Harvest of the Month: Lima Beans

Lima beans are a legume in the same family as peas or lentils. They digest slowly because of their high fiber content, help keep blood glucose and cholesterol levels steady after meals, contain complex carbohydrates that act as a natural laxative, and are packed with vitamin B, folate, and a lot of minerals. Lima beans can be included in soups and salads to provide a healthy nutritional bonus that fights diabetes and prevents cancer.

How to Select
Lima beans are typically dried, canned, or frozen. If you purchase them frozen, be sure the beans move freely inside packaging, because clumping suggests they were thawed and refrozen. With canned lima beans, select the latest expiration date to ensure the freshest beans. Avoid incomplete, cracked, blemished, or decaying beans.

How to Store
Lima beans are extremely perishable. Cooked ones only stay fresh for a day in a cooled, airtight container. Dried beans can be stored for up to six months in an airtight container when placed in a cool, dark location. Fresh lima beans should be stored inside their pods in the refrigerator crisper where they will keep for a few days.

How to Prepare
After rinsing the beans in a strainer, they are often presoaked to shorten cooking time and make them easier to digest. Combine two cups of water to one cup of lima beans in a saucepan. Either boil for two minutes and let them stand without heat for two hours, or soak them in the refrigerator overnight. Before cooking, the beans should be drained and rinsed again.


Source: World’s Healthiest Foods. whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=59. Accessed 15 June 2016.

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