Everyone wants to be able to make comfort food that they can sit back and enjoy without having to think about the intricacies that will go into making it. Lima beans fit right into that profile. You cannot go wrong as long as you do not overcook it. A lot of people might not be in love with the idea of eating lima beans because of the experiences that they have had with them.
Lima beans are also known as butter beans, a name that I think is more suitable for this plate of buttery goodness. This legume can win your heart if you try them in a manner different from how you used to have them. As long as you don’t overcook them, lima beans almost don’t taste like beans.
What do lima beans taste like? Lima beans manage to taste regal, it holds flavor unlike some other legumes and has a velvety and buttery taste. Fresh or dried lima beans are much better than the canned version; they are much tastier and when they are well cooked, the earthy flavor and creamy texture are prominent.
Lima beans are one great dish if it is cooked right, and it has a lot of nutritional benefits to offer the human body.
Nutritional Benefits of Lima Beans
Lima beans play host to a lot of nutritional benefits. It is gluten-free, which means that it is perfect for a gluten-free diet. It also has a low glycemic index and can help to balance the body’s blood sugar levels. Like every other legume out there, lima beans are a great source of plant protein for people that promote sustainability (vegetarians). It also contains vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber.
When it comes to nutritional content, lima beans have some very impressive numbers. In 100 grams of cooked lima beans, you have; 7.8 grams of protein, 7 grams of dietary fiber, and 114 calories. Lima beans have a low-calorie count so you don’t have to worry about looking for a way to burn off those extra calories. Lima beans have a good amount of vitamin C about 4 times the amount of what you have in other legumes like Edamame. Vitamin C helps to boost the immune system and helps to keep everyday illnesses at bay.
The protein present in Lima beans contains eight essential amino acids needed for the body to function properly. Lima beans help to maintain the optimal health of the human body by possessing nutrients that detoxify the body. It also helps to reduce inflammation and reduce the occurrence of cardiovascular diseases.
Lima beans contain antioxidants known as anthocyanins. They play important roles in the body; protecting cells from damage by free radicals. The darker the skin of the lima beans, the more antioxidants they carry.
The dietary fiber present in lima beans helps to reduce cholesterol levels in the body by slowing down the metabolism of carbohydrates and binding bile acids present in the intestines.
Culinary Uses of Lima Beans
There are a lot of ways you can enjoy lima beans only if you cook them right. Prior to cooking lima beans, you need to have them soaked overnight. Soaking them overnight is the easiest method but you can do a hot soak to shorten the cooking time even further.
When cooking lima beans, restrain from cooking them at high heat as this will make the beans split and fall apart. Cooking them at low heat and letting them simmer is the best way to get that soft and velvety feel attributed to butter beans.
Lima beans don’t feel foreign in soup, a bean-type of soup. If you want to experiment, you can use them in place of chicken in a no-chicken noodle soup.
You can make butter bean hummus by crushing the beans into a paste and use them as dipping if that catches your fancy. You could also have lima beans stuffed in tacos. The smaller beans do not work as well because you have them falling out too easily, lima beans would stay put in there.
Lima beans can be used in salads to bring contrast in texture and protein to the dish. You can also eat it by lacing/dressing it with herbs like cilantro and mint and adding other crunches like pomegranate seeds. You can add slivers of habanero, sea salt, and olive oil to complete the dressing and you have a very unique dish on your table. In sandwiches, lima beans can replace meat or cheese and add protein.
Where are Lima Beans Grown? How to Procure Them?
Lima beans are known as Haricot de Lima in French, Lima fazole in Czech, Bataw in Filipino, and Manteca de soja in Spanish. Lima beans have been around for over 7000 years and their origin of cultivation is believed to be Peru.
Some historians have come to the concession that they might have originated out of Guatemala. By 1301, lima beans were already being cultivated in North America. After America was discovered by Spanish explorers, they found varieties of lima beans and introduced them to Asia and Europe.
You can find dried lima beans in prepackaged containers at grocery stores. Fresh lima beans would be found at farmers’ markets or specialty grocery stores. However, canned lima beans are not hard to procure.
Why are Lima Beans More Popular Than Fava Beans?
Lima beans are more popular than Fava beans because they do not have a beanie flavor. Lima Beans has a flavor that is unlike any bean flavor that you know.
Facts You Don’t Know About Lima Beans
- Fava beans and lima beans look completely the same and are usually confused for each other.
- Large seeded lima beans originate from Peru, while the small-seeded lima beans known as butter beans originate from Mexico.