Welcome to the wonderful world of the kidney bean! This nutrient-rich staple of many diets across the world is a powerhouse of nutrition and a delicious addition to many dishes. To help you learn more about this amazing bean and its nutritious benefits, we’re taking an in-depth look at what makes it so special!
What are kidney beans?
Kidney beans are a type of legume that are widely cultivated and consumed around the world. They are believed to have originated in Mexico, Bolivia and Peru but can now be found in many forms throughout the world. Kidney beans come in a variety of sizes, colors and shapes. The most common type of kidney bean is the red kidney bean, which is usually used in chili, soups and stews, but there are also white kidney beans and black kidney beans which are popular in Latin American and Mediterranean dishes. Kidney beans are also used in salads, casseroles and even pureed as a dip.
What are the health benefits of eating kidney beans?
Kidney beans are a great source of nutrition and are an excellent addition to any diet. They are high in protein, low in fat and calories, and are rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants. Kidney beans are an excellent source of essential nutrients such as iron, magnesium, potassium and calcium, which can help to promote bone health, healthy blood pressure and reduce the risk of certain diseases. Eating kidney beans can also help to regulate blood sugar levels and improve digestion. Additionally, kidney beans are a good source of B vitamins, zinc, phosphorous and folate which can help to boost the immune system, support healthy vision, and may even help to reduce the risk of certain cancers.
It is also important to note that kidney beans are a great source of vegetarian protein. Not only are kidney beans a great plant-based source of protein, but they are also full of healthy carbohydrates and fiber which can help to keep your energy levels steady and provide lasting fullness.
What are some delicious recipes with kidney beans?
With their unique combination of flavor, texture and nutrition, there are so many delicious ways to incorporate kidney beans into every meal. From vegetarian chili to vegan burrito bowls, rice and bean dishes to salads – the possibilities are endless. Here are some of our favorite dishes featuring kidney beans.
- Vegan Chili: Not only is vegan chili super comforting and flavorful, but it is also packed with protein and nutrition thanks to the addition of kidney beans.
- Julienned Vegetable and Kidney Bean Salad: This vibrant and tasty salad is the perfect lunchtime meal, bursting with flavor and nutrient-rich ingredients.
- Rice and Bean Burrito Bowls: These burrito bowls are a fantastic way to get a ton of nutrition in a single serving. Rice, beans, fresh veggies and your favorite toppings make for a truly satisfying meal.
- Spicy Black Bean Burgers: If you’re looking for a delicious and nutritious vegan dinner recipe, these black bean burgers are sure to hit the spot.
- Coconut Curry Kidney Beans: For a comforting and unique spicy dinner, try this coconut curry kidney bean dish. It is sure to please any crowd and is loaded with nutrition.
From a nutritional powerhouse to a delicious addition to any meal, the humble kidney bean is truly a versatile and nutritious ingredient. Here’s wishing you lots of success on your cooking adventures with these incredible beans. Enjoy!
When someone takes a steaming hot spoonful of kidney beans onto their dinner plate, they may never think of the incredible journey the bean has taken to get there. Food of all kinds is a source of sustenance, but it is also the vehicle by which energy, nutrition, and culture travel around the world. Kidney beans are no exception and their travels take them a long way before they make their way into the mouths of hungry diners.
Although each variety of kidney bean hails from its own part of the world, its path from the field to the dinner table is largely the same. Starting with the actual cultivation of the crop, the path can be broken down into several distinct parts as the beans transform from small green plants to a steaming-hot accompaniment for dinner.
At the Beginning: Growing the Crop
The journey of a kidney bean begins with its cultivation. Though kidney beans are now grown on every continent except Antarctica, their origin appears to be in Central or South America. As the poor man’s meat, kidney beans were once a staple in native diets before being brought overseas. This is especially true in India, where the kidney bean is an essential part of the country’s cuisine.
Whatever the cultural origins, kidney bean cultivation remains largely the same. Once farmers start the process by planting the seeds, a cycle of growth and harvest begins. Kidney beans are a hardy crop and, barring any strikes of bad weather, will typically take about six to eight weeks to reach maturity. By this point, the plant should be close to two feet tall and full of plump pods, each containing four to seven of the beans.
