Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Kidney Bean Sickness?

Beans are a staple food here in Kenya. They grow well and are cheap as well as nutritious and filling. I personally have never made them because they sell them cheaper on the road outside than I could make them myself. By the time I use all this gas boiling them, I might as well just go buy them outside. However, I came home and found a large bag in my house of beans. Since they were there and I didn't want to waste food, I thought I would attempt to cook them. 

I was told that if I soak them over night that they will take less time to cook. So that's what I did. 

About an hour later I went to peek on them and found that they had softened considerably quicker than I thought they would. I showed Kelvin and he told me not to soak them any longer or else they will split. Instead, boil them for 15 minutes and then put them in the fridge. So that's what I did. 

After they finished boiling I showed Kelvin what they were like. Without thinking anything of it, I took one bean and popped in my mouth. Kelvin freaked!! "You know you are going to be running to the toilet all night if you eat them like that." "It's just a bean. I will be fine" I said. "Sawa, don't call me when you are sick." 

So I decided to look up if you can really get sick from uncooked beans. 

Turns out you can get very sick! 

I guess raw or half cooked kidney beans contain a really strong toxin that, with eating as few as 4 or 5 beans, can cause severe nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. 

In order to make sure these toxins get eliminated you must them rapidly for at least 10 minutes. Many people make the mistake of soaking them or just putting them in a slow cooker. But they must be boiled!! 

My stomach was in knots thinking about this one bean I ate. I did more research and found that I had to eat at least 3 of them before I could get really sick. Glad Kelvin screamed at me after I ate just one. 

So tonight I am going to attempt to make the beans.

 I am definitely going to make sure that I boil them fiercely before eating them. 

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