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Did You Know Kidney Beans Can Poison You?

I didn't either!

I cook with beans a lot, especially during the wintertime.  It's always nice to have a pot of beans or chili simmering on the stove, but I use the slow cooker a lot during this time of year.

Then, I came across this article on the Penn State Extension website that says you can actually poison yourself (and your family or anyone else) if you eat raw or undercooked red kidney beans.  (Want to see the article?  Check it out here.)

Apparently, red kidney beans contain a toxin when they are raw or undercooked.  Just as few as 4-5 raw kidney beans can cause nausea, vomiting and stomach pain.

Fully cooked kidney beans are completely safe (and yummy).  The danger is only there when the beans are not fully cooked.  

That is so interesting!  And it's also good to know because sometimes, when I'm making chili, I'll add in pintos and black beans along with the kidney beans.  Because the kidneys are so much bigger, they take a lot longer to cook.  I'm always tempted to pull the chili off the stove when the pintos are done and just eat the kidneys a little on the firm side.  No longer!

The article also says that slow cookers aren't the best way to prepare kidney beans because they may not cook them fully.  I think if I put my cooker on high early in the morning and cook them long enough that I could fully cook them safely.

Anyway, this information surprised me, so I had to pass it along!  Have you ever heard of such a thing?

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