Kuzu? A word that could make those who defend our local gastronomic traditions turn up their noses. Forget that “traditional” dishes everywhere (and we are no exception) are the result of the integration and sedimentation of customs, tastes and products that come from many parts of the world. Then traders, emigrants, soldiers, travelers, missionaries. So don’t distrust the Kuzu. Also because in these days after the holidays, which are often plagued by stomach and intestines, the kuzu reveals itself a simple remedy that can bring relief and digestive peace.
What is that – The kuzu looks like a white flour obtained by grinding the very deep roots of a plant called Pueraria lobata, a climbing plant of the legume family native to Japan but also cultivated in central and eastern China and, more recently, in the Americas. Pueraria is a perennial plant, very resistant (it can even live more than 100 years) and with strong and developed roots. Own The starch is extracted from the roots, creating a type of highly soluble and digestible starche, often aggregated in small white clods.
Who is it good for and why – For who suffer from indigestion (gastritis, stomach acid, gastroesophageal reflux, severe inflammation such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis), regular use of Kuzu it can be effective in reducing drug consumption and limiting the risk of disease worsening. The Kuzu is thanks to its buffering capacity absorbs and neutralizes excess gastric juices and relieves pain and burning that accompanies gastritis and gastroduodenal ulcers. In the case of gastroesophageal reflux and hiatal hernia (diseases that lead to an annoying and, in the long term, dangerous passage of acidic juices from the stomach into the esophagus), kuzu prevents this phenomenon and relieves respiratory symptoms (hoarseness, cough, bronchitis). they are connected to it. Furthermore, Foods supplemented with kuzu soften stools and make them easier to pass, helps people with constipation and people suffering from anal fissures and hemorrhoids. Finally, a glass of water and kuzu is also useful in case of diarrhea, as it increases stool consistency and exerts a disinfecting and anti-inflammatory effect on the intestinal mucosa.
Other important properties – More than 50 complex chemical compounds have been found in Pueraria root, the most important of which are isoflavones (especially but not limited to genistein, daidzin, daidzein and puerarin). In fact, Pueraria is one of the most important and important alternatives to soy for the supply of isoflavones that are commonly used as supplements to treat menopausal symptoms. However, isoflavones also have other important properties. They are powerful antioxidants, ieinhibit the growth of tumor cells (Cancer Metastasis Reviews 2002;21(3-4):265-80; PLoS One 2011;6(12), are useful in the treatment of Cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases, diabetes (there is no contraindication for these subjects), bone inflammation and even the disease Parkinson’s (Phytotherapy Research 2014 Jul;28(7):961-75). In short, a little treasure trove of healthy properties.
How to use it in the kitchen – Kuzu can be used as a thickening agent for sauces, candies, ice cream, compotes and to give a velvety texture to soups and vegetable purees. The proportion to use is 5-10g of kuzu (about 1-2 teaspoons) per 100g of liquid, but a lot depends on the consistency you want. In general, the addition of kuzu imparts smoothness and creaminess to the preparations. Unlike agar-agar (another good and healthy thickener made from seaweed) which tends to form a fairly firm jelly instead. So if you want to make more uniform preparations (puddings, transparent icing for cakes, etc.). the agar agar. Kuzu, on the other hand, is used not only to thicken, but also to make soft and very pleasant creams that can be eaten by the spoonful. Kuzu can be found on the market in both powdered form and small, chalk-like chunks. In this case, before use, dry crush with a bottle or crush in a kitchen mortar.
Some practical suggestions – The easiest way to use Kuzu and get its beneficial properties for constipation, stomach inflammation, gastroesophageal reflux and colitis is as follows. Dissolve a teaspoon of kuzu in a cup of cold water (to avoid lumps), then simmer for about 5 minutes. When the liquid turns clear, the drink is ready.