Butterbeans - An All Star Protein Packed With Surprises

Source

Butter Beans Also Known As Lima Beans

Sit yourself down and get ready for a "Ta-Da" moment. I am about to introduce you to a food that will knock your socks off. It is one of the healthiest foods you can eat, it's cheap, easy, quick to prepare and can be frozen for convenience. A member of the legume family, it is the butter bean, also known as the lima bean.

Now before we begin our lesson on this wonder-food, I must officially thank our fellow hubber, billrrr, for giving me the idea to write a hub about butter beans. It all happened when he asked me this question in a comment, " what is a butter bean? "

Birth of baby butterbean
Birth of baby butterbean | Source

Butter/Lima Beans Are Full Of Nutrition

The butter bean was discovered in Lima, Peru, (hence the name Lima bean.) It is one of the oldest of the bean family dating as far back as 5000 B.C. Packed full of fiber, one cup of cooked lima beans provides 13 whopping grams. And low in calories, one cup is only 216.20 calories. You'll feel full and satisfied and completely guilt free.

Lima beans are good sources of the following nutrients:

  • folate,
  • protein
  • potassium
  • iron
  • copper
  • phosphorus
  • magnesium
  • thiamin.

Yes, the butter/lima bean is one of the healthiest foods in the world offering a creamy texture and a buttery taste. Once you try these delicious mighty morsels, you will be begging for them often.

Where The Butter/Lima Bean Originated

How To Grow Pole Butter Beans

Growing your own butter beans is very easy to do. Just make sure you wait until the frost season is over before planting your seeds.

  • First, prepare your soil ( compost/fertilize. ) making sure the soil temperature is at least 55 degrees F to help the seeds germinate. You don't want them to rot, which happens if the soil is to cold.
  • Then plant your seeds 1 inch deep and 6 – 10 inches apart.
  • Cover seeds and water thoroughly. You should see some sprouts in about 1 – 2 weeks. At this point I begin singing to the baby sprouts. I'm not sure if it helps them grow, but I enjoy doing it. And before long, you will want to provide a pole for the beans to climb up.
  • Water the beans evenly as they don't like dry conditions and won't grow well, however do not over water as this will "stunt their growth". Provide good drainage too.
  • Begin to harvest these wonderful beans when the pods are plump and still bright green. And I always allow a few pods to turn brown before I pick them for planting the next year.

From my local Kroegers  - good eatin's straight from the can
From my local Kroegers - good eatin's straight from the can | Source
Butterbeans with olive oil,oregano, turmeric and black pepper
Butterbeans with olive oil,oregano, turmeric and black pepper | Source

A Quick, Easy Recipe

The quickest way to serve butter beans is straight from the can. If you're in a hurry, here's all you do.

  • Using a small to medium size skillet - Pour a tablespoon of virgin olive oil and sautee a couple of cloves of garlic. Do this rather quickly so you keep the nutritional values of garlic from cooking away.
  • Immedietly add the entire can of beans to the garlic and olive oil using a medium heat.
  • Add dry oregano ( to taste ), ground peppercorns and a pinch of sea salt.
  • Stir and cook only until heated (about 3-5 minutes.)
  • Serve hot in a soup bowl with warm sweet rolls dripping in butter. ( I use yogurt butter .)

Growing Bush Butter Beans

If you prefer growing butter beans in a bush form, which is even easier than pole, this is all you do:

  • Plant seeds in hills following directions below. These will not require support and they don't need as much care, plus they can be picked as soon as they are ready to cook or freeze.

These types of beans typically produce an earlier crop; therefore, successive plantings may be necessary for a continual harvest.

  • When bush beans are planted in hills, they should be about an inch deep and approximately 2-3 inches apart.
  • For rows, plant the beans at the same depth with spacing about 18-24 inches apart.
  • Once the seedlings begin to develop true leaves, the plants can be thinned to six inches apart. If the area you are in stays quite humid, allow more space between the plants for better airflow.

And that's it. How easy it is to plant your own butter beans. And how convenient to be able to by-pass the market and pick your own beans right in your own back yard.

