Aduki Beans and Squash

This aduki beans and squash recipe is a classic and very simple macrobiotic dish that is appropriate for late summer leading into fall, because it is warming and nourishes Spleen and Kidney energy. It is something a little different, but I encourage you to try it. It’s warming, strengthening, and delicious!

Aduki beans (sometimes seen as adzuki beans) are small round beans that have a mild sweet flavor and are particularly nourishing to the Kidneys and the adrenal system. They help detoxify the body and move stagnant blood. Unlike other beans, they do not need to be soaked before cooking. I recommend using the dried beans for this recipe. It is a fairly long cooking time, but very low maintenance! Using a small piece of kelp or kombu helps to increase the digestibility of the beans and adds a wealth of minerals to the dish. You do not have to eat the seaweed if you don’t want to. The minerals will seep into the dish while cooking and you can discard the seaweed at the end if you choose.


  • 1 cup dried aduki beans
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 small strip of kombu or kelp seaweed
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 cup peeled, diced butternut squash

Rinse beans and put in heavy pot with 2 cups water and the seaweed. Bring to boil, then reduce heat and cover and simmer for 1/2 hour. Add the rest of the cold water (to “shock” the beans–helps soften them) and simmer for another 1/2 hour and then add squash. Continue simmering another 1/2 hour or until beans are tender and fork goes through the squash easily. Keep an eye out to make sure water remains in the pot as beans are cooking. You may need to add more. Add the salt in the last 10 minutes of cooking.

To add some extra warming and tonifying energy to this dish, add some fresh grated ginger root.