Kuzu (also spelled Kudzu) is one of the world’s largest and hardiest vegetable roots. In Japan and China it’s a very important medicinal food and has been used for a range of digestive disorders for over 2000 years.
Clinical studies done in China show that Kuzu root preparations can reduce high blood pressure, relieve chronic migraines and ease aches in the shoulders and neck. The flavonoids in Kuzu have also been shown to lower cholesterol levels, reduce the chance of blood clots and protect against heart disease. Recent research has even indicated it can be helpful when used to reduce alcohol consumption.
Kuzu is commonly used to:
I use Kuzu medicinally (when I experience any of the symptoms mentioned above) as well as in my cooking.
I’ll often replace cornflour with Kuzu when I need a thickener for gravies, sauces and stews.
One of my favourite Kuzu recipes is a warm, healthy dessert for the cooler months (or anytime you feel like it).
Here’s the recipe:
STEWED KUZU APPLES
Apples (approx. 1 per person)
Sultanas (a handful)
Nob of ginger
Pinch of sea salt
Tablespoon of Kuzu powder
1-2 drops On Guard essential oil (optional)
Plain yoghurt (optional)
1. Chop apples
2. Place apples in saucepan with a handful of sultanas and add filtered water (stop just before covering apples)
3. Grate ginger and add to saucepan
4. Add a pinch of good quality sea salt (it brings out the sweetness!)
5. Simmer and stir until apples begin to soften (only takes about 5 min)
6. Prepare Kuzu: add about 1 tablespoon to a class then add a dash of water and stir to make it liquid.
7. Once apples have softened: turn off the heat and add Kuzu. Stir to mix (it thickens the liquid)
8. If you like essential oils, add a drop or 2 of Doterra’s On Guard for a lovely spicy flavour (and immune boost)
9. Serve warm with some of the thickened juices
NB: this isn’t macrobiotic, but if you feel like it you can add a dollop of plain yoghurt on top for a lovely contrast in taste, texture and temperature.