3 Important Tips for Cooking Beans

  • If you soak the beans overnight it helps to reduce "gas" and bloating.
  • Be sure to thoroughly rinse beans before cooking.
  • Experiment with a variety of seasonings and vegetables.

Butterbean, Chorizo and Thyme Stew

Ingredients

  • 350g Canned Butter Beans
  • 225g Chorizo for Cooking
  • 2-3 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 5 Garlic Cloves
  • 1 Medium Onion
  • 1 cup Red Wine ( optional )
  • 400g Can Chopped Tomatoes
  • 1 Tablespoon Thyme Leaves
  • 2 Tablespoons Chopped Flat Lead Parsley
  • Salt ( I use sea salt )


  • Cut the chorizo sausage into thin slices, finely chop the onion and thinley slice the garlic.
  • Put the olive oil into a pan and heat over a medium a medium-high heat until the garlic begins to sizzle.
  • Add the chorizo and cook until the slices are lightly browned on either side, then add the onion and continue to cook until it has softened.
  • Add red wine and cook until it has reduced to almost nothing.
  • Add the canned chopped tomatoes, thyme, butter beans and 1/2 a teaspoon of salt and simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Scatter over the parsley, spoon into deep warming bowls and serve with some crusty fresh bread.

Mmmm...delicious.

New Stoneware Soup Bowls

Good Old Fashion Ham Hocks And butter Beans

This recipe was one of my favorites when I was a little girl. Oh, my, how I loved picturing a bowl of mama's bean soup, bubbling on the stove as I hurried home from school.

The following recipe does well in a crock pot or stove-top. Here's all you need:

Ingredients:

  • dry butter beans
  • ham hock
  • chunks of ham or diced
  • brown onion
  • ground peppercorns

Soak beans overnight. Rinse well and pour into medium/large soup pot. Add water to cover beans plus 6-8 cups more.

Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and add ham hock and ham chunks. Cook for 15 minutes stirring often, then add the rest of the ingredients.

Reduce heat to simmer and cook with a lid on pot until beans are so tender that the skins begin to fall off. Stir often to keep from burning and add water as needed. Cook to desired thickness.

Salt is not needed as the ham will have plenty.

I like to serve this in thick bowls with pineapple slices on the side.

Refrigerate any leftovers. They are even better the second day.

The Butter Bean

The butter bean, the butter bean

Will keep you full and keep you lean

Cheap to buy and easy to make

Boil ‘em in a pot when you first awake


Cook them with veggies, turkey or ham

And add some hot biscuits with jelly or jam

They’re full of nutrition to help keep you healthy

With the money you save, you just might get wealthy


So try a few recipes all through the year

Eat as much as you like with no guilt or fear

And if your partner gets grouchy or mean

Just give them a hug and the good butter bean.

© Audrey Hunt 2011

Cast your vote for Butter/Lima Beans

Have You Ever Tried Butter/Lima Beans?

  • Yes and I really like them
  • Yes but they aren't my favorite bean choice
  • Yes but won't try them again
  • No thanks
See results without voting

© 2011 Audrey Hunt

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Comments 65 comments

drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida

I have to admit, Audrey, despite your beautiful receipes, I have never been a fan of butter (Lima) beans. But I am a fan of your poetic ode to same. Very well done, m'dear.


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

Yum. We love butter beans in our house. I shall grow some next summer. You have me in the mood now so I suppose I will cook some tomorrow (meat free) and make corn bread to go with them. Did I say Yum?

PS_ I like the cute poem.


davenmidtown profile image

davenmidtown 5 years ago from Sacramento, California

Vocalcoach: I think butter beans rock! I love them in soup, stews, and the vegetable ragouts too. Great hub, and that recipe looks great!


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

Yeaaaaah! Hello, my BB friend. Thanks so much for taking time to visit and comment!


Dee aka Nonna profile image

Dee aka Nonna 5 years ago

Hey, growing up in Lousisana, there was not a bean I didn't like and butter bean were one of the family favorites. I, of course, didn't realize the health benefit as a child, just the good taste. Oh, oh, oh, I must get some soon. Thanks Vocalcoach.


