dried beans

Butter Beans simple Italian style recipe

Pulses have found their way regularly in our weekly dinners and compared to our childhood boring brown and white beans, cooking with spices and herbs sure brightens our palate and lifts up the taste for more. Recycling in the house by reusing various glass jars filled with all kinds of dried beans in plain sight, in stead of storing in the cupboard makes it invisible and forgotten easily. Now I am in the habit of quickly grabbing a bean variety and letting it soak overnight to a maximum of two days if cooking plans changes or I prepare them and store them in the fridge or freezer. For example making re-fried beans recipe for breakfast burrito’s, dip, salads or as a side dish.

I’ve just re-stocked buying soybeans, chickpeas, kidney beans, black-eyed beans and while at it, brought home a bag of butter beans as new addition. Haven’t prepared these creamy whites in a long time, the butter bean is a well-rounded source of nutrition, rich in protein, fiber, iron and B vitamins. Hardly any fat and all these nutrients combined will provide you with everything you need to lose weight, build muscle and feel energetic.

“Lima beans are a very good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber, as are most other legumes. In addition to lowering cholesterol, lima beans’ high fiber content prevents blood sugar levels from rising too rapidly after a meal, making these beans an especially good choice for individuals with diabetes, insulin resistance or hypoglycemia. When combined with whole grains such as rice, lima beans provide virtually fat-free high quality protein. You may already be familiar with beans’ fiber and protein, but this is far from all lima beans have to offer.” (source:whfoods.org)

Butter Beans aka Lima beans

Dried butter beans or Lima beans

For dried beans how-to cooking instructions click on the link for instructions.

Style variations:

With the Italian style recipe here you can easily vary by using Chinese cooking wine, Chinese (or Thai) soybean sauce, Chinese mushroom soy sauce, fresh or dried peppers or other oriental spices as garam masala the variations are endless. Garnish with coriander, spring onion instead for an Asian finish.

Butter Beans Italian style

Butter bean simple Italian style recipe

More Butter Beans nutritional information and links:

Dried beans how-to

Dried beans how to:

Beans have become a staple ingredient in our weekly meal plans, a sensible choice since beans are low-glycemic, high-fiber, high-protein, and packed with important vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. By adding foods with a low glycemic index in our diet, you will have an extra boon since our body will digest these foods slowly, you will feel full for a longer period while eating less calories without feeling hungry. Even better

The type of bean influences the cooking time but also the type of cooking vessel; slow cooker or pressure cooker. This is a general rule of thumb in how-to start with dried bean cooking instructions, as for the cooking times click on the highlighted guidelines links for more information on type of beans. For more information on Low GI foods and Glycemic index click the highlighted link as a valuable sources.

Pre-soaking beans:

  1. Using dried beans is easy for each cup of dried beans use three cups of water. There are two methods of pre-soaking the beans;
  2. Boil the beans for 2 minutes, remove the pan from the heat source cover and let it stand for two hours.
  3. The standard method is to simply soak the beans in water for a minimum of eight hours or overnight. With a maximum of two day and cleansing the water in between on the kitchen counter or depending weather circumstances in the refrigerator to prevent the beans from fermenting.

Cooking Beans:

  • Regardless of the method you choose; drain the soaking liquid and rinse the beans with clean water before cooking.
  • Use caution when pressure cooking because of the loose skins. Always use oil with these bean and you can place a rack or paper kitchen towel to help keep loose skins from floating up.
  • Tip when using  Fava and broad beans for the first time; blanch beans in boiling water for a minute then plunge them into cold water to peel off the thick brown skin before cooking. Or buy packages labled “skinless” to avoid this time-consuming chore.
  • A quick overview of informative webpage links for pressure cooking times, guidelines and tips for cooking beans;
  1. Hip pressure cooking times
  2. Recipesource Basic guidelines for pressure cooking dry beans
  3. Pulse Canada Guide to cooking beans, chickpeas, lentils and peas
  4. Healthy Highways Pressure cooking guidelines

Basic cooking recipe for preparing beans is adding flavors such as onion, bay leaf, garlic even dried peppers and more to the cooking water in a crock pot for slow cooking method or using a pressure cooker for speed. You could even add a chicken or vegetable stock tablet to give it a quick twist. After cooking you can simply add a good splash of olive oil and serve them straight away as a plain side dish.

Butter Beans aka Lima beans

Dried Butter beans or Lima Beans