Kidney beans are a variety of legume commonly used in Central American and northern Indian dishes. They get their name from its visual resemblance in shape to a kidney. The most common kidney bean type has a vibrant red colour but they can also be white, black and purple.
In Mexican cooking kidney beans are used in chilli con carnet, a rich stew commonly served with rice and tortilla chips. They are also great in burritos and are a common ingredient in Mexican soups and stews.
Kidney beans are a common ingredient in vegan burgers. Not only do they have a lovely flavour their texture helps bind the patties together easily. Because of this kidney beans have gained in popularity over recent years as more people decide to follow a vegan, plant-based diet
Kidney beans are also used in curry, salads and they can be added to many rice dishes.
Kidney Bean Toxicity
It is important to remember that uncooked (dried) kidney beans can be slightly poisonous.
Raw kidney beans have a high concentration of a chemical called phytohaemagglutinin. This chemical can cause severe nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea. The phytohaemagglutinin is killed off after the kidney beans are boiled for at least 10 minutes before even adding them to your dish. You will still need to boil raw kidney beans if you are planning on using them in a slow cooker recipe as the low hear will not kill ff the phytohaemagglutinin.
Canned kidney beans are usually pre-cooked and ready to eat but check the packaging first.
Nutritional information of Kidney Beans
Kidney beans are a great source of plant-based protein and they are super high in iron and fibre. They also have decent levels of manganese, phosphorus, vitamin B1, potassium and magnesium.
Kidney beans are high in carbohydrates but this may be a good thing. Not all carbs release energy at the same speed.
Fast-release carbs, cause a spike in blood sugar levels. Slow-release carbs provide a more gradual release of energy helping you to sustain energy levels for longer periods of time.
There are about 127 calories in 100g of cooked kidney beans.
Recipe suggestion: Vegetarian chilli