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Kidney Beans for Kidney Health

Winter sunshine is a fairy wand touching everything with a strange magic. It is like the smile of a friend in times of sorrow.

— Patience Strong

In Traditional Medicine, the kidneys are the organ which form the foundation of a healthy and vital life. We must care for our kidneys in order to keep them functioning at peak performance as we age. Think of them as your body’s own personal fountain of youth.

Western Medicine understands the role of our kidneys in much the same way. The kidneys are essential for waste filtration and removal. But did you know that the kidneys also contribute to producing an active form of Vitamin D which is essential to our immune system? This also helps regulate healthy fertility, cognitive function and weight maintenance.

Traditional Medicine views the kidney bean (which gets its name because it is shaped like a kidney) as essential to helping the kidneys function properly. Kidney beans are known to tonify the blood and yin as well as helping to clear heat from your kidneys and to help reduce water retention problems like oedema.

So…to help you care for one of your most important organs during the cold winter months…try making this delicious, nutritious Kidney Bean & Sweet Potato Stew. Your kidneys will love you for it.

Kidney Bean & Sweet Potato Stew


  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil

  • 1 large onion, diced

  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

  • 2 tsp cumin seeds

  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

  • 1 tsp ground turmeric

  • 1 tsp chilli flakes

  • 690g jar passata

  • 500g sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1 cm chunks

  • 400g can red kidney beans, drained

  • 30g flat-leaf parsley, chopped

  • 1 tbsp dried mint

  • 150g Greek yogurt

  • salt & pepper


  1. In a large pan, saute the onion in 1 tbsp vegetable oil for a few minutes until it begins to turn translucent.

  2. Add the garlic, stirring so it doesn’t burn. Cook until soft, but not browned.

  3. Stir in the spices, then cook, stirring, for a minute or two.

  4. Season with salt and with pepper to taste, then stir in the passata. Reduce the heat to low and simmer gently, uncovered, for about 25 minutes.

  5. Add the sweet potato and cook for a further 20 minutes or so until the sweet potato is soft, then add the beans and most of the parsley. Cook for another couple of minutes.

  6. Place another pan over a medium heat, add the dried mint and 1 tbsp of vegetable oil and heat the mint for a few minutes (don't let it burn).

  7. Serve the stew in bowls, add dollops of the yogurt and scatter over the remaining parsley. Finally pour over the hot mint oil and serve immediately.

Recipe from Sabrina Ghayour

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