Friday, April 6, 2012

"Butter" Beans

Prep time: Very easy

If you know me much at all, you probably have figured out that one of my passions is healthy eating. One of the biggest roadblocks a lot of people seem to run into when it comes to eating healthy is vegetables—America's least favorite food group! In all honesty, I've always LOVED most veggies (thanks, Mom and Dad!) and veggies comprise some of the favorite foods in the Baldwin household.

What I've learned about making good veggies, though, is that it really matters how they were cooked. I want to start highlighting some of our favorite side dishes and the way that we prepare them here. Hopefully you will love them as much as we do!

One side dish we have a few times a month is "butter" beans (baby lima beans). My mom's grandpa had a farm in South Carolina, and I LOVED when we would have fresh lima beans from his garden with plenty of butter. A year or two ago, I started buying frozen baby lima beans at the store and playing around with cooking them until I hit on something that tasted as good as my memories. Most people will say they don't like lima beans, and I think it's because the way a lot of people prepare them, they are very dry and tasteless. These, on the other hand, are rich, creamy, buttery, and delicious! Because lima beans are legumes, they are very high in both protein and fiber (as well as other beneficial nutrients). I usually serve lima beans if we are having a meal that doesn't have meat in it, like a meatless pasta dish or baked potatoes. The protein in the limas makes for a very filling, satisfying meal, and the combination of protein, fiber, and slow-acting carbs in the beans help stabilize your bloodsugar as well.

Frozen lima beans (for a side dish, I usually do 1/4 to a 1/2 cup serving per person)
Water to cook
Salt and pepper
Butter (I typically do about 1/4 to 1/2 a tablespoon per serving)*

Pour lima beans into a small saucepan and add water until the water covers the beans by about 1/2 an inch. Add a generous shake of salt and pepper. Heat on medium high just until the water starts boiling, then turn to medium-low and put a lid on the pot. Let cook for 20-30 minutes (check it periodically to make sure the water has not boiled away), or until lima beans are soft and their skins are just starting to split. Turn off the stove, strain beans in a colander and then return them to the hot pot. Add butter and stir the beans until butter has melted. Serve immediately, with extra salt if desired.

*If you're worried about using butter in this dish, I highly recommend reading this article. It may surprise you, but butter eaten in moderation is actually really good for you!


  1. Those were not limas, they were butter beans!

  2. They actually look more like fava/broad beans