The Difference Between Red Beans and Kidney Beans

What Is The Difference Between Kidney Beans And Red Beans

Red and kidney beans do have differences, especially in taste and appearance.

However, both are often used in the same cooking style: stewed, baked, or refried.

Are Red Beans and Kidney Beans the Same Thing, or Is There a Difference?

Contrary to what most people think, red beans vs kidney beans are two different legumes.

Cooked Red Beans

Also, there are more varieties of kidney beans when compared to red beans.

The main difference is that kidney beans are usually harder and, hence, take a longer time to cook, while red beans are quite the opposite.

Let’s get into the details.

Red Kidney Beans

Kidney Beans

This type of kidney bean can be the most toxic if not prepared carefully. Red kidney beans are large in size with deep, glossy red skin.

To make them edible and safe, you have to cook them for 90 to 180 minutes to get rid of the toxin at a high temperature.

There are several reports from people who have shown symptoms of food poisoning from red kidney beans that were not properly cooked. You suffer from vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, or stomach pain.

Red kidney beans contain a toxic plant protein called phytohemagglutinin, which is commonly used for medical purposes to enhance immunity.

Red Kidney Bean Recipe Basics

Before you cook this with other ingredients, make sure to soak them in water. During soaking, they absorb a good amount of water and will eventually become softer.

Then, put them in an oven-safe pot after rinsing the beans quickly.

Pour two to four cups of water and a pinch of salt, just enough to cover the beans.

To cook, set it at 375° for two hours and cover it with a lid. Regularly check the softness at 30-minute intervals and wait until it gets to your preferred texture.

If you are going to cook the beans in the oven, the best practice is usually to soak them first.

Light Speckled Kidney Beans

Lightly speckled kidney beans originated from Argentina and Mexico, but they are now widely cultivated in the northeast of China, where they are commonly traded. Long or round-shaped beans are the most common type of this bean.

They are abundant in nutrition, specifically protein, iron, calcium, and vitamin B. Lightly speckled beans are also cooked to enhance kidney health and metabolism.

You can usually find this in pink, red, or beige color and usually labeled as rose cocoa bean, sugar bean, or cranberry bean.

White Speckled Kidney Beans

White speckled kidney beans are grown by Native Americans and have a similar size to pinto beans. They are also known as cannellini beans and are commonly used as an ingredient in Italian and Mexican dishes. This type of kidney bean tastes sweet and is much easier to digest than the other beans.

Red Speckled Kidney Beans

Whether canned or stored dry, these beans are popular because of their nutrients. Red-speckled kidney beans are good for treating anemia in pregnant women since they are high in iron and zinc.

They are also a good source of soluble fiber, which absorbs water in the stomach and eventually slows down the absorption of the carbohydrates from the bean. This legume is also called a sugar bean.

Red Beans

Red beans originated from the Caribbean and are unmistakably different from kidney beans.

These beans have a different appearance. They are much smaller and grow to an oblong shape (like pinto beans), while kidney beans are larger.

Red beans have different colors, too. They are much more pinkish and often brighter, and grow into reddish beans.

Moreover, red beans have a softer texture and taste more beany – if that is a word.

Though they are pretty different, red beans and kidney beans go together as a good ingredients for stew and rice recipes.

According to experts, one cup of red beans is equivalent to more than the protein content of two eggs. More than just being a good source of protein, these beans are also a great source of iron for the body.

What Are the Uses of Kidney Beans?

When we talk about kidney beans as a condiment for several dishes, there are many ways to use them. They are commonly used in Indian foods, pasta salads, and taco soups.

They have been used historically because they are believed to be beneficial for everyone’s body.

In an article published by WebMD, it stated that kidney beans are rich in a variety of essential nutrients, including:

  • Manganese
  • Folate
  • Thiamine (Vitamin B1)
  • Iron
  • Phosphorus

The said article also emphasized that a half-cup serving of canned kidney beans comprised:

  • 2 grams of sugar
  • 105 calories
  • 7 grams of protein
  • 19 grams of carbohydrates
  • 7 grams of fiber
  • 1 gram of fat

But know that the types of kidney beans can vary in their nutritional profile depending if they are canned or dried.

