Lima beans, which are also known as butterbeans, are popular in the southern United States, as well as in other regions. Perfectly cooked butterbeans should have a texture, which is midway between hard and soft, rather than being mushy, and they should not be too heavily salted. This ingredient has been grown and cooked in South America for thousands of years.
Fresh butterbeans are the tastiest option, although this means you will have to spend time shelling them. If you want to use fresh ones, check out your local farmers’ markets. You can also use frozen or dried butterbeans. The smaller sized ones are less prone to going mushy, but the big ones and small ones both taste good.
This ingredient is rich in fiber, which can lower cholesterol. High fiber stops blood sugar levels from rapidly rising after eating and it is healthy for anyone suffering from constipation, irritable bowel syndrome and other digestive or intestinal disorders.
This ingredient is also fat free and high in protein, making it a good choice for diabetics or anyone watching their weight. Butterbeans can provide slow-burning energy while keeping blood sugar levels stable. They also contain magnesium and iron, as well as manganese.
How to Prepare Dried Butterbeans
Dried ones have to be soaked for five or more hours. It is best to soak them overnight. Dried ones swell up when you soak them and cook them. They can double in volume so if you want one cup of cooked beans, you will only need to use half a cup of dried ones.
You can add this ingredient to your favorite grilled fresh vegetables recipes, to increase the protein level and flavor. Alternatively, they are great in stews, casseroles, and soup recipes.
How to Make Old Fashioned Baked Beans
What you will need:
- 1 cup big dried lima beans
- 1/4 lb cooked, sliced smoked turkey
- 5 sprigs parsley
- 2 quarts boiling water
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/3 cup sorghum molasses
- 2 sprigs celery leaves
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 teaspoons dried mustard
- 1/2 cup sherry
- 1 chopped onion
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
How to make it:
Rinse the beans and put them in a big pot with the boiling water. Boil them for two minutes, then cover the pot and let it stand for an hour. Tie the parsley, celery leaves, and bay leaf together and add this to the pot. Boil for one more hour. Drain the beans, keeping one and a half cups of the cooking liquid.
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F. Arrange the drained beans and turkey in layers in a baking dish. Mix the mustard, salt, pepper, sugar, molasses and onion with the reserved cooking liquid, and then pour this over the beans. Cover the dish and bake for two and a half hours. Take the lid off and add the sherry. Bake for one more hour. This recipe makes eight servings.