These white colored beans shaped like a kidney are closely similar to the red kidney beans, but with a milder flavor and slight sweetness. Truthfully, if you don’t soak it before you cook, you would be cooking the beans for 3 hours until it becomes softer.
Here is one important thing to remember. The white kidney dried beans will not soften if cooked in salted water. So, it is of utmost importance that you do not add any salt or commercial stock products until the beans are soft.
Just to let you know. The white and red kidney beans should never be eaten raw, because they contain trace amounts of poison that can be destroyed only by cooking. If soaked, the cooking time would be reduced to at least closer 2 hours. The garlic, oil, and herbs will give them plenty of flavor.
Here is the best way to do it
Rinse the beans using a strainer under running tap water. The beans are dirty and often covered with dust and dirt.
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Soak the beans for at least 8 hours. Soaking allows the dried beans to absorb water, which dissolves the starches that oftentimes cause intestinal discomfort. While the white kidney beans are being soaked, they also double or sometimes triple their sizes.
The traditional overnight soak is the easiest method. You just have to place the beans in a large container, cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight. For each 2 cups of beans, add 10 cups of cold water.
In the morning, you can drain and rinse the soaked white kidney beans by placing them under fresh, running cool water. It would be easier to use a strainer for this part.
To cook, place the soaked white kidney beans in a pan and cover with a fresh change of cold water and bring to a boil. The minimum time to boil the beans is at least 10 minutes to destroy the toxins. Slow heat would be best.
Cover and simmer until the beans are tender and firm. Simmer for at least 45 to 60 minutes, until they show an even, creamy texture. If the center is still hard and white, they require more cooking.
To test if the white kidney beans are already soft, you can mash one bean against the side of the pot with a fork or spoon. Check occasionally and determine if you need to add more water.
This is not to discourage you, but most beans will cook within 45 minutes to 2 hours. Do not add salt yet, unless they show an even, creamy texture, because the salt will toughen the skin of the beans. To be safe, do not add any acidic foods, such as lemon juice, vinegar, tomatoes, wine etc. They will prevent the beans from becoming tender.
Once soaked and cooked, the beans will at least double in weight. Herbs and spices may be added any time. By cooking your own dried beans, you save money, reduce sodium and get a better flavor along with more vitamins and minerals.
You can refrigerate cooked beans in shallow pans if they are to be eaten later. Freeze any extra beans only within 4 days after cooking them.
Long but good
Eating unprocessed can be time consuming. The feeling would be like, it is taking forever to cook them. Just think of this. Beans are not only a great source of fiber, but they are the healthiest way to add more protein to your diet, without adding a ton of fat, carbs, or extra cholesterol.
Beans make a great addition to almost any dish. Add them to scrambled eggs, toss a handful into a salad, mash them, you name it. If you want to get creative, look for a couple of recipes online.
Where can you get fresh, dried beans?
Generally, they are displayed in the grains section of your local supermarket. Buy smaller packs. If you notice they are dusty or generally old, pick another pack.