Lima beans, sometimes called butter beans, are a type of kidney bean that originated in the Peruvian city of Lima. When lima beans are cooked, they develop a characteristic smooth quality that works well into creamy recipes, and their delicate flavor complements various soups, salads, and casseroles. They are absolutely delicious; you should try them if you haven’t already done so.
If you’d like to learn how to cook fresh lima beans and how to always get the best results with lima beans recipes, then pay attention to all the instructions, tips, and recommendations in this article.
Lima Beans Nutrition Facts
Tips for Cooking Fresh Lima Beans
Pay attention to the following tips when cooking fresh lima beans:
Don’t eat them raw – You should never consider eating raw lima beans. They contain cyanide, which is a natural defense mechanism for the plant. Commercially cultivated limas in the United States are limited to types with very low levels of the chemical, although all should be handled with caution. The toxin is released as a gas when the beans are cooked uncovered. Drain the cooking water from the lima beans after cooking them, just to be safe.
Where to find fresh lima beans – Fresh lima beans can be found at a farmers’ market. Lima beans that are dark green, shiny, and firm are the best choice. If there is evidence of deterioration, mold, or defects on the lima beans, discard them.
Lima beans are also available fresh at some specialist grocery stores. Fresh lima beans are difficult to come by, usually sold dry. When purchased regardless, they can be stored in the crisper of the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days before use.
Different varieties of lima beans – Lima beans are divided into two categories, and Fordhooks are the larger and lighter-colored. Baby limas are not juvenile Fordhooks but a distinct kind that is smaller, less starchy, and has a milder flavor.
Besides the conventional cream or green color, other variants include red, purple, brown, black, and speckled varieties. Many of these are heirloom types, such as the festive Christmas lima. That bean has a chestnut-like flavor and is cream-colored with crimson mottling.
Cooking Fresh Lima Beans
When cooking lima beans, there are different methods to choose from. Each of the ingredients and steps involved in each of these cooking processes has been described below:
Roasting Lima Beans
- ½ pound of fresh or frozen Fordhook lima beans
- 1 bunch of green onions
- ½ bunch of parsley
- Salt, for improved taste
- Lemon juice, to taste
- 6 ounces of ground, roasted pumpkin seeds
- 1 tablespoon of sesame oil
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- If using fresh beans, blanch them for 1 minute in boiling water before rinsing and drying. If you’re using frozen beans, thaw them first.
- To a medium-to-fine degree, chop the green onions and parsley. Set these chopped ingredients aside.
- Roast the pumpkin seeds in a preheated oven, then grind them in a food processor (medium to fine).
- In a large skillet, heat the sesame oil over medium heat. When the oil begins to smoke, add the lima beans first. Cook until they’re golden brown and toasted.
- Sauté for another minute, after all of the other ingredients, save the lemon juice, have been added. After that, squeeze on some lemon juice and serve.
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Boiled Lima Beans and Corn
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- ¼ cup of finely chopped white onion
- 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 cup of fresh baby lima beans (can substitute frozen)
- 2 to 3 ears of fresh corn (1 cup of kernels) or use 1 cup of frozen corn in place of fresh
- 1 tablespoon of butter or margarine
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a big skillet, heat the oil and slowly cook the onion and garlic until they are extremely soft around 15 minutes. Set this sauteed mixture aside.
- In a saucepan, bring 2 cups of water to a boil. When the water is boiling, add the lima beans, reduce the heat, and cook for 20 minutes, or until soft.
- Remove the corn kernels from the ears of corn. Cook for another 5 minutes or thereabout after adding the corn to the saucepan with the limas (you want your corn to be somewhat firm and not overcooked.)
- Drain the water and turn off the heat.
- Toss the corn-lima bean mixture with the onions, garlic, and butter or margarine. Season with salt and pepper after softly tossing. Afterward, you can eat your delicacy.
Basically, you can choose your preferred method and cook your lima beans any way you want.
Cooking Time for Fresh Lima Beans
The following timing guidelines should be adhered to when cooking fresh lima bean recipes:
|Cooking Procedure||Cooking time|
|Sauteing the onions||15 to 20 minutes|
|Cooking the lima beans||10 minutes|
|Cooking the lima beans after softening||40 minutes|
- In a small saucepan, bring 3 1/2 cups of water to a boil.
- Add the oil to a medium stockpot set over medium-low heat.
- Cook the onions in the oil for 15 to 20 minutes, until they are tender and golden brown, adding 1 cup of boiling water at a time and stirring often.
- Pour in the lima beans, then cook for another 10 minutes, or until the lima beans begin to soften.
- Add the remaining boiling water, along with the sugar, salt, and red pepper flakes. Cook, partially covered, for about 40 minutes, or until the lima beans are soft.
- To make creamy, gently mash one-third of the tender beans with the back of a wooden spoon.
- Serve your lima beans, ensuring that they are still warm.
This recipe yields deliciously cooked fresh lima beans, so you should definitely try it out. The recipe takes a total of 1 hour and 15 minutes, including an active cook time of 25 minutes. Take a look at this video recipe if you’d like more ideas on how to cook fresh lima beans.