Lima beans, also known as butter beans, are highly nutritious legumes offering a rich source of protein, fiber, copper, folate, and manganese. These beans are available in two main varieties: the green-colored lima beans, known for their slightly stronger flavor, and the creamy varieties, which are milder in taste. Growing lima beans in the UK can be rewarding, with these beans thriving in well-drained soil but not in heavy clay, which can hinder their deep root growth.
Butter beans are versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes, from succotash to stews. Their smooth shape and indulgent taste make them a popular choice for many recipes. Another excellent legume choice is the black bean, known for its meaty texture and high fiber content. When growing lima beans, it’s important to provide them with slow, deep watering, especially when the first seeds begin to develop in the pods.
For those interested in organic options, Thames Organic offers Organic Haricot Beans, which are high in fiber and protein, and free from additives, preservatives, and GMOs. These beans are ideal for soups and salads.
Phaseolus vulgaris, the common bean, is a globally grown plant known for its edible dry seeds or unripe green pods. For cultivation, bean tepees can be constructed using cedar stakes or saplings, providing support for the growing plants. The cultivation method may vary with climate – pole varieties are preferred in warm climates, while bush varieties are better suited for areas with shorter summers.
The nutritional profile of lima beans includes essential micronutrients like manganese, folate, potassium, iron, and copper. When preparing lima beans, consider incorporating ingredients like lemon juice, olive oil, and herbs for enhanced flavor. Lima beans have been a part of diverse culinary traditions and are used in various dishes, including casseroles and curries. The California Blackeye is a notable commercial variety, known for its white color and distinctive black spot.
Different varieties of lima beans offer various textures and flavors. Limagrain, for instance, represents Betaseed in the UK, providing diverse sugar beet and pulse varieties, including lima beans. Red kidney beans can be used as a flavorful alternative to lima beans in various recipes.