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What are Kidney Beans?

A bowl of chili with kidney beans and ground beef.
Assorted beans, including kidney beans on the top right.
Garlic is sometimes added as seasoning to kidney beans.
Three bean salad usually features green and yellow beans alongside kidney beans.
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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 18 October 2014
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Characterized by a strong flavor and a color that is reddish brown in nature, kidney beans are a versatile kidney-shaped bean that can be used in a variety of hot and cold recipes. They are grown in many different locations, and are usually sold in dry or canned varieties. While a true kidney bean is dark red/brown in color, a light red bean, phaseolus vulgaris, is often referred to as a light red kidney bean, owing to the similar shape and texture.

Kidney beans are often an excellent dietary selection, as they contain no cholesterol. As a source of potassium, they provide a source of nutrition that is similar to that of a potato, but with only a moderate amount of carbohydrates. They also contain trace amounts of iron and calcium.

One of the most popular uses for kidney beans is in the preparation of chili. The deep red color works well with the other ingredients of the dish, and adds excellent texture and taste. Along with chili, these red beans are a welcome addition to many casseroles, both for the flavor and the dash of color that the beans add to the presentation of the dish. A quick side dish involves nothing more than canned kidney beans with a little seasoning, such as garlic and pepper. These beans are also a favorite in preparing refried beans, an excellent accompaniment to any Mexican-style dinner.

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Serving kidney beans cold is also a popular option: they're often included in marinated bean salads. A popular and nutritious cold salad involves the use of dark red kidney beans, chickpeas, chopped onion, and slivers of green and yellow bell pepper. The vegetables are tossed in a dressing made with olive oil, vinegar, and various spices. This mixture can be served over cold pasta or on a bed of salad greens.

Dried kidney beans are sometimes preferred over the canned variety. Generally, the dried beans should be allowed to soak overnight, which will cut the cooking time considerably. Nutritious, versatile, and relatively inexpensive, the kidney bean is a welcome addition to just about any kitchen pantry.

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anon222715
Post 10

I am using kidney beans or a science experiment. I don't like kidney beans, so what are recipes you guys like?

anon153054
Post 8

@anon59315- cholesterol is produced by the liver in animals. Therefore, only foods which are animal products contain cholesterol, and beans have none. However, since you are an animal your liver produces cholesterol. In order to keep this under control, eat a diet lower in fat and look for foods with omega-3 in them.

anon119167
Post 7

Do red kidney produce estrogen in women?

anon59315
Post 5

I have a cholesterol problem and note that kidney beans are free of cholesterol. Are there any other beans that are also cholesterol free? I have never been a lover of beans but have found an excellent way in terms of preparation hence my interest in other beans. anon

anon32733
Post 3

Kidney beans, do they have any sugar content?

Medically, I am on a sugar free diet.

mdt
Post 2

Yes, from the perspective that the beans are grown in a pod. However, they are not generally thought of as "pod beans" since they are shelled from the pod for consumption, just like lima beans, black-eyed peas, etc. String beans would be an example of a pod bean.

anon15258
Post 1

Are Kidney beans a pod bean?

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