A famous saying says that
‘Mondays are like lima beans; nobody likes them, but they still exist.’
The quote is very rude for someone who loves lima beans. Actually, anyone can fall in love with the taste of these creamy beans. However, there is one condition. You have to try ‘em before hating them.
Since then, Lima beans originated from Peru, and have been a part of Native American cuisine. There are many dishes in American cuisine that have a generous use of lima or butter beans to give them the taste they have.
With said that lima beans, butter beans, or sieva beans are different names given to the same beans. In this article, we are going to talk about lima beans, how to cook them, health benefits, potential risks, and, most importantly, how you can dry lima beans.
We will also be talking about some organic and exotic recipes for lima beans that you might want to try in your kitchen.s
So let’s get into it.
What Are Lima Beans?
Lima beans belong to the family of fabacean and the species Phaseolus lunatus. There are many names given to these beans, as already mentioned. The most commonly used names for lima beans are Madagascar beans, double beans, sieva beans, wax beans, butter beans, and chad beans. The name ‘Lima beans’ itself is also given due to the origin of beans from Peru.
The lima beans are a legume that contains edible seeds like many others. It is commonly grown in South America and Meso America. The beans are sub-divided into different types: small beans and large beans.
The large-seeded lima beans originated in and belong to the western Andes. However, the small-seed type or sieva beans were grown in Meso America. The name butter bean is given to these beans due to their appearance and buttery texture.
Double beans is the name of lima beans given by the Indian region. The beans are large, flat, and yellowish to whitish colors and are part of Indian cuisine and curries. Americans are so in love with Lima beans that April 20 is celebrated as National Lima Bean Respect Day.
A Little About Cultivation
If we talk about the cultivation and harvesting of lima beans, these beans are annuals, and the crop grows in the warm season. The cultivation of baby lima beans is done in early June. The crop is ready to harvest after 10-12 weeks.
How To Dry Lima Beans?
Whether you want to preserve the seeds for growing in the next season or want dried lima beans to use in different dishes, we got you covered. Here is what you need to do for drying lima beans.
The first step in drying lima beans is the drying process itself. Vine drying is the popular method used for drying the beans. This method is drying the beans outdoors. The beans are left on the vines until the bean pods dry and beans inside rattle.
Once the bean pods have dried, each pod is picked, and beans are collected. You don’t have to do any pre-treatment for drying beans in this method.
However, care should be taken when picking the pods. Because, if under-dried or moist beans are collected, it will result in molded beans that are of no use. You can use a dehydrator to dry beans if sun-drying is not enough. In fact, if you find that picked pods have moist beans, you can dry the beans by placing them in front of the full sun for days.
Step 2: Pasteurization
Since you’ve dried the beans outdoors, an additional step is needed to kill any insects or eggs. You’ve to pasteurize the dried beans, and here are two options for you:
Take an oven tray and spread the beans on the tray. Make sure that you have a single layer of beans as excess beans won’t be pasteurized. Once done, place the tray in a preheated oven for 30 minutes. The temperature of the oven should be around 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
The second option is using a freezer to pasteurize the dried beans. Take sealable plastic bags and add the beans to them. Seal the bag properly and keep it in the freezer for 48 hours. Make sure to set the freezer temperature at 0 degrees Fahrenheit before placing the bag inside.
How To Cook Lima Beans?
Now comes how to cook lima beans. Well, you can cook dry and fresh lima beans both. We will go through the process of cooking dried lima beans. So let’s get into it.
For cooking dry butter beans, you’ve to do preparation before actually putting them in the pot to get cooked. The first thing is sorting dry beans for any broken beans, wrinkled or dirty beans. Also, look for any stones or clumps left during the drying process. After sorting, soak the beans in a bowl overnight. The water should be at least 1 inch above the level of beans in the bowl. Rinse, drain and repeat the process three times before soaking.
- Overnight soaked lima beans
Turn on the stove and bring the lima beans to a boil. Keep the heat at medium-high. Once the beans are boiled, reduce the heat to low and simmer the beans for 40 to 60 minutes. Don’t add salt during the cooking process as it will prevent beans from absorbing water and becoming tender. Once cooked, add salt, sauce, or any spices you want to serve it.
After 40-60 minutes, check the beans to see if they’re tender enough. When satisfied, turn off the stove and strain the beans.
Lima beans are very nutritious and contain many nutrients required by our bodies throughout the day. If the nutrient content of lima beans is broken down, here is what you get from the beans in generous amounts:
- Thiamine( Vitamin B1)
If you’re a diet and calorie-conscious person, here is the breakdown of macros present in lima beans. One cup serving contains:
- Calories: 209 kcal
- Carbs: 40 grams
- Fat: 1 gram
- Protein: 12 grams
Health Benefits Of Lima Beans
Why should you love lima beans, or what are the health benefits associated with lima beans?
Here are some of the most acclaimed health benefits you can get by adding lima beans to your diet.
Helps in Controlling Diabetes
Lima beans belong to the family of legumes, and almost all legumes are full of fibers. The beans keep you fuller for longer and regulate the blood sugar level. Similarly, lima beans have a low glycemic index, and it helps diabetic patients. Besides, the soluble fiber richness makes these beans excellent for the patients trying to control weight.
Good for Heart Health
The creamy legume has very low-fat content and doesn’t contain any cholesterol. Organic food is also free of any trans-fat, so you can take it easy if you’re having a heart problem. Besides, eating lima beans also prevent cardiovascular diseases due to the presence of polyunsaturated fats.
Improves Gut Health And Digestion
As discussed, lima beans or butter beans are rich in soluble fibers that make them easy to digest for your body. Besides, insoluble fiber is also present in lima beans. This insoluble fiber helps the stool to pass through the gut more quickly. Therefore, lima beans are ideal for preventing constipation. Hemorrhoid is a condition of continuous constipation that can be prevented by adding lima beans to your diet.
Lima beans are also rich in iron that can help in preventing anemia. Anemia is an iron-deficiency disease that occurs when your body is not getting enough iron. It leads to a lack of healthy red blood cells that carry oxygen and transport it to other parts of the body.
Besides, women must add iron-rich lima beans to their diets due to the monthly menstruation increasing the risk of anemia.
Cons Of Lima Beans
If you’re a person that has a gas problem due to consumption of legumes, you should avoid lima beans as well. Besides, anyone allergic to peanuts or legumes might develop any allergy leading to a mild reaction. Therefore, care must be taken when consuming lima beans in your diet.
We’ve shared a lot of useful information about the origin, nutrition, and health benefits of lima beans. Besides, you can also grow and dry your very own-grown lima beans by following the process of drying lima beans in the blog article. We hope you find this information useful.