reduce the sweetener in the ice cream and granola bars below. I’m pretty sure my version is a lot higher in fibre and lower in sugar that the traditional paste.

This recipe is pretty straight forward but the flavour it quite complex. The blood orange really lifts the sweet flavour of the red bean jam. It was love at first bite.

Blood Orange Red Bean Ice Cream
3/4 cup cashews (soaked 4 hours)
1/4 cup coconut meat
1/4 cup blood orange juice
zest 1 blood orange
3/4 cup water
2 TBSP agave
1 tsp vanilla bean powder (or extract)
pinch of salt
1/2 cup red bean jam (from the recipe below or purchased red bean paste)
Blend all of the ingredients together in a high-powered blender until completely smooth. Allow to cool in the fridge for 1 hour. Churn in your ice cream maker for approximately 25 minutes. Store in your freezer.
After biting the wings off my chocolate butterfly and enjoying a few spoonfuls of delicious ice cream, I started working through the problem of the remaining cup of red bean jam hanging out in my fridge.
Red Bean Jam Granola Bars
2 cups rolled oats
2 TBSP chia seeds
5 TBSP brown rice syrup
2 TBSP coconut oil, melted
pinch of salt
2 TBSP sesame seeds
1 cup red bean jam (from recipe below or purchased red bean paste)
Preheat your oven to 350F. Line a 8X8 pan with a sheet of parchment paper. In a medium bowl mix together the oats, chia seeds, brown rice syrup, coconut oil and salt. Press 2/3rds of the mixture into the prepared ban. Let the pan sit in the fridge to allow the base to firm up for 10 minutes. Spread the red bean jam into a smooth layer on top of the base. Add the sesame seeds into the bowl with the remaining oat mixture. Evenly distribute the oat mixture on top of the red bean jam. Bake for 25 minutes. Allow to cool in the fridge before cutting into bars.
I wish I could say that I have a lot of these left in my freezer – portioned for upcoming packed lunches. But I don’t. They were delicious.
In case you’re feeling like simmering some sweet beans, here is the jam recipe I used.
Homemade Red Bean Jam
1/2 cup Adzuki Beans
About 6 cups cold water
1/4 agave syrup
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1/2 tsp salt
Rinse the bean and place them in a medium saucepan with 2 cups of water. Over medium heat bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and maintain a simmer for 8 minutes (the water should turn dark red). Drain the beans, discard the water and rinse out the pot. Return the beans to the pot and add 1 1/2 cups of water. Over medium heat bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes until most of the water has evaporated. Add 1/2 cup water and continue to cook for 20 minutes. Add another 1/2 cup of water and simmer for 10 more minutes. Add another 1/2 cup of water and simmer for a final 10 minutes. The beans should be soft and yield easily when pinched between your fingers. Add the coconut sugar and agave and simmer for another 20 minutes. Allow to cool. Add to a food processor with the salt and process until smooth.
It will be thick – like bean dip. For a thinner jam press through a mesh sieve before blending.
All I have to say is, aren’t you happy to see me use flavours other than ginger? It took a lot of restraint but I was so pleased with the final results.
Have you ever used Adzuki beans? If you have a recipe to share there is still time to join the SOS Kitchen Challenge. There is quite a collection of fantastic recipes posted by amazing bloggers in case you’re look for more fun ways to eat your beans.


  1. narf7
    Posted July 17, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    I went hunting for a recipe for red bean jam and found this gem of a blog…automatically got stuffed into my oversubscribed rss feed reader and when I pare it down in the future this is one blog that ISN’T being deleted! cheers for an amazing recipe, lovely photos and some interesting recipes for future degustory delights 🙂

    • theveganlisa
      Posted July 17, 2012 at 6:46 pm

      What an incredibly sweet note. Thank you for stopping by – I hope you find a lot more interesting recipes to try! I will try to continue to earn my place in your reader with some diverse culinary offerings 🙂

Post Comment →

Post Comment