Charlotte B Plum profile image

Charlotte B Plum 5 years ago

Hey Vocalcoach, I'm so glad to see you again! I enjoyed this hub, and the food photos that you took and have on the hub look mouth watering. You know, I don't remember eating lima beans before, I should really try them, especially after reading this hub!


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 5 years ago

I love, love, love butter beans. I have them over a salad of cabbage, red onion and greens with a little olive oil and red wine vinegar. Thanks so much for the recipes.


The Dirt Farmer profile image

The Dirt Farmer 5 years ago from United States

A charming hub! And butter beans really are delicious. Awesome!


mathair profile image

mathair 5 years ago from Ireland

Some great ideas here Vocal Coach. I must try out the soup. I wonder if they would grow in my climate. I love your little rhyme at the end too.


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

Great hub! I've always known them as lima beans but yikes! never knew the origin of the name. My mother used to cook them with ham hocks - and we children just could not get enough. Oh joy!

I'm a bean lover and this one has always been a favorite. It's been awhile and I'd like to do your recipe with turmeric, garlic, etc. Oh what a dish - and they are on my shopping list for tomorrow. Yay!

A million thanks and rated up of course! Mmmmm.


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

I love lima beans. I didn't know that they were called butter beans as well, but that's a very appropriate name. Your stew recipe looks absolutely delicious. Thanks for the information and for an interesting hub.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

Thanks Alicia for your comments and for taking time to read my hub. Really do appreciate it!


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

BkCreative - Yummy, beans and hamhocks - memories we both share. Today is one of those perfect days for a big pot of B/hamhocks as it is cold, rainy with a chance of light snow. Warms the heart and the spirit! Thanks, my friend for stopping by!


CountryCityWoman profile image

CountryCityWoman 5 years ago from From New York City to North Carolina

Well, I know what I will be stocking up on - these wonderful limas. I can almost taste them from my childhood. My mother knew how to put them together with ham hocks. And I always needed bread because they make a great gravy. Oh yum. By the way it is November 28th here in NYC and yet another day up in the 60s with sun.

But I'll stock up on the beans now and be ready for that wild cold day(s).

Rated up. Thanks!


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

CountryCityWoman - Well, aren't you lucky, to be having such beautiful weather? You're very smart to stock up on those butter beans before the cold begins. (It started here here in Nashville Sunday).

And yes, you are so right on about having bread for those tasty beans and hamhocks! Thanks for the rating.


mljdgulley354 profile image

mljdgulley354 5 years ago

Great hub. We love butterbeans or most any bean in our household. I grew up on beans and cornbread and still like them all


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

mathair - Hello and thanks for visiting my hub. The soup is really good! Let me know how you like it. If the climate is cold, the beans may not do well. Actually, the canned work great!


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

mijdegulley - You are a woman after my own heart. I, too love any kind of beans. It's a good thing as I don't eat meat and beans give me plenty of protein. Thanks for the visit and comments!


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 5 years ago from London, UK

Wow, that was a fantastic hub. I never thought about good okd butter beans.


Sueswan 5 years ago

Hi vocalcoach,

The recipes sound good but the only problem is I don't like butter beans. Black beans, kidney beans, Romano beans but not butter beans.

Have a good evening.


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 5 years ago from malang-indonesia

Wow....this was wonderful hub from you, my friend. I learn many things from this hub. Well done and rated up! Cheers..

Prasetio


tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 5 years ago from North Carolina

Mmmm.. gonna go raid the cupboards. Great hub.. it is appealing on so many levels. I am going to try the stew. Excellent!


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

tammy - Oh my, the stew is so good! Full of nutrition and goodness. Very nice to see you here tammy and I am enjoying your hubs! Thankyou.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

prasetio - I am always so happy to see you. I hope you try eating the butter beans as they are so healthy for you. It means so much to have you visit and comment on my hub. You are a good and loyal friend. Thank you!


Green Lotus profile image

Green Lotus 5 years ago from Atlanta, GA

VC I'm afraid I must agree with drbj. I don't have a leaning towards butter/lima beans.. although your recipes look tasty. Those of us who count carbs (not calories) must look to less starchy, healthy veggies. Your poetry; however, was delicious.