Harvesting & Drying
Once the crop has reached maturity, it's now time to harvest. Depending on the flavor and texture of the final product, farmers might choose to harvest the beans while they are still green or wait until the pods turn brown and the beans within start to dry out. If the latter is chosen, the pods are cut away and left out to dry in the sun until the beans are completely dry. This process intensifies their natural flavor, allowing them to come alive when cooked.
Once the pods are dry, the beans are removed and then dehulled and sorted according to size and hardness. The too-big and too-small beans are removed, while the rest are cleaned and dried one final time before they are sold. The whole process from planting to harvesting usually takes about two to three months.
Processing & Packaging
After the beans are harvested, cleaned, dried and sorted, they are ready for processing. This is done by mechanical means and the beans can either be whole or broken. In some cases, the beans are soaked to reduce their thickness and expand their surface area. This process is often used when making dried or canned beans for easy cooking, as the soaking will reduce their cooking time.
Once the beans are processed, they are sorted one final time and packed in containers ready for shipment. Depending on their destination, the beans will either be canned, frozen, or sent as a dry powder. Canned beans are best used right away, while dry beans can last up to a year if stored in an airtight container.
Shipping & Distribution
Once the beans are packaged and ready, it's time to ship. Whether they are meant for local or foreign markets, the beans must be taken to the proper sales outlets to be distributed. Placing the beans in sealed cardboard boxes that have been specially designed to protect them, the beans are shipped on a truck and monitored during the entire delivery route. The shipping process, though rushed, is carefully regulated and the sender is held liable for any damage done to the beans.
When the beans arrive at their final destination, distributors will often break them down and repackage them in smaller packages to meet the demands of the local market. The beans are then carefully monitored for purity and safety before being placed on the shelves of grocery stores, health food shops, or other retail outlets.
Cooking & Enjoyment
By this point, the kidney beans are finally ready to be cooked and enjoyed. Each variety of bean has its own cooking instructions, but all require pre-soaking before they are boiled and seasoned. Once the boil has been reached, the beans are typically boiled for an hour before being simmered for another hour. This process helps the beans to retain their shape and their flavor.
Once the beans have been boiled, they can be seasoned with various herbs and spices. This will vary depending on personal preference, but some of the most popular spices include garlic, cumin, oregano and coriander.
Kidney beans are a tasty and nutritious staple at dinner tables around the world. Before they end up in your plate however, they have gone through a long and complex journey, from planting and harvesting to packaging and shipping. A lot of care and effort goes into cultivating, packaging, and distributing kidney beans so that everyone can enjoy their unique flavor and nutrition.
|Vitamin E||0.03 mg|
|Vitamin K||0.0084 mg|
|Vitamin C||0.0012 grams|
|Vitamin B1||0.16 mg|
|Vitamin B2||0.06 mg|
|Vitamin B3||0.58 mg|
|Vitamin B4||0.0305 grams|
|Vitamin B5||0.22 mg|
|Vitamin B6||0.12 mg|
|Vitamin B9||0.13 mg|
Daily Value 1.3 g
Daily Value 0.018 g
Daily Value 0.4 g
Daily Value 1.25 g
Daily Value 4.7 g
Daily Value 2.3 g
Daily Value 0.011 g
Daily Value 0.9 mg
Daily Value 0.0023 g
Daily Value 0.055 mg
|Aspartic Acid||1.086 grams|
|Glutamic Acid||1.393 grams|
|Total Sugars||0.131141 grams||
|Palmitic acid (16:0)||0.07 grams||
|Stearic acid (18:0)||0.01 grams||
|Total Saturated fatty acids:||0.08 g|
|Oleic acid (18:1)||0.04 grams||
|Total Monounsaturated fatty acids:||0.04 g|
|Linolenic acid (18:3)||0.17 grams||
|Linoleic acid (18:2)||0.11 grams||
|Total Polyunsaturated fatty acids:||0.28 g|