Having said all those nutrients that we can get from kidney beans, here are some health benefits when using kidney beans:

Red Beans

Control Blood Sugar Levels

Kidney Beans have a low in Glycemic Index so they do not cause a spike in sugar levels.

Weight loss

The high fiber content of kidney beans can help people avoid overeating since they can make you feel fuller for an extended period. This can be an alternative way to lose weight because it is also low in carbohydrate content.

Improve Heart Health

Kidney beans are the healthiest type of beans because of their high protein content, hence a perfect substitute for meat, which is high in cholesterol. Unlike meat, kidney beans are lower in fat and saturated fat.

Prevent Colon Cancer

The non-digestible fiber in kidney beans has a positive impact on preventing colon cancer. It regulates cell growth in the colon, which may reduce the risk of cancer. According to research, people who regularly eat kidney beans are less likely to develop colon cancer.

What Are the Uses of Red Beans?

Red beans are common in various dishes. In addition to their nutritional value, they are also used for their combination of flavors. They are often cooked with rice or Louisiana Red Beans.

According to health professionals, red beans are also high in nutrients, like:

  • Dietary fiber
  • Soluble fiber
  • Protein
  • Calcium
  • Magnesium
  • Potassium

A half-cup of red beans contains:

  • 115 to 140 micrograms of folate
  • 8 grams of protein
  • 8 grams of fiber
  • 32 milligrams of calcium
  • 60 milligrams of magnesium
  • 600 milligrams of potassium

And just like Kidney Beans, it also has several health benefits to our body, including:

Diabetes prevention

The high dietary fiber and starch-resistant content are beneficial in breaking down the food and absorbing nutrients quickly. Also, it slows down the rate of releasing glucose in the bloodstream, which helps in decreasing the risk of type 2 diabetes. According to a study published in the American Society for Clinical Nutrition, people who consume a high-fiber diet are less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who consume less fiber.

Digestive benefits

Red beans are high in insoluble fiber that promotes digestive health and bowel regularity. It is also high in soluble fiber, which is essential for the gut bacteria in converting short-chain fatty acids. Red beans are also high in resistant starch, which feeds the good bacteria in the colon hence, it maintains colon health.

Cancer Prevention

Researchers concluded that women who consume a fiber-rich diet, like red beans, during adolescence and early adulthood have a lower risk of developing breast cancer later in life. Moreover, red beans are also high in antioxidants that prevent the development of free-radical damage. The USDA has stated that red beans have five times higher Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity than other beans.

What Is the Best Type of Beans to Use for Chili?

Kidney beans are the best beans for chili when it comes to a traditional chili recipe for the reason that they absorb spices and flavors easily. Kidney beans also have the capability of maintaining their firmness and shape when cooked. They also go really well with cayenne pepper. They are often used in red bean paste – with cayenne pepper also.

Can I Substitute Kidney Beans for Red Beans?

Since the two beans do vary in flavor and texture, you cannot substitute them automatically. However, the dried or canned versions of these beans are much more similar and swapping can be done – especially the Mexican red bean.

Do Red Beans and Kidney Beans Taste the Same?

No. Kidney beans usually adapt or absorb the flavors of the ingredients, while red beans have a “beany” flavor that affects the taste of the dish. Also, red beans are better when served cold, while kidney beans are better when served hot or warm.

Are Red Beans Dangerous?

If cooked improperly, raw red beans can trigger toxification. You may experience severe diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, or abdominal pain within one to three hours of consumption.

What Bean Is Similar to Kidney Beans?

Cannellini, pinto beans, navy, or red beans are similar to kidney beans. Meaning either of the mentioned beans can be substituted in your recipe since kidney beans are very versatile.

What Is the Difference Between Light Red and Dark Red Kidney Beans?

The light red – or pink beans are processed more – with a difference of less flavor.

Can You Substitute White Kidney Beans for Red Kidney Beans?

Cannellini beans are also called white kidney beans and can be substituted with a similar texture – also they are similar to the navy bean.

They have a smooth texture and nutty flavor. Or another way of putting it a cannellini beans substitute is a red kidney bean!

Can Kidney Beans Be Used to Make Chili Beans?

Yes, you can use kidney beans to make chili beans – Commercia pre-packaged Chili bean paste will typically use many different types of beans but mostly cooked kidney beans – but some brands use cooked small red beans, pinto beans, garbanzo beans or black beans.