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 5 years ago from The Beautiful South

I think many judge butter beans by Limas which we do not like either and strangely just discussing this yesterday. Glad we discovered butter beans do not taste like limas and I use to call the baby limas butter beans to get my family to eat them. Well anyway I never really thought about growing my own or cooking them and I will get some tomorrow, thanks for all that great information and recipes. With cornbread, yum yum!


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

Jackie - Quite a coincidence that you were talking about butter beans yesterday. And altho' lima beans are supposedly the same thing...they aren't! Totally different tast and even look different. Glad to hear you are going to whip some up. I could eat them every day.

Thanks, Jackie.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

Green Lotus - Ooooo - carbs! I should be counting my carbs too. :) Didn't think about that. Thanks for the reminder. Darn. :) Thank you GL for reading and commenting and I'm glad you liked my little poem. I'm on my way to visit you right now.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

Sueswan - You are forgiven for not liking butter beans. :) And I, too love the types of beans you mention in your comments. All beans are good! Thanks so much for stopping by.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

Hello, Hello - I am delighted to hear that you liked my hub. I hope you are well and doing freat! Thank you.

vocalcoach!


Derdriu 5 years ago

VocalCoach: What a charming, informative, practical tribute to one of my favorite vegetables: the attractive, nutritious, tasty butter bean! It is so wonderful the way in which your discussion brims with information on history, nutrition and uses.

Thank you for sharing, voted up, etc.,

Derdriu


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

Derdriu - I always look forward to your comments. Wonderfully detailed which lets me know what works. I thank you so much!


bethperry profile image

bethperry 5 years ago from Tennesee

Gosh darnit vocalcoach, you sure make butter beans and lima beans LOOK good. But I have a nasty allergy to both and oh my...

But very informative and useful for the lucky who can eat them! And again, you sure make them look and sound good.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

Awe, shucks, bethperry - sorry about your allergy. I really appreciate you reading my hub, knowing that you can't partake. You find the good in everything. Such a pleasure finding you here on HP. A real gift to me!


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

A great hub which I vote up up and away plus bookmark in to 'My recipes' slot.

Thanks for sharing and take care my friend.

Eddy.


Fiddleman profile image

Fiddleman 5 years ago from Zirconia, North Carolina

I did not always like butter beans aka lima's but lately have found them to be very good.


carol3san profile image

carol3san 5 years ago from Hollywood Florida

Hi vocalcoach, Nice hub. The poem is nice too. I happen to love butter beans. I can eat them alone or mix them in a soup. They are delicious either way. Vote up and useful.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

Hi Charlotte - Oh, you must try a butter bean recipe. And they are also good right out of the can with a little olive oil and basil or anything else you care to add. I have even had them with spinach. And they are so economical!

I'm always very happy to see you Charlotte. I hope you are staying nice and warm these days. Big hugs to you!


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

Dee - You were fortunate to have grown up on butter beans. I have a nice hot bowl of these beans 3 times aweek and just love them. Especially on cold rainey days. Thanks dee!


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 4 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

The Dirt Farmer - You are very kind. Glad you like butterbeans and I thank you for leaving me a comment. :)


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 4 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

Breakfastpop - Thanks so much for the recipe. I hadn't thought about using butterbeans in a salad. Sounds so good. Now, if you will excuse me, I'm off to go to the inn, have something good to eat and join the many good comments you receive on your fantastic hubs. :)


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 4 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

drbj - Heck - It's ok that butter beans don't tickle your palate. Now take brussel sprouts - really...take them. Try as I may, I just don't like the little varmits.

Thank you so much!


Dee aka Nonna profile image

Dee aka Nonna 4 years ago

I'd left a comment early on but had to come back to tell you that after reading this I decided I would treat myself to some butter beans. I used you quick and easy recipe and since it was just me purchased a corn muffin from the deli at the local grocery store. Mmmmm,mmmm good.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 4 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

carol3san - I am delighted you share my love for butter beans. Today, I have a cold/flu and the only thing that sounds good to me is butter bean soup. My son is cooking some up for me, bless his sweet heart. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.


DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

DeBorrah K. Ogans 4 years ago

Vocalcoach,Interesting hub with healthy information on the benefits of butter beans! I must try the recipe for the butter/beans, chorizo & thyme stew! Thank you for sharing, Peace & Blessings!


