Slow cookers may not reach a high enough temperature and hold it for long enough to kill the toxin. This precaution is most important for red kidney beans, but also applies to white ones.
Red kidney beans contain about 3 times as much of the toxic agent as the white ones. However, white kidney beans can also cause illness if not fully cooked.
I’ve also seen cautions about raw or undercooked soy beans (which contain a different toxin, called a train inhibitor, which is also destroyed with the same type of proper boiling/cooking), but I rarely see recipes that call for cooking raw soy beans. Just throw them in with a bit of a broth and several hours later you'll be rewarded with some creamy and tender legumes.
But if you try this method with red kidney beans, you risk giving yourself a severe case of food poisoning. According to research from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), red kidney beans contain high levels of a toxin called phytohemagglutinin (PHA) that causes extreme nausea, severe vomiting, and sometimes abdominal pain.
PHA is present in red kidney beans that are still partially raw from undercooking, or haven't been heated to a safe temperature to destroy the toxin. While this information may sound scary, it shouldn't stop you from enjoying kidney beans.
4 tablespoons of salt Water 1 onion, chopped (optional) Pepper to taste Rinsing washes away dirt and makes small pebbles and other contaminants easier to spot.
Add a few tablespoons of salt and enough cold water to cover plus an additional 2 inches since the beans will expand. Cover with a lid or plastic wrap and either put in the refrigerator or leave at room temperature overnight.
Drain the beans, rinse and place in stove top cooking pot with 1 tablespoon of salt and enough fresh water to cover plus 2 inches. Transfer contents to slow cooker and add onion and pepper a pinch of salt if desired.
The good news is that phytohemagglutinin isn't dangerous when consumed in the small quantities that most foods contain. In their raw state, red kidney beans contain between 20,000-70,000 had (hem agglutinating units) of this toxin.
Because of this food poisoning concern, it is important to follow these two steps if you're going to slow cook dried beans : 2) Add new water (enough to cover plus 2 inches) and bring beans to a rapid boil for a MINIMUM of 10 minutes before adding them, along with the rest of your ingredients, to the slow cooker for the remainder of the cooking process.
10 Minutes of rapid boil is enough to break down and destroy the great majority of the toxin, making it harmless. If you're still concerned, a safe, fast option for cooking dried beans is to use a pressure cooker.
This assures that they will cook at the safe, boiling temperature for an adequate amount of time. Information provided here should not be relied on to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any condition, disease or illness.
NebraskaHealth.com is a commercial website and is not affiliated with any government agency, university, or private medical center. Reader question… “A neighbor told me this morning that I shouldn’t be using my crackpot to cook dried beans.
Kidney beans contain especially large amounts of this toxin, and amazingly, eating just four or five raw or improperly cooked kidney beans can make a person extremely ill. Ingesting larger amounts can actually cause death. It is also not safe to eat these beans raw or sprouted or ground into flour because of the high levels of toxin.
Livestrong.com agrees : “Cooking red kidney beans in crock pots or slow cookers may not heat them enough to destroy the toxin and may actually potentiate it. Heating to a temperature of 176 degrees Fahrenheit may increase the toxin levels by as much as five times.
10/13/2012 I used the seasonings in this recipe and thought the flavor was delicious. I did use a ham shank instead of diced ham, and kale instead of bell pepper and added carrots too, since that's what I had on hand.
My son came home to these and homemade bread and butter.a comfort meal made in heaven...yummy 08/15/2012 Pretty much how we make our beans, only we use bacon instead of ham, and jalapeños instead of bell pepper.
I had not soaked my beans overnight but, fear not there is a solution, I just brought them to a boil in about 5 inches of water and then turned off the heat and let them soak for an hour. After that time I poured out the water and started the recipe.
Box of chicken broth and after some of that juice had boiled down I added a 32oz. Of the oregano and thought the beans tasted great.
05/22/2012 The beans were soft but the recipe was too spicy for my kids. Next time I will not use as much cumin and add some sweetness to compliment the ham.
Because it is an all-vegetarian potluck, I omitted the ham and lard, used Morningstar beef-like crumbles, and kicked up the flavor by adding McKay's Beef-Like broth/seasoning. Husband loved it, picky Daughter had two servings, and I even got to scrape the crackpot and have a spoonful over my rice.
I plan to make this again for my little family, keeping it vegetarian. This is definitely a keeper, and I know it'll be good for church potlucks.
04/24/2013 Instead of ham used 2 smoked turkey legs. I used all the ingredients except omitted the celery and onion (forgot to purchase) and substituted bacon for the ham.
I like to leave my bell pepper in halves instead of chopping. After the beans have been cooking for hours, the bell peppers broke up into nice, bite-sized pieces so it saved me a bit of time.
02/24/2013 Loved this base recipe & made some changes based on ingredients I had on hand. I substituted a can of role chilies for bell pepper tossed in some cayenne & a few splashes of Tabasco.