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Nutrition Info: Red and Green Bean Soup

Posted on | June 4, 2010 | No Comments

Traditional Chinese Medicine properties are of course engrained into asian culture.  It’s an amazing concept that balances energy pathways of the body with a large importance placed on herbs, supplements, food and drink consumed for their heating or cooling effects of the body and more importantly to promote health.

Two heating and cooling foods used to balance body energy are Red and Green Bean Dessert Soup.

Red Bean Soup

This dessert soup is made from red azuki beans, which are nutritious, small, dried sweet-flavored beans. The soup may be served hot, at room temperature, or chilled.  The vibrant red color signifies happiness and luck within the Chinese culture and the belief is that the red beans are “Yang” or warming food and eaten to drive away ‘dampness’, water retention and it’s related symptoms.

It’s made by boiling red azuki beans and sugar until soft and mushy.  Most variations will add dried lotus seeds that have a slight nutty flavor to create a dramatic contrast in color and texture.


  • 1 cup dried red azuki beans, soaked 4 hours or overnight, drained
  • 1/4 cup dried lotus seeds, soaked for 12 hours, or overnight, drained
  • 1/3 cup to 1/2 cup sugar
  • (This amount serves 8 people)
Red Bean Soup

Red Bean Soup

  • Red Bean Soup Serve:  (above recipe serves 8 people)
  • Energy:  130 Calories
  • Protein: 10g
  • Carbohydrates: 24g
  • Fat: 4g
  • Sodium: 300 mg

Variations:  In some parts of Southeast Asia, coconut milk and pandan leaves are used to replace lotus seed and tangerine peel can be added to aid in digestion.


Green Bean soup:

Other sweet bean based asian dessert is Green Bean Soup.  The base of the soup is from Mung beans and according to Traditional Chinese Medicine physicians have a ‘cooling’ effect on the body (yin).  This dessert is eaten to help dispel internal heat, clear away toxins, promote urination and relieve hot weather ailments and rashes.  Mung beans are super-nutritious beans rich in protein, fibre, carbohydrates, calcium, phosphorus, iron, and vitamins. 

The dessert soup is made my soaking dried mung beans over night in water and then boiled with palm sugar and pandan leaf. It’s served warm topped with coconut cream.


  • 1 cup dried mung beans
(soaked overnight)
  • 4-5 cups water
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup palm sugar (or white sugar)
  • 3-4 pandan leaves (optional)
Green Bean Soup

Green Bean Soup

  • Energy:  225 Calories
  • Protein: 15g
  • Carbohydrates: 34g
  • Fat: 7g
  • Sodium: 503 mg

Nutritionally, these desserts are quite healthy for you.  They are far superior to western style dessert options due to their bean base.  The calories per portion for both desserts are reasonable however do take care with the sugar and coconut milk content in both. This is a dessert that can be enjoyed, but I would still not advise every day.  Enjoy!

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