Why do dried beans and pulses need to be soaked first?
All beans and pulses must be fully cooked before use. This could take several hours if they were cooked from a dried state. Soaking shortens the time required to ensure that they are fully cooked. Historically red kidney beans have been associated with incidents of food poisoning due to their being consumed raw or uncooked. This is due to a naturally occurring toxin which is destroyed when the beans are correctly soaked and cooked, making them completely safe to eat. Whitworths recommend placing red kidney beans in enough cold water to keep them covered during a soaking period of 8-12 hours. After soaking, drain and discard the soaking water and rinse thoroughly. Place in a pan with enough cold water to cover the surface, bring to the boil and continue to boil for 10 minutes to destroy the toxin. After 10 minutes, reduce the heat and simmer for approximately 45-60 minutes, or until they have an even, creamy texture throughout. If the centre is still hard and white, they require more co