Eating uncooked kidney beans
I bought some dried Kidney Beans from Whole Foods and soaked them for 8 hours and added them into a Coleslaw salad recipe and they taste terrible. I am trying to keep them as raw as possible to get the most nutrition out of them. Any suggestions on what else I can do to make them a bit tastier?***** Sassy Sez:
San Carlos, CA
Hi Debby! So glad you wrote about your raw kidney bean dilemma.
First and foremost, you MUST cook kidney beans before eating them. Why? Because they contain a toxin that can only be destroyed by cooking them thoroughly.
I came across this information long ago, and added it to my website. Little did I know how important this information would be!
It wasn't long before I received this note:"Thanks for posting the warning to people about the dangers of dried Red Kidney Beans eaten uncooked. I found this out the hard way a few years ago. I soaked them but used them raw in the recipe. There was nothing on the dried bean package about any danger, and I read the recipe instructions wrong. My husband and I both got sick learning this the hard way. You can't tell while eating them that you will get sick."
-- Jona F., Hermitage, Tennessee
It's interesting to note that you don't have to eat a lot of these beans in order to trigger symptoms -- even as few as four or five raw beans can do the trick.
What exactly can happen if you eat raw kidney beans?
How about horrendous nausea, vomiting (which can be severe). Then about an hour later diarrhea steps in along with some tummy pains. Sometimes it gets so bad you are hospitalized! Fortunately, you recover quite quickly from the whole ordeal.
Most beans can have this challenge to some extent, but red kidney beans seem to be the biggest culprit since they have the greatest amount of this toxin.
It's QUITE surprising there are no warnings on the packages of dried kidney beans - maybe we should start a movement!
Debby, you will get the MOST nutrition out of any bean by cooking them first.
Find complete instructions for shopping for your beans, soaking them, cooking, and also flavoring your beans over at my Bean Cooking Guide
Hope this helps. Cook those beans, girlfriend! :)