Botanical Name: Phaseolus vulgaris
Common Name: Red Kidney Beans
Family: Fabaceae (Legume family)
Origin: Red Kidney Beans, along with other common beans such as pinto beans, navy beans, and black beans, are believed to have originated in Peru.
(per 100 grams of cooked Red Kidney Beans)
Protein: 8.67 grams
Fat: 0.53 grams
Carbohydrates: 22.8 grams
Dietary Fiber: 6.4 grams
Sugars: 0.28 grams
Vitamin A: 5 micrograms
Vitamin C: 0.5 milligrams
Vitamin E: 0.04 milligrams
Thiamin (Vitamin B1): 0.15 milligrams
Riboflavin (Vitamin B2): 0.06 milligrams
Niacin (Vitamin B3): 0.42 milligrams
Vitamin B6: 0.07 milligrams
Folate (Vitamin B9): 68 micrograms
Calcium: 28 milligrams
Iron: 1.8 milligrams
Magnesium: 28 milligrams
Phosphorus: 69 milligrams
Potassium: 403 milligrams
Sodium: 1 milligram
Zinc: 0.53 milligrams
Copper: 0.23 milligrams
Manganese: 0.39 milligrams
The term “red kidney beans” is a descriptive name that refers to the appearance of these beans. The word “kidney” is derived from the resemblance of the bean’s shape to that of a kidney, and “red” describes its characteristic reddish-brown color.
Red Kidney Beans, scientifically known as Phaseolus vulgaris, are believed to have originated in Peru. They are part of the larger group of common beans, including varieties such as pinto beans, navy beans, and black beans.
The cultivation of kidney beans dates back thousands of years. They were an essential crop in the ancient civilizations of the Americas, particularly in the regions of present-day Peru and Mexico. Kidney beans were domesticated by indigenous people in these areas and were a staple food in their diets.
Kidney beans quickly became a staple food in many regions of South and Central America as a result of increased commerce and exploration. Kidney beans are supposed to have been widely distributed around the globe by Indian merchants who brought them from Peru. Because of this, many different indigenous groups began cultivating and eating kidney beans.
Kidney beans were first introduced to Europe by the Spanish explorers who visited the New World in the 15th century. Upon their return to Europe, they brought kidney beans to the continent. Traders from Spain and Portugal took kidney beans to Africa and Asia.
Because of their low cost and high nutritional content, kidney beans have become more popular across the world. They provide a wealth of nutrients, including protein from plants. India, China, Indonesia, Brazil, and the USA are now the world’s five largest commercial producers of kidney beans.
Mexican, Caribbean, Indian, and Middle Eastern cuisines are just a few of the many that regularly include red kidney beans and other popular bean kinds. They give flavour, texture, and nutritional value to a broad variety of cuisines and are hence frequently used in soups, stews, salads, and vegetarian foods.
- Heart Health: Red kidney beans are rich in soluble fiber, which helps lower cholesterol levels. The fiber binds to cholesterol in the digestive tract, preventing absorption and reducing overall cholesterol levels. By reducing cholesterol, red kidney beans contribute to a healthier heart and a reduced risk of heart disease.
- Blood Sugar Regulation: The fiber content in red kidney beans helps regulate blood sugar levels. Fiber slows down the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates, preventing rapid spikes in blood sugar levels. This is particularly beneficial for individuals with diabetes, as it promotes better blood sugar control.
- Weight Management: Red kidney beans are low in fat and high in fiber and protein, making them a satisfying and nutritious addition to a weight loss or weight management plan. The fiber and protein content helps promote feelings of fullness, reducing the tendency to overeat and aiding in weight management.
- Digestive Health: The high fiber content in red kidney beans supports healthy digestion. Fiber adds bulk to the stool, promoting regular bowel movements and preventing constipation. It also provides nourishment for beneficial gut bacteria, promoting a healthy gut microbiome.
- Antioxidant Properties: Antioxidants like the flavonoids found in red kidney beans help defend against oxidative stress and lower the danger of developing chronic illnesses like cancer. Antioxidants support the body by eliminating damaging free radicals, which can cause cell damage and inflammation.
- Nutritional Value: Folate, iron, potassium, and magnesium are just a few of the many important nutrients found in red kidney beans. Energy generation, red blood cell synthesis, muscular function, and maintaining appropriate blood pressure are just some of the many body processes that benefit greatly from these nutrients.
- Choose dry red kidney beans: Look for dry, uncooked red kidney beans in the grocery store. They are typically available in bags or bulk bins.
- Check for quality: Inspect the beans for any signs of damage, such as cracks, holes, or insect infestation. Also, make sure there are no moisture or mold stains on the beans.
- Consider organic options: If possible, choose organic red kidney beans to minimize exposure to pesticides and other chemicals.
- Store in a cool, dry place: Transfer the red kidney beans to an airtight container or a resealable bag. Keep them in a cool, dry, and dark pantry or cupboard.
- Protect from moisture: Moisture can cause the beans to spoil or become moldy. Ensure that the storage container is tightly sealed and away from areas prone to humidity, such as near the sink or stove.
- Avoid exposure to light: Light can degrade the quality of beans over time. Keep them in a dark area or in an opaque container to protect them from light exposure.
- Use within a reasonable time frame: Red kidney beans have a long shelf life, but it’s best to use them within a year of purchase for the best flavor and quality. Over time, they may become harder and take longer to cook.
- Check for signs of spoilage: Before using the beans, check for any signs of spoilage, such as a musty smell, mold growth, or an off texture. If you notice any of these signs, discard the beans.
- Consider freezing: If you want to extend the shelf life of red kidney beans, you can freeze them. Cooked beans freeze well and can be stored in airtight containers or freezer bags for up to six months.
Red Kidney Beans Recipes
1 cup red kidney beans (cooked or canned)
1 onion, finely chopped
2 tomatoes, pureed
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1-inch piece of ginger, grated
1 green chili, finely chopped (optional)
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon red chili powder (adjust to taste)
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
Salt to taste
Fresh cilantro leaves, chopped (for garnish)
- Heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Add cumin seeds and let them splutter.
- Add chopped onions and sauté until golden brown.
- Add minced garlic, grated ginger, and green chili (if using). Sauté for a minute.
- Add tomato puree and cook until the oil separates from the mixture.
- Add the ground coriander, turmeric powder, red chili powder, and salt. Mix well.
- Add the cooked or canned red kidney beans along with some water. Stir well and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes.
- Sprinkle garam masala and give it a final stir.
- Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves.
- Serve the red kidney bean curry hot with rice or roti.
1 cup red kidney beans (cooked or canned)
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 cucumber, diced
1 tomato, diced
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the red kidney beans, diced bell peppers, chopped red onion, cucumber, tomato, and fresh parsley.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well to coat all the ingredients.
- Let the salad marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.
- Serve the red kidney bean salad as a refreshing side dish or as a light main course.