Food Friday: Lima Beans

29 04 2011

Phaseolus lunatus. What’s that, you say? Good old lima beans. The favorite bean in the world for children to hate.

But not everyone hates these vegetable/legume/seed. These two Southern girls happen to like them.

Some folks call the humble lima bean the “butter bean,” which I think is a fitting name. Properly prepared, they can taste just like little bites of butter, so plump and tasty.

So, we’re serving up a double portion of your “Food Friday” today, and learning just a little about… the lima.

  • These little beans got their name “lima” when being imported from Peru, the box was labeled, “Lima – Peru” so the name stuck. They still typically come to us from south of the border from Mexico to Argentina.
  • Lima beans can come from a bush or a pole and are available in many different varieties — dried, canned, or of course, fresh.
  • What you’re actually typically eating is the immature seed. If you purchase them from the pod, they should be firm and dark green.
  • Pull on the string to open the pod, but shell them just before cooking.
  • Lima beans are a great source of fiber, protein, folate, and magnesium. Limas can also increase energy levels since they restore the body’s iron. They’re great for those with an iron deficiency.
  • Cooked fresh lima beans are a wonderful salad when cooled and served with a vinaigrette dressing.
  • Lima beans are in season from June to September, so we’re just in the middle of peak season, but it will soon be over. Get ‘em while they’re fresh!
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