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 4 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

Fiddelman - Wonderful that you now like these beans. You will grow up to be a healthy boy! :)


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 4 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

Eiddwen - Nice to see you, as always. Think of me when you have your butter beans. I know you will enjoy any of the recipes. My best to you, beautiful friend!


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 4 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

DeBorrah, beautiful one. Thank you for gracing my page. I appreciate your comments and hope you enjoy the recipe.

I like sharing healthy food with others. Our bodies are our temple for the spirit. Joy to you and yours!


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 4 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

Hello, dear Hyphenbird - I always use a meatless recipe for my butter beans too. Adding favorite herbs and spices with just a little olive oil is sooooooooo good.

Thank you for liking my little poem about the butter bean. I doubt that anyone has written one and I didn't want the BB to feel left out...especially when it brings my tummy so much joy and nutrition. :)


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 4 years ago from Dallas, Texas

How wonderful to find butter bean advice and poetry in the same great hub. I love the smell of the beans cooking and your Mama's recipe sounds deelicious. And what a sweet poem for a much neglected poor little bean! We always called them Navy Beans.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 4 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

Peg, my friend - I've been having a great time dipping into my hot bowl of butterbeans while reading some of your hubs. I must say, while the butterbeans are simply delicious...your hubs taste even better. Thank you!


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom

What a fabulous hub Audrey, I am going to have a go at growing butter beans, I have never thought about using them in recipes, they are just something we have never eaten.

I love the poem! this hub has everything and voted up!


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

I was just thinking about butter beans the other day. Thanks much for this info. I am now inspired to experiment with this beneficial bean. :)

Voted up and bookmarked!


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 4 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

RTalloni - Very pleased to know that my hub has inspired you to experiment with the wonderful butter bean. And with these very cold days and nights they warm the soul as well as the heart. Thank you.


Billrrrr profile image

Billrrrr 4 years ago from Cape Cod

Thanks for this great hub Vocalcoach. I am sure glad I asked the question and even happier that you answered it! I searched and searched and finally found a can of Butterbeans at Stop & Shop in Cape Cod. Love 'em and I used your recipe. Thankyou so much.


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 4 years ago

I love butter beans. I am drooling over the chorizo recipe!! I am going to make this soon. It's true the rewards healthwise are tremendous. Great hub! Voted up!


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 4 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

Dee - Glad you tried the canned butter beans and liked them so much. And the corn muffin goes good with the beans. Take care!


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 4 years ago from California

I love beans, especially limas! Have to try it with tumeric!


CR Rookwood profile image

CR Rookwood 4 years ago from Moonlight Maine

Yum, love 'em. The weirdest recipe I ever ate using them was in a local diner that served 'butter bean pancakes'. They were surprisingly good, but then I guess almost anything drenched in butter and syrop is pretty good. Fun hub, thanks!


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

Wonderful hub and especially liked the poem at the last. Though I haven't tried them much but your hub makes me want to. One of these days maybe...

Voted up and useful.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 3 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

Hi Audrey - I'm just catching up to this hub and apologize for the long delay. Have you tried adding turmeric to the butter beans? Hope you liked it. Thanks.

CR - Butterbean pancakes? Now that's a new one to me :) Like you say - anything would taste good with enough butter and syrup. Thanks so much!

rajan - Thanks for liking my poem. Try these butterbeans - adding spices is fun to do too. Thanks my friend.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

Very interesting recipes. I haven't tried lima beans at all. This makes me want to try out these recipes. And this poem is awesome.

Voted up and interesting.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 3 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

rajan - I do hope you get a chance to give the lima bean a try. So glad that you liked my poem so much. Makes me feel great! Thanks my friend.


Silva Hayes profile image

Silva Hayes 2 years ago from Spicewood, Texas

We all LOVE butter beans here. Our favorite way to eat them is simmer with butter, salt and pepper and then combine them with cous-cous. I'm so glad I stumbled upon this hub tonight; I am in the process of making my list of seeds to buy for planting. I will add butter beans to the list!


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 2 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

Silva Hayes - I love the idea of adding cous-cous.

I think it's wonderful that you are planting these beans yourself.

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