Sunday, January 29, 2012

Lima Beans

With my vow in place to transition from canned beans to dried beans I hit the grocery store and got up close and personal with some new legumes. Lima beans caught my attention right away and I quickly decided that these lovely white beans would come along on a cooking adventure with me.

Before soaking these little guys I checked out the nutrition facts table (a best practice for all those interested in improving their health) and saw that half a cup of lima beans has 19 grams of fibre. Hold the phone - 19 GRAMS OF FIBRE! That's insane! And it is in fact insane. After some research I realized that a 1/2 cup of dried lima beans has 19 grams of fibre but once soaked they expand and less beans fit into a cup. This was a relief as 19 grams of fibre in one sitting would be tough for any digestive tract to handle.

The Nutrition Facts are impressive - 1/2 cup of cooked lima beans bring about 114 calories, 0 grams of fat, 7 grams of fibre, 8 grams of protein, and just 2 mg of sodium. To summarize:  lima beans are incredibly nutritious, promote good heart health, keep your digestive tract healthy, and will help you feel full for hours after your meal.

Lima  beans have a very unique taste and texture. They have a very mild taste, much like a potato. Since they have a very bland flavour seasoning with herbs, spices, and citrus is a must.

Not having had any lima bean cooking experience I hit the world wide web to see what other folks like to do with their lima beans. I saw a lot of sautéing with tomatoes and spices - so I followed suit and came up with this little recipe:


Prep: Soak lima beans in water overnight or during the work day.

1 cup lima beans
2 tomatoes, diced
1 yellow onion, diced
1/2 habarnero pepper, chopped*
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 pinches of red chili flakes
black pepper
2 basil leaves, chopped (optional)

1. Soak lima beans in water for 8 to 12 hours. Once soaked, rinse, bring to a boil, and let simmer for about an hour or until beans are soft.
2. Once beans are cooked add chopped veggies to a skillet and sauté in a small amount of oil until almost cooked. Add drained lima beans, garlic, red chili flakes, and black pepper. Sauté for about 5 - 7 minutes.
3. Serve and enjoy.

*note: if you have a low spice tolerance omit the habanero pepper.

Wishing you a wonderful week,

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