Both dried and canned kidney beans are available throughout the year. Dried beans are generally available in prepackaged containers as well as in bulk bins. True to their name, these popular beans are kidney shaped and are especially good in simmered dishes where they absorb the flavors of seasonings and the other foods with which they are cooked.
How to Select
Choose dried beans or canned beans with less sodium. Select dried beans that are dry, firm, clean, uniform in color and not shriveled
How to Store
Store dried beans at room temperature, in a closed contaner to protect from moisture and pests. Store canned beans at room temperature--use before date on can.
How to Prepare
Spread the beans out on a light colored plate to check for and remove stones and damaged beans. Then, place the beans in a strainer and rinse them thoroughly with cool water. To shorten their cooking time and make them easier to digest, kidney beans should be presoaked. There are two basic methods for presoaking. For each, start by placing the beans in a saucepan with two to three cups of water per cup of beans. The first method is to boil the beans for two minutes, take pan off the heat, cover and allow to stand for two hours. The alternative method is to simply soak the beans in water for eight hours or overnight, placing the pan in the refrigerator, so the beans will not ferment. Before cooking the beans, regardless of pre-soaking method, drain the soaking liquid and rinse the beans with clean water.