This small, dark red bean, native to the Orient, is referred to in Macrobiotic cooking as the 'most yang of beans'. And in ayurveda, adzuki is used to treat kidney ailments and other ills. Such high regard is no doubt due to its nutritional benefits. Adzuki is a good source of protein and dietary fibre and provides a host of other nutrients. It is also low in fat and sugar and naturally gluten-free, so is easy on the stomach. With a strong nutty-sweet flavour, adzuki is popular in Asian desserts where it is cooked to a soft, pasty consistency and used in confections and cakes. It can also be added to rice soups or tossed in with noodles as a cold side salad.